The 10-Step Plan

Planning a big event in your community can seem daunting, but it’s easy if you break it down into simple steps. Follow the 10 steps below and you’re sure to have a successful event! 1. Bring together a team and register your event. First things first—it’s more fun to work together. Call up friends, leaders in your city, and allied organisations that you think would want to get involved. Host a first meeting to get to know everyone and start brainstorming. When you’ve got a basic idea in place, register your event on the website so other people can find you and join in. 2.  Set some goals. Connect the Dots is not only about identifying climate impacts–its about calling to do something about them. Get together with your group to define the goals for your event, such as educating or involving a certain number of people in your community, or bringing a demand for climate action to a local official. 3.  Plan your event. Time to get down to details– let’s figure out how you can make your voices heard through action:
  • What – How will you “connect the dots?” Is your action directly addressing a climate impact you’re witnessing in your community, or standing in solidarity?
  • Where – Is there an easily accessible location where people can meet?  What symbolic locations can be incorporated, such as visible demonstrations of climate impacts?
  • When – when will your action begin and end?
4.  Recruit, recruit, recruit! Set a goal for how many people you’d like to see in the streets on 5 May and create a plan for reaching 10 times that number of people, assuming only 10% of the people you contact will actually show up. Talking to schools, religious groups, community meetings, putting up posters around town, sending emails through listservs, getting a public service announcement on the local radio, and getting on community calendars are a few ways to get the word out. 5. Sort out the details. As with planning most events, you’ll have to deal with some basic logistics. Here are some key things to consider:
  • Permits for your location
  • Schedule and speakers if you’ll hold a rally at the beginning or end (make sure to include time for a photo!)
  • Sound, stage and other equipment
  • Bathrooms
  • A safety plan, especially for marches and larger events
When you have all these details together, be sure to publish the key information publicly on your local website, community calendar, and fliers. 6.  Invite your leaders. If you want to make sure your political leaders hear your demands, make sure you invite them out to your event! It’s important to email an invitation, and call a few days later to follow up—do it early so their schedules haven’t filled up. 7.  Get creative. Artistic signs, colorful banners, and fun chants and songs are some of the best ways to get people excited for your action, and to send your message in a clear and positive way. Host a time to paint banners and signs before your action, and invite volunteers to come. Have some sample messages so that people don’t go too off topic with their signs. And don’t forget, we’re encouraging everyone to make a big “climate dot” on their signs and banners so that we have a single symbol to unite all the actions around the world! Check out these Creative Action Ideas, and download a dot-making how-to here (.pdf). 8.  Invite the press. The media is one of our most important ways to make our voices heard.  It’s important to figure out early who the reporters who cover environment are at your local paper, radio station, and TV station, and try to build a relationship. A week out from your event you’ll want to send a media advisory, followed by a call to make sure they’ve received it. On the day of you’ll want to send a press release, and make another call to make sure they come out! 9.  Connect the Dots! On the big day, gather your friends and action materials and get out in the streets. Make sure you’ve delegated key roles for that day – individuals to liaise with the police (if necessary), the media, an emcee, chant leaders, etc. Make sure everyone speaking or being interviewed by press knows the key messages you’re trying to send that day, and don’t forget to document with photo and video! We’re hoping to have a big group photo from every event that features big climate dots on banners and signs around the world. 10.  Report back and keep connecting the dots. After the event, we’re asking everyone to send in their photos and videos to help us create a shared story. After your media has been uploaded, take a breath, and celebrate with your team. Be sure to thank everyone who helped, and plan a follow-up meeting as soon as you can. Assess what went well, where you could have improved, and start planning your next steps for building the movement!