I can't do this all by myself!
Almost every executive director or program manager has felt this way at one time or another. Planning a large community event like the Baby Buggy Walk in the Park is a tremendous effort requiring many resources. If you're not sure where to begin, here are a few tips for getting started.
- Assemble a planning committee. No one can do it alone. Planning a successful event is a collaborative effort. Include committee members with expertise in events and public relations.
- Create a preliminary event plan and budget. This will help you define next steps. A sample budget is included for your reference.
- Begin your guest list. Identify what guests must be there – especially if you are inviting local officials or board members – and make sure to send them formal written invitations as early as possible to avoid scheduling conflicts.
- Develop an event checklist and timeline. It often helps to work backwards from the event date when creating your timeline. Include all tasks involved – no matter how small. A sample event planning checklist is included for your reference.
- Designate members of your planning committee to complete specific tasks. Be sure to set realistic deadlines and check in with them on progress.
- Plan your media outreach strategy. If you have established media contacts— that's great! Reach out to them as early as possible. For additional resources on media outreach, please contact the Office of Minority Health Resource Center.
In addition to the template promotional materials in this toolkit, the Office of Minority Health Resource Center can provide:
- Event signage
- Additional technical assistance in the areas of:
- Reviewing event plans and budgets
- Researching media outlets
- Preparing your social media and media outreach plans
- Developing an evaluation tool
Selecting your location. There are likely many potential outdoor venues to hold a Baby Buggy Walk in the Park in your city. Here are some suggestions for helping you select the best location.
- Affordability. Parks typically charge fees for hosting large events and many impose rules about what types of events you can have and what activities are permitted on their grounds. Make sure to ask about all potential fees, licenses and permits that might be involved, as well as any restrictions on activities.
- Accessibility. A park in a safe, well-known location is ideal for this type of event. The park should be easy to find and to navigate for families, special guests and media you are inviting, and have adequate parking. Consider chartering shuttle buses to pick families up from a designated location like a Healthy Start office and bring them to and from the event.
- Availability. The park may permit other groups to hold events at the same day and time as your event. Don't be shy about asking what other events might be happening at the same time. You may decide that another event might compete with yours and choose to go with another venue.
Before deciding on an event location, do your homework. Call around to several different parks in your area and ask about cost, location and competing events. Then prepare a pros and cons list for each location to discuss with your planning committee.Next, let's look at some best practices for recruiting sponsors for your event.
Office of Minority Health Resource Center