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

Two to three months before forum

Planning for Day-Of Logistics (Working Group: Logistics/Programming)

Two to three months before the event is a reasonable time for organizers to begin planning for day-of forum logistics, such as finalizing the forum agenda and booking catering and photography services. Additionally, the planning committee should also consider forming an IT support team. It may be composed of a highly experienced committee member or a personnel from the university’s own IT department. This team will also need to be on standby during forum walkthroughs and the forum itself. 

The working group in charge should begin reaching out to caterers, photographers, and videographers to enlist their services at least two months ahead of the forum to secure an affordable, yet high-quality service option and have a considerable amount of time to search for substitutes if any of the inquiries falls through. Note, in the past, some universities have opted for low-carbon food and beverages options to underscore the theme of the forum. 

Conveners may consider hiring photographers and videographers to record talks and presentations at the forum as well. These recordings can be uploaded on the forum’s website to preserve as future resources for attendees and those that were unable to attend. To moderate the entire forum program, organizers should also designate a day-of coordinator to host the event. 

Prior to crossing the one month mark, the Logistics/Programming working group should develop a speaker’s toolkit for all confirmed speakers that contains all the information regarding the forum. It should include a copy of the forum’s official agenda, a presentation template, directions to the venue, talking points, and information regarding their stay near the venue, if necessary. 

Finalizing Promotional Materials for Distribution and Invitation Letters to Speakers (Working Group: Marketing and Communications)

By now, promotional materials should be ready for distribution. Additionally, the forum website should be up-to-date and display all important information regarding the forum, including the date, time, event title, and registration link. Conveners may also want to start using social media to promote the forum and encourage early registrations through the website. 

Promoting the forum is a continuous effort leading up to the day of the cross-sector climate forum.  In addition to social media posts, conveners may also want to hang posters/flyers on notice boards around campus and the community, email blast campus and community members through relevant listservs, connect with university alumnus, etc. 

If the speaker line-up is still incomplete at this time, the Marketing and Communications working group should work with the rest of the planning committee to identify additional speakers as needed and continue sending invitation letters. Additionally, conveners may also want to send targeted invitations to organizations and community members outside of the immediate campus community that would likely benefit from engagement with the forum. This may include sending additional invitations to non-profit and non-governmental organizations, neighborhood associations, and local businesses.