Try to have open meetings when planning events. Open meetings mean that more people can get involved and gives people a sense of ownership, so they are more likely to help publicise and attend. Advertising meetings also acts as publicity for the event itself – getting the idea of it into people’s heads and building momentum.
Key Questions to Consider at a Planning Meeting
What do you want to achieve with the event? What are your main goals?
What are your resources? Does the group actually the time/energy to do what you’re planning?
Who are your target audience?
Where should the event be?
What day and time? (and: could it be linked to something that is already happening? For example, pancake day, or the Eurovision song contest?)
What should the event be called?
How will it be publicised?
What tasks need to be done? Who will do them? When do they need to be done by?
1.2 Picking a time/date
This is common sense really, but: the time and date of your event is important if you want lots of people. Here’s some things we’ve learnt...
Check with other friendly societies what dates they have events planned, and bring that to your first meeting – a clash can really knock back your numbers
Non-social events shouldn’t be held on a Friday night
Students are more likely to come into the university for things on weekdays – for some reason Saturdays and Sundays don’t work well!
Staff members normally prefer to have events right after they finish work (eg 5), so they don’t have to go home and back again
Try to keep your event away from deadlines or exams. The beginning of a term is almost always better than the end
It’s never possible to pick the perfect time for everyone
1.3 Picking an event name
An event name needs to be get people’s attention – to draw them in and get them interested. So keep it snappy, and that controversy gets people’s attention. It’s okay to exaggerate or be playful with a topic – people expect that, and it makes the event sound interesting. A common mistake people make is to pick a name that’s really accurate – but that just makes the event sound bland. Really long titles with long words that don’t relate to people are a definite no-no! Basically, work out your “target audience” and imagine yourself in their shoes.
How easy is it to find the event/location? Should someone be at the door to show people where to go or let them in? Would a sign help? ALWAYS bring blu-tack, paper, and a marker pen in case things change at the last minute! If you’re meeting in a public place – how will people recognise/find you, or get the confidence to approach? (approaching groups of people in a pub and asking them “are you Bristol Left?” is actually quite scary)
How many people do you expect? Work out a best-case and worst-case scenario, and plan accordingly
Is the space appropriate for the event? (ie. quiz night in a lecture hall is probably a bad idea)
The general rule in Bristol is: further away from university = cheaper and more accessible to non-students, but you need to be really close to the university to get students to go
It’s worth being aware of local issues a bit (ie for Bristol: gentrification of Stokes Croft means you’re going to attract a very different crowd to cafe Kino or the Arts House than you would at the Malcolm X centre)
Make sure you find out how well your location can cater for people with disabilities, in case anyone who wants to attend has any access requirements
How are the acoustics? Will you need sound equipment (microphone, speaker) to be heard? Is there electricity available?
It is always better to have a smaller venue which feels full, than a larger venue which feels empty.
The key to publicity is getting it out there, and into people’s heads! That means hitting the streets, talking to people, flyering, sticking your posters everywhere, even announcing your event in lectures if it’s important enough! Make your publicity as memorable as possible, and as clear as possible. Everyone who sees and hears it should be able to work out ‘what, when, where’ without any effort. Note that while this section tries to give useful pointers and tips for publicising events, it isn’t an entire guide to marketing – that kind of thing is already out there. You should try to read up on it, as well as how to use desktop publishing, how to write good text, and how to design good flyers. Research it! See the appendix for useful resources.
Note that timing is a really important part of publicity – so plan it carefully! If no-one hears about your event until half an hour before it starts, it will be empty. At the same time, people forget about it if they hear about it too far in advance. Students are especially bad at this. Ideally, you should aim to do your publicity in several waves - get something out a couple weeks before (or more!) so that people know it’s happening and can plan ahead. Then hit the streets with flyers and posters in the days leading up to the event. That way you get the best of both early and late publicity.
2.1 Using the Interwebs
Although we’ve found that the internet can help with publicity, on it’s own it isn’t very effective at all. What works best is combining different methods. That way they reinforce each other and remind people to go.
Writing up an event so that it’s easy to see all the key information, getting it to look nice, and then sending it out over email lists and Facebook actually takes a fair bit of time. So – make a couple of standard event pictures to be re-used for smaller events (for example, meetings) – this will save time. Keep a set of ‘templates’ for emails and Facebook, so you always remember to include key information. For social media you’ll want to assemble a list of places to share info, with links to each group and page you normally post your events to.
For maintaining an email list, you should never just copy a list of emails into the ‘to’ box and click send! This is bad for privacy as everyone can then see each other’s emails. Instead, put the list of emails into the ‘bcc’ box – this stands for ‘blind carbon copy’ and will protect privacy a bit, put your group’s email address in the ’to’ field. Even better, set up a proper mailing list with an email list provider. One of the best is the riseup list service https://lists.riseup.net/www/. So as not to overload people, it’s best to limit emails to one per week, and group any events you are publicising into a ‘weekly email’, possibly with a reminder the day before the event. (us students don’t seem very good at planning ahead or remembering things, so some kind of reminder a day or two before is always very useful!)
As well as publicising events ourselves, we’ve found getting together with friendly groups and sending out information about each other’s events on our mailing lists to be very effective – or even running joint events.
2.2 Designing Posters and Flyers
To produce something good you need to use proper desktop publishing or graphics design software. While professionals tend to use “Indesign”, “Illustrator” and “Photoshop”, the free open-source “Inkscape”, “Scribus” and “Gimp” do pretty much the same thing. See the resources section for tutorials.
THINK about your audience – who are they? Where will they see posters? (eg students queuing for lectures will look at what is on the walls)
Seek out effective, good looking poster and flyers... then copy all the best bits!
Unless you know what you’re doing, never use more than THREE styles of text. Lots of different sized/coloured/shaped text looks “noisy” and unprofessional.
The title font (this can be playful and interesting. It must be bold, clear, and big. Very big!)
The big font. This is for your key information and your tagline. It should be visible a couple of meters away from the poster
The small font. This is for things like a description, directions to the room, list of sponsors, etc.
Keep it short – no-one is going to stop for half an hour to read an essay plastered on the wall. Related: keep it big. If people can’t read it, they won’t know what it says.
Include key information – and make it really clear and visible. That is: Title, Venue, Date, Time, and Cost. The title, date and time should be made very big. The venue and cost too, if there’s space
If it’s free – say so!
In describing the event – pick a tagline (eg. one sentence) to make big, but keep the rest smaller. If there’s too much big text people won’t see the key info.
Get people’s attention – use a BIG title that catches the eye. Maybe a controversial one. Try to stand out compared to other posters nearby.
Keep it simple – simple is achievable and often more effective.
Make sure there is a good contrast – the background and the foreground must be different enough to stand out from each other. Orange text on yellow background = no. Black on dark grey = no. Black on white = yes. Yellow on blue = yes!
Include contact details for your group if you can - this may encourage people to get involved!
Don’t be afraid of using plenty of ’white space’.
Don’t just use the standard fonts that came with your operating system. Head to free font websites, such as DaFont.com and FontSquirrel.com and pick your faves!
See the appendix for a list of free software for making posters and leaflets
Rules can be bent. They’re here to make you think, not constrain you :-)
Putting posters in places without permission can lead to fines and prosecution if you are caught. It can also lead to trouble for your event, the venue it’s in, or it’s organisers if you are unlucky. Of course many people fly poster anyway. For example, by making a mix of either wallpaper paste or wheat-flour, then painting it on to a surface, putting the poster on, then painting over the poster, they can put up hundreds of posters in one night. All that’s needed is a small bucket, big brush, a hoody and a baseball cap. Wear dark, nondescript clothing. Normally this is done on a bike to ease escape should they be detected. Event organisers can write ‘not to be flyposted’ on all of their posters in order to make it less likely they will have trouble if anyone decides to do this with their posters.
Leafleting is pretty simple, you print a ton of leaflets and then give them to people! The best times on a university campus seem to be during lunch breaks, and the ten minutes before and after lectures. Early in the morning more people are rushing, but it can still be worthwhile. If there are lots of commercial leafleters at your university (eg. advertising club nights), then you may have trouble getting people to take leaflets, as they’ll just assume you want them to buy something. There’s two things you can do to get people’s attention. The first is to work on your style – make eye contact with people as they approach, smile, and say a memorable tagline so they know it’s not an advert. The second trick is to get people’s attention by doing something big and visible, thus ‘creating a spectacle’. For example you might bring a big protest banner with you, or get together with someone else and shout information to each other (“When’s the protest next week?” “5.30pm at college green, everyone’s going!”).
The other way to do leafleting is door-to-door. For a niche event this isn’t worth all the printing, but otherwise it is one of the best ways to get lots of people to an event who would not otherwise have heard about it. For most student residences you will need to know at least one person in the building to be able to get in, but people will often help out if you explain to them. It’s also not usually all that hard to tailgate in behind someone else – trespass is not a criminal offence in the UK so you shouldn’t get into too much trouble if anyone complains, which is unlikely anyway :)
Try your best to source free printing. Many PhD students get free basic printing, which is suitable for basic black and white posters and flyers. Suss out and compare all your local printshops, and memorise their opening and closing times. For small print runs of basic black and white A4 posters or flyers it is often cheaper to use your university/college printers. If you’re planning a big event requiring loads of flyers then consider using an online supplier.
Stalls give you a chance to show a visible presence on campus and meet new people. Although you reach less people than with leafleting, you can have more material and normally get longer conversations. For reasons we do not understand, two seems to be the best number of people for a stall – 1 or 3 and less people approach to talk. Anyway, the first thing to do is to pick a location – it needs to be a wider bit of pavement so you don’t obstruct people walking, and to be somewhere visible that lots of people go past. Have a back-up plan in case you get moved on by university/college security or police. Next, you will need materials for the stall. Try to have a reasonable selection – too few leaflets will look bad, but too many will be confusing. The best thing is to have a mix of leaflets that are easy to pick up and read, and a few bigger things (eg books, zines) for anyone who is more keen. Bring paper and pens so you can take down the details of anyone interested in your group, to put them on your email list. It’s good to have a banner to cover the table – as well as looking better it makes it clear who you are. Finally, don’t forget to bring tape and weights – on a windy day the banner will flap and all the leaflets will blow away if there is nothing holding them down!
How to engage with media needs careful thought. Newspapers, radio and TV can be a massive help publicising events and getting a message out. However, the media have their own agenda which more often than not is opposed to ours – they can twist what you say, make things up, and portray you in a negative light if they wish. So be careful! How you engage with media can also disempower people – you don’t want it to look like you have a leader or spokesperson who is more important than everyone else! This article from the road protest movement of the 90’s, exposes some of the pitfalls of engaging with the media – http://www.eco-action.org/dod/no7/35-37.html. However, at the same time many lazy journalists will simply repeat a press release word-for-word rather than writing an article – which is how the police get them to publish misinformation about protests. For example, after the April 2011 riots in Bristol, local press published a story condemning a radical poster campaign telling people not to talk to police – but in doing so they repeated all the advice word for word! http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Cops-trusted-says-riot-propaganda-flyer/story-11250719-detail/story.html
Anyway, if you do decide to engage with the media, be very clear what your purpose is – for example, do you want to get them to publish details of your event in order to get people there, or do you want them to report about it after it has happened in order to get a message out? They might not do what you expect! Once you have that worked out, there are a lot of guides to dealing with the media that have already been written – some of them linked to in the Appendix. However, here are some of the basics...
Send a ‘press release’ to all the media outlets you can. This should include contact details and say when it can be released (normally immediately). See example below
Keep any statement (including the press release) as short and snappy as possible. As well as making journalists more likely to read it, the less you say the harder it is for them to leave out information or selectively quote you. Don’t say anything that could be taken out of context without the other sentences around it!
Give the press a reason to publish. Your event needs to be interesting or controversial for it to get a mention, or at least to fit in with an issue the media is focussing on. Sometimes this means you have to accept the media taking a line you aren’t happy with in order to get the story out.
Journalists want to do as little work as possible – write your press release so that an article about it will write itself
If the event hasn’t happened yet, try to get the press to publicise it for you, by including all the details (what, when, where) in your release
Include quotes from individual people – this personalises the story, which journalists like
Press may call asking for a quote or even an interview. Make sure your response has been discussed with the group before this happens. If you give an interview, remember that interviewers can be very deceptive about what they are looking for. Keep answers brief, and relate everything to your “message”. When it comes to personal information or anything that could be incriminating, follow the rule “if in doubt, don’t say it”
Most important of all: prepare! Have statistics to hand, and learn what you will say to difficult questions. Don’t rely on journalists being friendly – hard questions will be asked
For TV and radio, try to get live interviews. The worst that can happen is if you freeze at an unexpected question, you look a bit silly. This is nowhere near as bad as getting misrepresented. Do not allow TV crews to “retake” shots, as this makes it easier to selectively edit what you say
Mainstream capitalist media are never going to be totally fair to us, or report everything we want them to. So be sure to support independent media, especially radical local papers. Even better, start your own! Don’t rely on the press to get your story out.
Example press release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Students Plan “Day of Rage” Against Student Debt
Students at scumbag college are planning a “day of rage” against student debt this week – and are organising a march starting in the town centre at 2pm on Tuesday. According to organiser Em Goldman “the cost of student life and student debt is too damn high. We’re fed up of asking nicely for change. Join us on Tuesday to demand the education we deserve!”
The march organisers have not announced their route to the police, and are encouraging school and university students to walk out of class and take part.
Please contact our spokesperson on [email protected] or 07313371337 for more information or to arrange an interview
It is rare that a peaceful protest march will change anything by itself, unless the target is very small – for example, one shop or an individual landlord. When it does, it is normally because the people who change fear that the protest will lead to something more if demands aren’t met – like a strike or a riot. It’s important not to simply organise a protest because something is bad or because lots of people will come. Instead, have some clear goals and an idea of where you want to go with it afterwards. Anything else is likely to just make people cynical and to tire you out. With that in mind, here are some of the reasons people organise protests:
To draw attention to an issue – Management often get away with things because no-one knows much about what’s going on, or because no-one realises that other people want do something about it. Many of the things that management get away with simply wouldn’t last if people tried to resist. So attention can be a powerful tool. A visual rally on campus will be seen by lots of people. Media attention will scare management even more (although it can be hard to get from mainstream news sources, student newspapers normally respond to press releases)
To build a campaign – A protest with lots of people can be really encouraging – it shows just how many people are angry and willing to do something about it. People on the edges can be persuaded to get more active when they see the amount of support there is, or hear people explaining the issues at speeches. It is also a step towards taking direct action. Many people have not even been on a protest before, let alone a strike or occupation. Protests help causes to gain momentum and build confidence, by providing a ‘rallying point’ for people who care about an issue
As a springboard for direct action or direct democracy – Protests often lead to something else right away – for example a “people’s assembly” to talk about what to do next, or an occupation of a university building. And lets not forget that time when 5000 people stormed Conservative Party headquarters at Millbank. This can lead to accusations of “hijacking” protests, and it is worth taking care not to alienate people who might kick off later given time. However, accusations of “hijacking” more often than not come from so-called “leaders” who also want to hijack movements – but for their career, not for the cause. They are only upset because it was not them doing the “hijacking”! In general, most people will accept a “diversity of tactics” if it is explained to them, and if the action does not go too far (that said, for many angry people your action may not go far enough!)
3.2 Things to consider when planning any protest or rally
Timing – you need a date and time that lots of people can make, and that will get you seen by your target, by the public, or by the media. An end time is also good. When a protest goes on for too long, people can start to drift away – it’s at this point, when numbers are lowest, that police are likely to move in and attempt arrests. So a clear end time means people can stick together
Type – What kind of demonstration do you want – a march, a rally, or something more creative? The legal restrictions on a rally are less strict, so it might be good to publicise your protest as one, even if people are likely to turn it into a march later
If it’s a rally – it’s more important than ever that there is a clear end time, and that you give people something to do (speeches, chants, etc). If you are going to be silent, make it deliberate – like a vigil. If you just stand quietly and people slowly drift off then it will look awkward!
If it’s a protest, then you may need a route, which will take some careful planning. If you go on private property (eg some campuses and town centres), then security for that area may try to stop you. If you’ve been talking to police, they will want to know and discuss the route with you. You also need to think about whether to take the road, or stick to pavements (if you have lots of people and you aren’t totally outnumbered by the police, it’s far more empowering to take the road and you will probably not get in any trouble). Unless the route is secret, publicise it well in advance so people can make plans. An alternative to having an official route is to let the crowd do it spontaneously.
Slogans – it’s good to have a few ideas for chants and slogans ready
Banners/placards – people will often bring their own, but not everyone. If your group can make a few extra placards and a banner to go at the front of the demonstration, it will all look more lively
Sound – Sound equipment is good to prepare and bring. Get a megaphone for someone to start chants with. If you can get/make a mobile soundsystem, this will be really good for the mood – so long as you have a good music playlist ready. A good mobile soundsystem can also be used as an amp for speeches
Leaflets – If one of your aims is to create a ‘spectacle’ so other people see your cause, bring leaflets for bystanders to explain what the demonstration is about
Permission – Permission is a thorny issue. You don’t need permission from the police to hold a static rally, but if you are organising a moving protest (called a ‘procession’ in protest law) then you are supposed to tell the police your route beforehand, and they can impose ‘conditions’ on the march. They don’t usually arrest people just for going on an unauthorised march. They might go after the ‘organisers’ if they are part of an established group and they do not like the cause. However, unless your group has a leader or other named officials it will be very hard for them to prosecute anyone. Use a different group name if you are worried, but it is almost always fine to organise a march without permission. If you haven’t talked to the police, then under no circumstances should you tell anyone about conditions placed on a march – that is the police’s job, and if people do not know about conditions, they cannot be prosecuted for breaking them!
Speakers – If you are going to have speeches, do it in a way that empowers people. Often they are just boring and serve to pacify people. One option is to have speeches at the start of the protest instead of the end – this gives people more time to arrive, and can help stir up the crowd
Access – Disabled people often can’t make street protests. So, consider organising other action that they can get involved in, for example phone blockades
3.3 Further things to consider, when planning a big one
Stewards – Stewards are used at many demonstrations, and police sometimes make having stewards a condition for having a march. While the official purpose of stewards is to direct the march down the planned route and answer questions, unofficially they tend to act as “peace police” who prevent anyone taking unofficial action or going off-message. For example, stewards at one march organised by a certain major anti-cuts group were even given training on how to break up sit-down protests in the middle of the march. During the occupation of conservative party HQ at Millbank in 2010, NUS stewards could be seen directing people away and refusing to tell anyone why, other than “don’t go that way, for your safety!”. This meant that people who might have wanted to take part were denied that opportunity (though about 5000 still did). For these reasons, we recommend you have no more stewards than are absolutely necessary to make the march work, if at all. Policing people’s action is obviously wrong, and having an official route puts you at a tactical disadvantage. Since pretty much all they can do for you is to help people cross roads, you shouldn’t need that many stewards anyway.
Transport – For a local protest make travel instructions available, like what buses to catch. If it’s a national protest, it’s important to get a list of “official” coaches coming up, as well as providing instructions for public transport. If you are attending a national protest, try to get good transport organised. Student Unions and Trade Unions can help with this. Try to argue for cheap/free tickets, for seats to be available to non-students and school students, and for no lists of names to be kept – police have been known to demand lists of people on Student Union buses. Buses to protests are a good place to get information out to people too, such as what to do if arrested
Workshops – Consider organising workshops, debates, etc before the demo – this builds awareness and spread knowledge. Good ideas for workshops include “public (dis)order training” and “know your rights”
Arrest Support – Police don’t always like protesters, especially when they refuse to be quiet and passive. So it’s good to have some kind of infrastructure in place to support people if the police make trouble. “Movement support” groups are often willing to give training or even do the work themselves, so do give people like the “Green and Black Cross” a call.
“Bust cards” are cards with information on what to do if arrested (give a no comment interview, do not use the duty solicitor, etc), along with a phone number to call for advice and support. Try to get these to people on the demo and any coaches travelling there
“Legal observers” try to take notes and find witnesses whenever arrests and police brutality happens. Evidence from legal observers can be important if cases go to court
“Arrestee support” is where people try to find arrestees after a demo. This involves everything from getting them a lift home from the police station to helping them to prepare their defence
On some protests, people have even sent out texts to people letting them know what police are doing and where “kettles” are forming
3.4 Livening up demonstrations
Ideas to liven up a boring (ie NUS) demo…
Feeder marches – a march before the main one that feeds into it
Blocs – where a group of people with a common idea, like free education, form a “bloc” inside the march. Can lead to breakaways
Breakaway marches – where people split off from the march to take direct action. These can happen in the middle of the march if there aren’t too many police, but are often better when they break away from the speeches at the end – it’s easier to find each other, and people are more likely to get involved
Follow-up action – can be done from a breakaway, or just later in the day. Action can be anything from occupations to workshops
Stage invasions – if the speakers aren’t representing us, or the march organisers are shite, consider a stage invasion to present an actually radical message
Text-outs – in the 2010 student protests, people made an app called “Sukey”, which sent people texts telling them where police lines were. Text-outs can be great for helping people to avoid kettles, or telling people what action is happening where
Demo support – consider volunteering for demo support groups, which are often independent of the protest organisers. Legal observers, action medics, etc are all always in need of more people! If protesters know they will be supported, they are more likely to take risks
Film nights are very simple, and are a good social event. The main thing that can go wrong is your equipment not working, so make sure you do a test run with the projector and sound system you’re using before you start.
Paths Through Utopias – Documentary about attempts at living in sustainable communities around Europe (trailer: http://vimeo.com/18815492)
The Weather Underground – Documentary about The Weathermen, a radical left-wing group in the US that aimed to “create a clandestine revolutionary party for the violent overthrow of the US government”. Could create some interesting dialogue on the question of non-violence (trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR8pepqS-QA)
In the Name of the Father – based on the true story of an Irish man framed for taking part in an IRA bombing and tortured by the English police. Heavy but with a heartwarming ending (trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0ff5KjZ7vM)
The Trotsky – Comedy about a Canadian student who thinks he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky (Russian Socialist), who tries to start a revolution in his high-school. Great subversion of the typical high-school comedy (trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtU7ERJ3cTw)
If you invite someone to speak, here are some things you will need to talk over with them:
Accommodation requirements (if someone is hosting them)
How many nights do they need? Just the night before? Or the one after? Or both?
Dietary needs – whoever is hosting them will need to provide food!
Any other requests? (ie do they need a proper bed, can they climb stairs ok?, that sort of thing)
Check the event description and make sure you are on the same page about what they will be speaking on
Do they want an introduction? If so how would they like to be described?
Will they be taking questions after? If so who will facilitate this?
How do they like to speak? From a platform? Sitting down?
Do they have any audio/visual requirements, such as a projector, sound, or a laptop?
Do they have books/leaflets they want to make available/sell?
Transport to the event – can they walk ok? Will they need to be located close to the venue?
Payment – are they expecting any? Transport and accommodation costs? A donation to their organisation?
Don’t forget to look through the checklist at the end of this chapter – especially the part about checking sound!
Organising debates can be a really useful way to raise an issue. The best way to do this is jointly with your university’s debating society, if it has one, since they have experience facilitating debates, finding speakers, publicising, etc. Apart from that...
It is important to pick a title that will interest people who don’t already have a strong opinion on the topic. So “Is protest futile?” is going to get a lot more people than “What do we want to achieve from Demo2012” – even if the later is what you are actually going to talk about.
If you are speaking, then make sure you prepare. Try and think what arguments your opponent will use, and how to respond to them. Practise speaking with a time limit. Get a friend to field you difficult questions. Look through the ideas you want to put across, and try to express them as simply and clearly as possible – using the shortest words and least jargon possible. On the day – just remember to speak slowly and clearly, and don’t forget to pause for a moment to think before you open your mouth – thinking is fine and makes you look like you’re taking things seriously and don’t think you have all the answers :-). Above all remember that you aren’t in the debate to change your opponent’s mind – you’re in it to convince the audience and to spread your ideas.
Decide on a date and time
Find a location and book it
Write a general description, title
Work out what equipment you will need (eg soundsystem, projector)
Divide up tasks among your group
Facebook event (do this first, so the link can go on publicity material)
QR code (so posters can link to facebook event)
Design posters, flyers
Draft press release if necessary
(and don’t forget to check designs, wording, etc with the group before going to print!)
Draw up a rota for distributing flyers
Start a facebook thread/google doc to co-ordinate postering
Send email spam
Invite people to facebook event
Spam friendly social media (eg other societies facebook pages, twitter, etc)
Send out your press release if you have one
5.4 On the Day
Delegate someone to arrive early
Bring material to make signs, in case of last-minute changes
Set up the room
Test any technical equipment
Check access – will everyone be able to get into the building and find the room? Do signs need to be put up with directions?
Delegate someone to start off – introduce the film/speaker/meeting