Advcocacy in Action - Hosting an Event
Hosting a small event at your house is a great way to engage others in health care reform.
Before the Event:
- Decide whether you want to be the sole host, or if you want to have co-hosts to broaden your guest list.
- Set a date and time and identify a location – either your house or a friend’s.
Develop Your Guest List:
- Your event can be any size you want but, depending upon the size of your location, you probably won’t want more than 15 – 25 people. But, to get that many you should probably invite twice as many.
- Make a list of your friends and people you know who might be interested in learning more.
Send Out Your Invitations:
- Your friends are most likely to respond to your personal call, so you may want to use this approach first, and then send out a reminder by email, or even personally deliver it.
- If you send an email or mail your invitation, don’t forget to give your guests a call or send them an email close to the event.
- A follow up call to all invitees 3 to 4 days before the event will be a big help.
- Create your agenda and get the materials you will need. Contact us link for ideas.
At Your Event:
- Set up a welcome table with name tags and a sign in sheet for addresses, telephone numbers, and emails.
- Set out simple refreshments.
- As the host, and leader of the discussion, you may want to follow an agenda to keep things moving along. Here are some ideas:
- Introduce yourself and explain why you are hosting this event
- Allow others to introduce themselves and talk about why they came.
- Introduce your guest, if you have one, and the topic(s) you want to talk about. Have available the information you have gathered.
- Give everyone a chance to talk, but try to keep the conversation focused.
- At the end, you may want to encourage each person to commit to taking some positive action, such as hosting their own small event, joining an organization to get involved, talking to their friends, or learning more about a specific issue.
- Give your guests something to take away with them. It could be a list of resources on the ACA, information about local initiatives such as your Local Health Action Coalition and, of course, the Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform.
After Your Event
- Be sure to send a note or email thanking your guests for coming and providing them with any additional information they asked for.
Hosting a Book or Film Club
This is much like the other event, but it allows you to focus in on some very specific issues. And, rather than being a one-time event you might want to make this a monthly or bi-monthly event. Below are some tips.
- Discuss the idea with friends, family and neighbors and get together to organize the group.
- Set a day, time and location (meetings usually last about 1 1⁄2 - 2 hours]. Don’t forget to allow time for people to socialize, too.
At the First Meeting:
- Allow everyone a chance to talk about why they want to join the club and what they hope to get out of it.
- Create an initial list of books and/or films that you will discuss over the next three months. Perhaps you know a local author that would like to attend a meeting.
- If your group wants to discuss a film you might think about a longer meeting at which you would show the film first and then discuss it.
- Ask one person to lead each meeting. This can be the person who recommended the chosen book. This shouldn’t be daunting, since some books provide reader’s guides that can be used to create talking points.
- Prepare name tags and a sign in sheet for addresses, telephone numbers, and emails
- Provide simple refreshments
- Create your agenda. Like the coffee, this helps to keep things running smoothly. Here are some suggestions on ways to run the meeting.
- The leader of the book/film discussion may want to use talking points they got from the reader’s guide or prepared themselves.
- Everyone should be encouraged to participate. Relating the book’s themes to personal experiences can make the discussion particularly meaningful.
At the End of the Meeting:
- Select the book or film for your next meeting.
- Encourage everyone to bring a friend the next time. This helps to spread the word on how much fun a Club can be. Perhaps they will start their own.
Contact us for more information and the resources you will need.