how-to Guide Whether you’re kicking off your upcoming social issue actions or celebrating your year-long fundraising efforts, Mini We Day is the way to go. We Day is the manifestation of the movement for global change. It’s all of us united for a better world, dedicated to a life of purpose, committed to compassion and peace. Simply put, the “we” movement is the movement of our time. You can become a part of this movement by hosting your own Mini We Day. It’s true, planning an event like this is a lot of work. But on the day of your event, when you feel the unparalleled buzz in the room and the excitement in the audience, you’ll know it’s worth it. This guide and our campaign webpage make it easy. Check out www.freethechildren.com/miniweday for resources like a video library, customizable PowerPoint deck and appendix including key messaging, templates and more. This guide and the webpage are your ultimate source for all the tools, tips and tricks you’ll need to organize an epic celebration. Events are extremely powerful tools—and they’re fun! So while you plan and plot, communicate and coordinate, don’t forget to have a blast. Past We Day Speakers NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal Grammy award-winner Nelly Furtado Actor and activist Martin Sheen Me to We speaker and author Spencer West Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson & daughter Holly Branson Canadian paralympian Rick Hansen Step 1: Get started Putting together a Mini We Day might seem overwhelming at first. This is no regular assembly we’re talking about! Sure, it’s a lot of work but we have made it easy for any student or educator willing to take a real leadership role in organizing the event. Follow all the steps, tips and tricks and before you know it, your event will come to life in an unforgettable experience. ENVISION YOUR EVENT • • • Define what your event will look like. Will you invite hundreds of guests or thousands? Will you host it at school or at a venue within your community? When would you like to host it? What will your call-to-action be (a coin drive, food drive, etc.)? When determining the date of your event, consider if it will conflict with other events going on in your school or community. Don’t forget to decide upon a length. Will your event be 45 minutes, 1.5 hours or half a day? • Once you have approval of the date and venue, find out what other restrictions there may be for the event. • Check out the campaign webpage at www.freethechildren.com/miniweday for sample questions to ask decision-makers. TEAM UP • Assemble a core team dedicated to overseeing the event. At least two people should be responsible for the success of the overall event, with smaller teams then dedicated to overseeing the event’s main components. This is an amazing opportunity for students to take a leadership role, so think about what you can delegate to make it easier to handle during your very busy school year. • Check out the campaign webpage for ideas for smaller teams. When brainstorming the location, make sure that the space can hold all of, or won’t be too large for, the people you expect to come. Remember that you will also want to set up a projector or TV to show videos, and that you’ll need a PA system for the speeches and performances. There should also be a stage so that everyone will be able to see what’s happening. GET APPROVAL • the gym or auditorium. If not, make sure to reserve the date at the venue you’ve selected, and speak to anyone you are borrowing equipment from. Once you have a date and time in mind, ensure you have the proper sign-offs and permission. Speak to your principal to see if you can host the event in 73% of youth describe their experience with Free The Children’s programming as transformational. Step 2: plan it Planning is everything. We know you’ve heard it before, but if years of We Day events have taught us anything, it’s that a solid plan is one of the most important elements of a smooth and successful event. PLOT THE CONTENT • With the vision of your event in mind, meet with the core team and decide on the content of the event. There should be a variety of performances and speeches that reflect the passions and talents of young people in your school and community. There should also be educational content about different causes and issues. The most successful events have a good balance of educational and inspirational content across different mediums (like video, music, speeches). Also, every We Day event has a call-to-action. Decide what yours will be. How can you reach your fund- and awarenessraising goals? • Everything in the event should tie back to why you are all there. You want your audience, as well as those on stage, to walk away inspired, informed and excited to take action for your cause or campaign. • Check out www.freethechildren.com/miniweday for a list of content building blocks, how to deliver a great speech and sample event rundown. • Plus, included within this kit is a DVD with additional resources and a special video message! DIVE INTO THE LOGISTICS • You should now have the date, time and content for your event finalized. Congratulations! Now it’s time to plan the logistics. This is when you identify what materials you’ll need, such as technical equipment, seating, decorations, cameras and refreshments. Then plan out how your team will acquire and set up all these pieces before the event and how you’ll take them down afterwards. • Create a check-list to help you remember everything. A sample check-list can be found on the campaign webpage. MAKE A PLAN B • No matter how much planning and preparation you put into your event, there may be bumps along the road. Using the examples provided on the campaign webpage, brainstorm and create a list of potential issues and what to do if they occur. Then, share the list with the core team and ensure everyone is prepared and ready to handle any challenge that may come their way. Just remember, no matter what, focus on the bigger picture: your cause or campaign. Since 2007, We Day has grown from a single event with 8,000 participants to seven events with 90,000 participants. script WRITING tips on making it great Script writing is a lot different than essay or story writing. There are several things that the writer needs to consider before and while writing a script for an event like this. For a great script that will keep the audience interested, entertained and engaged, follow the below tips. Example Script Layout: • VIDEO “THIS IS WE DAY” • • • Go to www.weday.com and check out videos from past Free The Children We Day events. Make note of what stands out, what phrases work really well, and try to think of similar words and phrases while writing for your event. Using the latest version of the rundown given to you by the core team, and based on the PowerPoint presentation provided on the campaign webpage, create an outline for the event, noting what needs to be scripted. ITEM 1 ITEM 2 Host says hello and introduces the event. HOST Hello everyone! Wow, look at all of you. Today is about WE. We Day is the day we come together to change the world. We’ve got great performers and speakers lined up for today. They’ve all made the commitment to get involved and make a difference. Consider the audience when writing all parts of the script. Always keep it simple: short, concise and to the point. We generally speak in short sentences, using short and simple words. You should therefore write in this way. But, before we get started, let’s learn more about why we’re all here today. Take a look. (Host turns and points to video screen.) ITEM 3 • Wherever possible, try to explain things like a story, not simply by stating the facts. • While writing, read the script out loud. After all, the script will be heard by the audience, not read. Revise if necessary. Item 4 Remember, this event has a time limit. Read each part of the script as if you were the speaker and time yourself. Make sure that it fits in with the time allotted on the rundown. If not, adjust accordingly. HOST • • • • Think about how the script will fit in with supporting on-stage material, like pictures and the PowerPoint presentation. Ask a friend to read the script. Having a second opinion always helps! Remember, when writing anything, it often takes several tries to get it right. Therefore, edit, edit, edit! For reading ease and consistency, follow the example layout when writing all elements of the script. VIDEO “FREE THE CHILDREN” HOST introduces speaker BOBBY Isn’t that inspiring? Now, let’s welcome our first speaker of the day, Bobby! ITEM 5 SPEECH – BOBBY BOBBY Hello everyone! It’s so great to be here today! Today, I’m going to be talking to you about… step 3: promote it While you’re getting everything in order, the promotions and communications, outreach and media teams should start promoting the event as early as possible. A successful promotion plan will ensure that your entire community knows about your event: your mayor, local politicians, news outlets, family and friends and of course the team at Free The Children. Spread the word and people will be happy to come out and support such a worthwhile cause. REACH OUT TO TALENT • If you are inviting talent from your community, start contacting your chosen speakers and performers as soon as possible. Using the key messaging and Event Invitation Template on the campaign webpage, create a package to inform each invited speaker or performer about your event, what they could speak about and the impact they will have by choosing to participate. Reach out to your Educational Programming Coordinator (EPC) for suggestions and to help locate talent and speakers. Also, don’t forget the talent in your own school. Mini We Day is a great opportunity for students (and staff!) to take the stage and inspire with their words, poetry, music, dance. . . anything goes! ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT • Promote the event in your community and within your school. We have suggested some ways to advertise online, but the possibilities are endless! Ask those outside of your school for help. Provide them with the key messaging and posters and encourage them to share these with their work colleagues and friends. Get your school and community excited about your inspiring event! • Create a Facebook event page and invite people in your school to join. Then, help build excitement by sharing photos, stories and videos of past We Day events (available at www.weday.com). • Use the campaign webpage and the posters provided with this guide to get started. CONTACT MEDIA • Remember, working with media is one of the best ways to promote your event. Don’t be afraid to contact local newspapers, magazines and TV and radio stations. Pay attention to what media sources your friends, colleagues and community pay most attention to. Then, get their contact information online and send them a media alert about your event. A media alert is the best way to get information about your event to community newspapers, radio and TV stations. A Media Alert Template can be found on the campaign webpage. Step 4: make it happen It’s almost time for the big day! The talent is booked, the rundown finalized, the promotion successful, the equipment rented and the script complete. Everyone’s eager and ready to go! CREATE A PRE-EVENT CHECK LIST • Walk through the whole event from start to finish, assessing each step. Use the checklist on the campaign webpage as a start, but be sure to add your own pre-event items to the list. REHEARSE • Do a full technical rehearsal with the video and sound equipment and make sure the speakers and performers have everything they need. HAVE A BLAST! We Day is the largest event of its kind, taking place in cities across Canada. In 2011, 61% believing A leader of social change. left We Day Waterloo they could be Past We Day Performer: Musician Dallas Green Step 5: reflect on it Congratulations! Putting together an event like this is no easy feat, and you did it! You have set in motion a chain of events that will better the lives of many people across the world. The following will help you keep your event’s attendees interested and engaged, and you motivated to make a difference. SAY THANK YOU REPORT BACK • • Show everyone how much you appreciate their help and support. Send a thank you note or e-mail to all volunteers, speakers and special guests who were part of your event. MAKE A RECORD • You’ve put a lot of work into your event, and very likely learned a lot of lessons along the way. Make it easier for the next time by taking notes that can serve as a roadmap for your next event. Keep your notes in a kit so you know where to find them. You can also collect any media coverage, video footage or pictures that were taken at the event and store them in your kit. You must register for an online survey upon completion of the campaign. Contact your EPC for details about this survey which lets Free The Children know: 1. How many students helped to run your Mini We Day. 2. How many people attended the event. 3. If you used the event as a fundraiser, how much money you raised. • If you’re not sure who your EPC is e-mail [email protected] or call 416-925-5894. KEEP THE ENERGY ALIVE • Take advantage of the excitement generated by your event by launching into your cause or campaign fundraising activities right away. Remind people to stay involved with your campaign by asking students to write an article about it and the event in the school or local newspaper, put up photos from the event on a website or blog and more. If media attended your event, invite them to return to your school in a couple of months to report on your fundraising progress. In just five years, We Day has reached 160,000&5.4 million audience members television broadcast viewers Tips & Tricks In addition to the many resources at www.freethechildren.com/miniweday, use the following tips and tricks to make your Mini We Day a success! BEFORE • • • • When creating your event team, choose students and colleagues with different skills and abilities. You’ll need people who are creative, organized, good with technical equipment, master communicators and more! Give attendees and media the online resources located in the appendix on the campaign website so they can learn more about Free The Children, Me to We, We Day, Adopt a Village and sustainable development. • Expect the unexpected. There will always be surprises’ so the best thing you can do is have a back-up plan for the common issues (and for the uncommon issues). Just keep your cool and adapt as best as you can. When choosing speakers, bands and performers, remember to showcase a variety of voices, issues and perspectives. Be inclusive of gender, ethnicity and all age groups. • Always proofread! Whether an e-mail, poster or media alert, make sure to always double and triple check spelling and grammar. AFTER DURING • Have a designated photographer take pictures of everything at your event, including the small stuff. After the event, send the pictures to Free The Children for use in future promotional materials! You can also use the pictures as a reference for future events and a look back on what you all created. • Honour those who helped with the event with a special treat, like a post-event pizza party. • Consider charging a small admission fee or asking the audience to donate to your Free The Children goal. • Keep the content varied. Your audience will lose focus if there are too many speeches. Mix the event up with music, short shout-outs and a few jokes. Most importantly, teach the We Day dance to the crowd! Check out www.weday.com for videos of past We Day speakers and show one of these inspiring speeches at your event. : e t a p i c i t How to Par y a d e w i min agriculture and food security 3 When the campaign is complete, fill out a survey at www. freethechildren.com/miniweday. EDUCATION 5 Send in your donation, if applicable. Free The Children c/o (insert EPC name and school code) Re: Mini We Day 233 Carlton Street Toronto, ON, Canada M5A 2L2 Alternative Income and Livelihood 2 Connect with your EPC to get more information on how to put on a successful event. If possible, send high-resolution photos of your group’s campaign involvement to your EPC. clean WATER AND SANITATION 4 HEALTH 1 Sign up with your school code at www.freethechildren.com/ miniweday.
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