Tips and Ideas for Planning Playground Events
Playground events offer an ideal way to bring together your school community with your wider schoolyard community. Events can galvanize support, leverage resources, and inspire new uses of the space.
1) Organize your planning team
Tap multiple stakeholders and delegate responsibilities. If your event needs funding, make sure you have some designated fundraisers or fundraising coordinators on your team to begin planning a few months ahead. You may create a sub-committee in your playground group or form a planning group that spans other areas of the school like the PTA, teaching staff, and/or after-school groups.
2) Develop event goals and objectives
Assemble your planning team and identify your goals and objectives. Are you having a school event or community event? How many people would you like to attend? Defining parameters will help you with budget planning.
3) Set a date and time
Make sure that you double check your date/time against religious holidays, school holidays, and any other popular neighborhood events.
4) Develop a logistics plan
Divide your event into categories of need: Materials, Staffing, Getting the Word Out, Etc. Use this to help decipher what you will need and when. The easiest way to do this is to make a plan for what needs to be done leading up to the event and a “run of show” for the day of the event.
5) Assess volunteer needs and partnerships
Assess how many volunteers you need and where you will station volunteers. It is typically a good idea to allocate 1-3 “floats” who can run errands or assist with unanticipated issues.
6) Publicize the event
A catchy flyer can help create buzz for your event. Make sure your flyer passes the Who, What, When, Where, Why test! Use this flyer to share widely on social media, email list-servs, and physically posting where appropriate. If you are hosting a larger event it can be helpful to have a committee devoted to invitations and promoting the event.
7) Finalize details and execute your event
Create a run of show for your event. By planning your schedule for set up, event time, and break down you will be able to identify holes in your planning and to ensure that you have sufficient staff and materials for your event.
8) Follow-up and evaluate event
The best way to ensure that you have another successful event is to thank everyone involved! Have the planning committee sit together for a debrief on the event– what went well? What did not? The event chair or head organizer should be responsible for thanking the committee.
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