NCWIT Tips: Planning Your Event

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calendar stock photoThese are some general guidelines to help you plan your event. Please feel free to adjust and tailor to fit your company environment. As you read through these tips, you also might think about having a series of events targeted to different audiences that explore these issues in more depth.


1. Consider who will champion this first event.

Ideally, invite a senior executive to sponsor and introduce the event. Select someone who will encourage the most attendance and have the most respect and interest from the widest variety of employees.

2. Make the event appealing.

Have food and/or beverages available. Include time at the beginning or end for socializing with one another to create an experience of community.

clock icon3. Make the event convenient.

Make sure the location and time are convenient and do not conflict with other important events.

4. Consider appropriate seating arrangements.

For your audience and goals, determine if you want lecture style seating or round-tables that can encourage more conversation.

5. Determine the format.

All sessions should begin with at least a high-level introduction that grounds the audience in the research. This will lay the context, frame the focus of the event, and set up a clear introduction/tone. The intro can take anywhere from 10 minutes for a brief overview to 30-40 minutes for an in-depth look. The longer version can be a stand-alone event with follow-up panels or workshops at a later date. Depending on time and attention span, either the shorter or longer intro can also be combined with a panel immediately following. Or be creative and feel free to experiment with other formats.

question and answer icon6. Include time for Q & A.

Prepare a few questions ahead of time in case audience members are initially quiet. Consider giving attendees an opportunity to email or post questions ahead of the event. During the event, you might also collect audience questions written on notecards. If you have access to creative chat/electronic ways to solicit questions, you might consider that approach too. If using round tables, give audience a few minutes to discuss questions as a small group and then take one or two questions from each table.

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