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Sonoma, CA 95476
Public Affairs Events: Be Prepared
An experience I had with an election forum I organized last month reminded me of an important event organizing tip I learned years ago. When you're organizing an event for an issue that can be impacted by other events or news, be so well prepared that last minute changes won't cause chaos.
Have every little detail figured out days in advance. Wake up the day of the event feeling like you have little to do. If you have too many final details to tend to, you won't be able to smoothly react to a situation requiring you to change the course of your event.
My Personal Experience
As a community service for my town last month, I organized an election forum about a very controversial bond measure that called for building a hospital on farmland owned by an unwilling seller. On the scheduled afternoon of the forum, I learned the event would be transformed from a typical "yes" and "no" debate, into a forum where the "yes" side would announce it was suspending its campaign. Fortunately, I had kept my afternoon free. That allowed me to systematically spend the rest of the afternoon talking with all the people involved, including my co-sponsors and helpers. More than 200 attended the forum and it couldn't have run more smoothly.