Use this checklist to plan your event, whether you are organizing a die-in, vigil, targeting board members, or a rally.
TWO TO THREE WEEKS BEFORE EVENT
Choose your site for the event – campuses, pedestrian areas, downtowns, and Dow facilities can all make great event locations. Ideal locations are accessible, symbolic, and have sufficient foot traffic. If it’s outside make sure to have a rain location.
Set a time and specific meeting-place for the event.
Speak and table at events, and generate lists of interested volunteers.
Call environmental justice, human rights, and other interested groups in the area and invite them to come to the action or to organize it together.
Find people online in your area on meetup.com, facebook.com, etc.
Create large e-mail list of possible participants
Send action information to your list. Email should include:
- Reason for the event
- Type of event
- Place of event (address)
- Date, time, length
- Speakers (if any)
- Contact information
- Other info as appropriate
Create flyer announcing event after initial plans are complete; post as appropriate (should include same information as email)
Add to “master” e-mail list as people inquire about event
Have an action-planning party.
- Discuss and decide what message and image you want to create and what elements can create that. Think about speakers as well.
- Make all props, gather all materials and write skits or chants you’ll want to use.
Print out postcards (see materials section) – if you can’t print them yourself, we can mail some to you (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
ONE WEEK BEFORE
Call those who said they were interested and ask them again to attend your event.
Create visibility around your event by putting up posters and chalking.
Finalize specific roles (see action roles section)
DO A SITE CHECK! Scout out the area and determine where people should park, stand, where signs should be held, etc.
TWO DAYS BEFORE
Call and confirm all the people who said they’d be there.
Develop a back-up plan for unexpected complications (such as getting kicked out, or a police presence).
Finalize your program and schedule.
Finish all signs and visuals. If you’re doing a die-in, make sure you have extra shrouds.
Print out chants so all can be involved.
DAY OF THE ACTION
Have enough postcards to sign/fliers to hand out (at least 200-250).
Bring clipboards and pens for postcards.
Circulate a sheet for names, phone, and e-mail addresses (see sign-in sheet in materials section)
Keep speakers on strict time limits that you warn them about in advance. Have a fearless MC signal ‘timeout’ if they go over.
Have a good diversity of speakers (gender, race, etc.) and don’t rely again and again on the same good speakers. New people need to develop those skills too, and they’ll have a blast. Trust them.
Getting people to crowd together and having colorful banners in the background will make for good pictures.
Make the event visually attractive – lots of signs and banners, T-shirts with slogans, costumes and theater and so on. You can cheaply make full color T-shirts with color inkjet printers, an iron, and T-shirt transfer paper (1.50 a sheet). How about a nighttime march, carrying torches?
AFTER THE ACTION
Send details and pictures to us right away at email@example.com.
Submit Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds in your local paper about your event.
Bhopal Protest in New York City, April 2008 (Photo by Daniel Yeow)