Planning your event
Every activity is different, but here are some things that will help you to make sure your event goes smoothly. Before the event, planning and preparation are important to making your event a success. Decide the following:
First you need to decide what type of event you want to hold. To help you decide, here are some things to think about:
- Who do you want to reach? Think about your audience so that you can plan an event that will engage them effectively.
- Who will take part? Decide if this is something you want to do by yourselves as an organisation, or if you want the public to get involved. You might also want to engage public health services, schools or businesses. You could also consider asking the local or national government to be involved.
- How much budget do you have? Some events, like an awareness march or a fun run, can be done for very little money, but if you want to hold a big event like a concert you will need to have a good budget. If you plan to get sponsorship for your event you may need to have a back-up plan for a less expensive event in case you do not get all the funding you require.
You can hold an event at any time but it is often a good idea to tie it into a specific calendar event like World Hepatitis Day on 28 July and World Health Day on 7 April, for example. Check that your event does not clash with anything else.
If World Hepatitis Day falls during the week this makes it a great opportunity for businesses and schools to be involved during the day but if you want to hold an event that everybody can attend you might want to think about an evening activity or even consider doing something at the weekend instead or even doing something during the week leading up to the day.
This will depend on the type of event you want to hold. When choosing a venue you might want to think about:
- Is it open to the public?
- Is it easy to get to?
- How many people can it hold?
- Do you need permission to hold an event there?
Every event is different and comes with its own opportunities and challenges. In the next section we look at some of the things you need to think about before, during and after your event.
Holding your event
Recruit volunteers to help you run your event. Make sure everyone has a clear role and knows what is expected of them.
Create a timeline with the key milestones that need to be met and then work out the detailed steps needed to achieve them. Think about the order in which related tasks need to be completed to ensure that there are no hold-ups. This is especially important when you use a supplier who may not be able to be flexible in their time frames. You can create a simple Excel tracker or use a Gantt chart.
Hold regular planning meetings to make sure everything is on track. Go through the timeline and if there are any delays look at how they may affect other tasks and adjust your plans accordingly. Take notes to record what has been decided and share these with anyone who could not make the meeting.
If your event is in a public space then contact local authorities to let them know what you are planning and get any permissions and assistance you may need. This may apply to any public space and especially street rallies. If you are planning on fundraising you may need special permission.
Invite local government and celebrities to take part in your event. This is a good way to get media attention.
Contact local media for help in promoting your event and to ensure the event gets good press coverage. Radio stations will often promote charity events free of charge. See our Reaching Out toolkit for ways to get the media involved.
Encourage local businesses to get involved and if possible sponsor your event. You could offer their staff the opportunity to participate or volunteer. This is a great way to increase the number of participants and can also lead to funding opportunities for your organisation’s other activities.
If you are hosting a public event you will want to produce posters and flyers to help get the word out. You could even get a local school involved and ask the kids to help make the posters. Get your volunteers out and about handing out flyers and spreading the word.
Social media is another great way to get the message out; check out our ‘Reaching Out’ toolkit for tips.
You can use our custom poster tool to create awareness posters for your event; print smaller versions to hand out to people. You could ask the local hospital and doctors’ surgery to display these in patient areas.
Make sure you have a plan in place for setting up the event and then packing up at the end of the day; ask for volunteers to help.
Go through your checklist and make sure you have done everything you need to be ready for the big day. You can use our checklist or make one of your own.
There will be lots of specific things you need to do on the day and these should all be included in your plan. These are some more general tips for running your event.
- Make sure one of your organisers is there nice and early to welcome your volunteers as they arrive. They should have everyone’s contact numbers so that they can contact anyone who has not shown; and everyone should have a contact number for them so they can let them know if they are running late.
- Hold a quick kick-off meeting to get everyone motivated and to ensure that everyone knows what they should be doing and who to ask if they are unsure. Everyone involved in organising the event should have a copy of the schedule and a list of who is responsible for what.
- If you have invited any guests or performers make sure someone is there to greet them and see to their needs. Make sure you have refreshments available and somewhere for them to relax.
- Have someone on hand to greet the media, answer any questions they may have and take down their details so that you can contact them after the event. Have a media hand-out ready with details about the event, hepatitis information, and details of your organisation.
- If you have VIP guests then you may want to provide interview opportunities before the event. If your event involves public participation you will need someone in charge of directing them and making sure they know exactly what is expected of them.
- Have your volunteers wearing branded t-shirts or high visibility vests so that they are easy to spot in case anyone has any questions.
- The welfare of your team and volunteers is important. Make sure they have access to water and shade if needed. For an all day event you may want to provide food to stop them wandering off in search of a meal during the day.
- Be ready to react. Even the best planned events can have unexpected things happen. Bad weather, last minute cancellations, and poor attendance are all things you may have to deal with. Be ready to respond to these and where possible turn them to your advantage.
- Clean up after your event! People will think better of your organisation for it and you have a much better chance of being invited to hold more events in the future.
- Remember to take lots of pictures and if possible even to film the event. You will want these for your own use and also to send to any media who did not come along on the day. Don’t forget to send them to us too.
- Have fun!
After your event
Once your event is over:
- Keep a record of the day along with photos, names of people who got involved and any lessons learnt. If you can get someone to film the event even better! These can all help you for planning future events.
- Follow up with any media you contacted and see if they are planning to run your story. If they did not attend the event then offer to send them the story along with photos and a list of participants.
- If you have a website, Facebook page or blog then put the story and pictures online.
- Your event can be used to show the government how important the issue of viral hepatitis is in your community. You could even use it to collect signatures on a petition to be delivered to the government.
- Contact any organisations, businesses, dignitaries or celebrities who supported your event and thank them for their efforts. Remember that they may be able to help you in the future.
- Decide on your event
- Inform local authorities and get permission (if required)
- Prepare an event budget and monitor your spending
- Choose a location or venue
- Make an event plan including a timeline
- Recruit volunteers
- Create sponsorship proposal
- Approach potential sponsors
Guests and speakers
- Confirm speakers
- Book performers
- Invite VIP guests
Promoting your event
- Design materials like flyers and posters
- Distribute flyers, posters, etc. to community
- Contact the local media
- Add your event to the World Hepatitis Day events map
- Register participants
- Insurance – public liability, staff, volunteers etc.
- Conduct risk assessment
- Appoint first aid officers
- Contingency plans – wet weather, low attendance
- Crowd control and traffic control including parking and sign-posting
- Waste management plan
- Order event equipment
- Organise decorations
- Confirm refreshments
- Organise volunteers and staff
On the day
- Team briefing
- Organise volunteer registration area and VIP area
- Circulate contact list with mobile numbers to all staff/volunteers
After the event
- Removal of all equipment and rubbish
- Thank you letters to staff, volunteers, VIP guests
- Thank you presentation to sponsors
- Hold a debrief session to look at ways of improving the event
How to host webinars
In the face of COVID-19, webinars have become a crucial way to gather an audience and disseminate information. Webinars are a great way to gather people together and highlight the need for action on viral hepatitis.
Step 1: Decide on a webinar topic.
Step 2: Identify who will speak on the webinar, you want a good mix of guest to make the webinar engaging.
Step 3: Do a technical rehearsal, using technology can be daunting, it is best to make sure all your guests are aware of how the system will work.
Step 4: Use one of our branded backgrounds to spread the message further!
How to get free advertising sites
Billboards, bus adverts and other display options can help you reach the public with your World Hepatitis Day messages. Whilst often places are reserved for paying clients sometimes you can apply to get free advertising spaces. To do this you will need to first identify who owns the billboards, then once you have done this contact the company and ask if they will donate space to use for your WHD campaign.
- Think about your audience and the ad’s geographic location.
- Contact advertisers to find out if the ad space has been booked – sometimes there will be unsold spaces.
- Use the WHD materials for posters or contact us if you need something specific/in a larger size such as billboards.
Lighting up local monuments
Lighting up monuments can help people gather, grab attention and can become shareable and PR-able content for the day. Many monuments or landmarks are run by organisations which you can contact to request that they light up the monument.
Step 1: First, identify which landmark you are trying to target, then identify if they are able to light them up. Many landmarks get requests to light up for a range of causes and charities, but by reaching out early, you have a better chance of making it happen.
Step 2: Look online to see if your chosen monument or building has an area on their website for requests. If not, try the publicity department and they should be able to direct you to the right person to speak to. It’s best to try and reach people via the phone rather than email – this will get a quicker response, and means you can also talk through the cause in more detail.
Step 3: Once the day/time has been agreed, spread the word on your social channels. You can also reach out to local media (newspapers, TV and radio) to see if they will cover this and radio stations.
Step 4: On the day, make sure you get plenty of photos and videos, and share these on your social channels using the World Hepatitis Day hashtag (#WorldHepatitisDay). You could even host an event to celebrate.
Some structures which have already been lit up for other awareness days are:
- The Colosseum – Italy
- House of Parliament – United Kingdom
- Sydney Opera House – Australia
- Table Mountain – South Africa
- Empire State Building – United States of America
- Niagara Falls – Canada
- Cristo Redentor – Brazil
- Crystal Hall – Azerbaijan
- Osaka Castle – Japan
- Nelson Mandela Bridge – South Africa
- Prince’s Palace – Monaco
- Taipei 101 Tower – Taiwan
- The Great Pyramids – Egypt
- Old Parliament Building – Australia
- La Basilica de la Sagrada Familia – Spain
- Parliamentary Precinct – Canada