Note: All ONA Local events are currently happening virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic for the health and safety of our community. We’ve rounded up a list of resources to help you design engaging virtual events, for groups that choose to host them.
We recommend that in the beginning of the year you sit down with your co-organizers, if you have them, and plan out your calendar for the year. You can use this template.
Start by making a copy of the calendar planning template and use it to map out your calendar. You can either copy it to your own Google Drive by clicking File –> Make a Copy or download it as a spreadsheet.
Here are the things you’ll want to consider:
- How often do you need to meet? Whether it’s monthly, quarterly, or twice a year, pick what works best for your goals and your region. You want to strike a balance of giving your members a chance to meet regularly and making the schedule doable for your team. You can also start by testing a cadence and then adjusting as necessary.
- What is the mix of types of events? Studies show 80 percent of event attendees prefer an active, participatory experience, and 20 percent prefer a lean-back experience. Since you can’t do everything in one event, take that approach to your event calendar. In other words, if you do five ONA Local events in a year, consider making four of them interactive session formats, like a Table Talk, and one a passive experience, like a panel or a lecture.
- What topics are important to cover? If you’re not sure where to start, survey your members, or use ONA’s five focus areas as inspiration. Check out all the event types we’ve done at our conference for inspiration, and look at the Steal These Event Ideas section in this toolkit for templates on how to pull some of them off yourself.
- Who will be responsible for what? If you have a large leadership team, you may want to divide the events up so each person has the chance to be a lead organizer and others support. You can use columns C & D on the spreadsheet template to document this.
- What are the potential venues, partners and speakers for each event? Fill in as much of the spreadsheet as you can with details for each event to guide you. Some resources that may be helpful as you answer these questions: