Note: By clicking the icon , readers will arrive at the Master Checklist that corresponds to each point of the timeline.

Four months before forum

Four months prior to the event, the framework of the cross-sector climate forum should be nearly finalized. In the master plan, the following details should be confirmed:  

  • Title and theme of the forum 
  • Date of the event
  • Purpose statement and intended objective(s)
  • Target audience 
  • Venue 
  • List of topics
  • Draft itinerary/agenda for the forum 

Drafting Invitation Letters (Working Group: Marketing and Communications)

Even though the list of speakers may not be completely finalized, conveners should begin drafting invitation letters for speakers, panelists, and moderators. Once a tentative agenda has been developed, we recommend sending a personal invitation with the copy of the draft agenda included. Organizers are encouraged to send invitation letters to their top choice speakers and wait for their responses prior to reaching out to alternates. Organizers may also want to follow up with invited speakers at least two weeks after sending the initial invitation and reach out to alternates only after the invitation is considered rejected. For your reference, the Resource Library web page contains a sample invitation letter and examples of other invitation letters that CLN and UC3 schools have used in past forums. 

Developing a Website and Other Promotional Materials (Working Group: Marketing and Communications)

In the past, many universities and colleges have created websites or web pages to complement their forums. A website can act as a one-stop, easily-accessible destination for attendees to find information regarding the forum. The forum website may include the speaker line-up, a tentative agenda, registration information, and other logistical details. See here for an example of Boston University’s 2018 forum page Changing the Climate: How Public Health, Cities and the Media Can Advance Climate Solutions

Other marketing materials, such as flyers and social media advertisements, may also be drafted and designed at this time. In the Resource Library, we have included an example flyer from Queen’s University that was used to promote its forum. Additionally, conveners may want to consider creating a presentation template for speakers to use during the forum. Slide deck templates can help reinforce the forum branding and make it easy to swap slides in and out as needed.