Module 3:

Training community workers and leaders

A checklist about logistics for your in-person workshop

Use this checklist to make sure you don’t miss out on any steps in planning your workshop.

Three to four months before

Start planning well in advance

Pick a date!
  • Send out a “save the date” notice by email (and social media, if appropriate) as soon as possible
Create a distribution plan (email list or MailChimp) and keep track of any announcements and notifications that get sent out
Pick someone in your organization to take the lead on planning the workshop
Line up your facilitator, legal content expert or experts, and any other speakers as soon as possible
  • Ask them to send their biographical information and headshots (if you will need these for your packages)

Three months before

Pick the location for your workshop

Focus on finding the best location you can afford within your budget. Questions to ask:
  • Is it easy to get to by transit and vehicle?
  • Does it have natural light? Is it accessible? Is it the right size for the number of people you expect?
  • Can tables and chairs be easily moved around to create breakout groups OR are there break-out rooms available at the venue?
  • Does the venue require that you get food and beverages from them? If so, is this an affordable option?
Schedule times for sending out registration information, reminders, paper free options such as wifi connections, and an agenda

Two to three months before

Start publicizing the workshop and signing participants up

Designate one person to keep track of registrations
  • This can be done by email, or through a free event planning service such as Eventbrite
Create a distribution plan (email list or Mailchimp) and keep track of any announcements and notifications that get sent out
Make sure to canvass the people who register for information about any accommodation or special dietary needs
  • Make sure to share information about any travel subsidies (if your organization is able to offer them)
  • Create an end date for the registration period – aim for 3 weeks before the workshop date
  • Plan to keep a waiting list in case your workshop is oversubscribed
Be ready to respond to enquiries
  • make sure that other people in the organization who get enquiries forward them to the person handling the registrations

Three weeks before

Book the caterer for your workshop

If you wish to and are able to go with an outside caterer, check to make sure that the caterer you want can deal with special dietary needs (allergies, religion-based dietary needs)
Make sure that the caterer can be flexible if you have participants who sign up in the week before the workshop

Two weeks before

Prepare the agenda and materials for your workshop

Try to send out the agenda and any materials to the participants at least one week in advance
  • Make sure the agenda and materials include bios for any presenters
  • If you have picked a hashtag for the event, send it out with the packages

Order the supplies you need to put together conference packages

Some supplies to make sure you have are:
  • Name tags
  • Flipchart paper
  • Dry erase markets for whiteboards
  • Markers
  • Sticky notes
  • Pens for participant packages
  • Extra pens to have on hand
  • Scratch paper for participant packages
  • Folders to use for participant materials
  • Any promotional or informational materials from your organization

Design the evaluation survey

Create a paper survey form to take to the workshop
  • You can consider following up as well with an online survey, but our experience has been that people are less likely to fill in online surveys

One week before

Visit the conference venue for a walk-around

Make a plan for how you want the seating to be arranged – ask the venue to arrange this if possible
Double-check to make sure that you have full information about audiovisual equipment that is available, WiFi passwords, and other facilities

Prepare hard copies of participant packages

Include a copy of the evaluation form – and make sure to bring extra hard copies of the form to your venue

Two days before

Check your computer and any audiovisual equipment to make sure everything is working

If using audiovisual equipment supplied by the venue, call the venue to confirm what you need and make sure it’s there

Put together any supplies you will be taking to the venue

Examples include:
  • Flip chart and markers
  • Participant packages
  • Pens
  • Nametags
  • Scratch paper
  • Promotional materials from your organization
  • Reimbursement requests for travel (if you’re reimbursing people)

Call the caterer to confirm final numbers for food and beverages

Make sure the caterer knows what time your breaks and meals are
Make sure the caterer has access to the space or knows how to get in touch with you if they can’t get into the building
Get thank-you cards and presenter gifts (if you’re giving them)

One day before

Breathe!
  • You are organized for the workshop and ready to go!
  • Double-check emails for any last minute issues/ requests
  • Get a good night’s sleep and make sure to get to the venue at least one hour in advance