Stay on top of all of the event logistics so that you plan a successful event for families. Once you have completed the initial planning, it is important to check in periodically with your team to update on progress and make necessary changes. After the event, celebrate a job well done and debrief as a team. Steps to a successful event follow:
- Develop an idea and gather information.
- Plan the agenda.
- Select a date and location.
- Submit any requests for approvals, permits, etc.
- Plan a budget and secure funding.
- Determine special needs, (use event questionnaire) and arrange for catering.
- Publicize the event.
- Finalize all details and execute the plan.
- Follow up and wrap up any loose ends
Some events may be predetermined by monthly themes, but you may develop or adapt events to meet your participants’ interests. Use your calendar to communicate with families in advance about what will be offered throughout the year. This can help you make the best use of your time and resources and increase the likelihood that your events will be successful.
- Start planning early. Secure dates and get a calendar out to families as far ahead as reasonable.
- Review participation data from prior years to determine when families are more likely to attend events.
- Schedule recurring events at the same time (e.g.., the first Tuesday of each month) that are easy for families to remember. Offer the same event at different times – for example, afternoon coffees as well as morning breakfasts, in order to accommodate different schedules.
- Survey families in the beginning of the program year to assess their opinions on when to hold annual events.
- Target specific weeks when your events will have the largest potential impact.
- Align content-based events with theme-based months such as Mental Health Awareness in May or Healthy Lifestyles or Nutrition in March.
- Send requests to possible presenters to determine their availability and secure their time well in advance of the event date.
Piggyback your event and other community activities, such as parent-teacher conferences or theme- based festivals.