Welcome, new event organizers!
If you are interested in hosting an event for Brain Week, please browse through this page to get an idea for what it would entail. All-in-all, it's like hosting any other event except that you will have us as an "umbrella" to help you make connections with other brain-related people in the state and to help increase the visibility of your event. We're happy to have a quick chat with you first if you'd like to talk about it first. Please email us at BrainWeekRI@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or suggestions!
What we can do for you:
Event support: With many combined years of outreach and advocacy, our team has a wealth of knowledge, tips, and resources to help make your event as successful as possible. We will help you on several fronts, including helping you brainstorm and conceptualize your event, chose an appropriate venue, refine your audience, and market/advertise appropriately.
Connections: One of the greatest advantages of Brain Week RI is that we have worked with a wide network of scientists, clinicians, service providers, artists, and community partners across the state. Whether you are a scientist hoping to do outreach, a clinician wishing to collaborate with a scientist, or a community member/service provider curious about how the brain impacts the work you do, we are here to help you make connections.
Visibility: Collaborating with us will help boost your event’s visibility. Our advertising and public relations specialists promote Brain Week RI as a whole through several media channels including online, print, radio, and television. Depending on the outlet, we highlight specific events and, of course, we try to spread the love across all events. In addition, your event will have its own event page on our website calendar that you can share and use for individual advertising. We will also share your event on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) in the weeks leading up to the events. Finally, we are happy to advise you on advertising outlets and strategies (e.g. mailing lists, community partners, flyers, social media, etc.).
What you commit to:
- Handle the overall logistics and administration of your event
- Raise funds (if necessary)
- Adhere to our schedule of deadlines
Timeline for Organizing your New Event:
Once you have an idea in mind, it's time to set the wheels in motion! In addition to the information below, we've created a "Checklists & Deadlines" page help keep your event organization on track.
Date / Time: The first thing you will want to do is check your calendar and set a date and time. Our Event Manager can help you chose a day that is not already "filled up" so that you don't end up competing with similar events in your area. It is critical that you do this as early as possible; the rest of your planning will be delayed without this basic logistic.
Venue: You will then need to decide what type of space you need for your event. If you get stuck on ideas for venues, feel free to reach out to us for suggestions; we have community partners and collaborators who may be happy to host you. If you find an ideal venue that doesn't fit your budget we can help you by offering the venues a tax exempt space donation. Important note: Keep in mind that community venues are more accessible to a diverse audience compared to academic venues. Although it may be tempting to utilize a free space available through your university, you'll likely end up with a room exclusively full of well-educated academics, which is not the goal of Brain Week RI. Because diversity and accessibility are important to us, we strongly encourage you to use community venues in an effort to avoid excluding under-served populations (however unintentional it may be).
Event Name: Once you're set on basic logistics, you'll want to come up with an amazing name for your event. When we say 'amazing', we mean one that is fun and engaging and will peak people's interest. Since most people will not be motivated by the idea of a science lecture in the middle of March (it's still cold outside), your title needs to send the message that it will be a fun event worth leaving the comfort of their homes for. Also keep in mind that when people look up Brain Week RI they will see a long list of events. You want your title to stand out and grab their attention. Some good examples from the past are "OCD: When too much is not enough" and "Heads Up!: A Panel on Concussions".
Speakers: One of the most important and time consuming steps in this whole process will be identifying and securing prospective speakers. Do not underestimate how long this can take!! You may reach out right away to your top choices only to wait two weeks to find out they're busy that day. In addition, the likelihood that your top choice will be available is much greater the sooner you contact them. And of course, you can't contact them unless you have a date/time/place set so make sure you give yourself enough time. We recommend reaching out by September/October at the latest.
You are responsible for advertising your event. You may chose to do this through your regular channels or you may seek out new avenues. In addition, we will help you by giving you a dedicated event page on our website, promoting your event on social media, and promoting the week as a whole through several media outlet. Here are some steps we require in order for us to make your event visible.
We will need a few bits of information from you in order to set up your event page on our website. All of these materials should be submitted through the "Event Details" form that will be due at the start of December.
A blurb describing your event: It is a marketing piece so make it inviting and engaging. Highlight aspects that are unique about your event and be as creative as you want! If you will provide food at your event, certainly mention this. Typical length is about one paragraph.
Pictures: An image speaks more than 1,000 words! You can include pictures from your organization, from previous events, or stock photos that relate to the topic at hand. We also recommend adding your logos and pictures/logos from the venue you are using and from any partners involved with the event. Finally, if you have speakers/presenters, you'll want to add headshots for them.
Speaker Bios: You should ask each of your speakers to provide a short bio. This will make your event page look more professional and it will provide valuable information about the kinds of conversations or topics that might come up at your event.
Social Media Materials
Make an Eventbrite page: Eventbrite is a great way to expand your audience. It is ideal because it creates an RSVP list that automatically sends out email reminders to all users. It will be linked to your Facebook event page and we will place it on our website as well. In addition, you end up with a list of emails that can be added to your organization's mailing list.
Make a Facebook event page: We will advertise heavily over social media during the weeks leading up to Brain Week so we will need your Facebook event page to be linked to ours. In order to do this, you must add us as a co-host. Important note: you must create your event from a Facebook PAGE, not from a personal account. If you make it from a personal account it will not show up on our Events section.
Like us on social media: We are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please follow/like us and feel free to share anything that you find relevant or interesting. In addition, please tag us whenever you post about your event.
Other Advertising Tips
In order to do your own advertising, we recommend starting with a flyer that is simple and versatile, meaning it can be used for several mediums (email, print, social media). Remember to add the Brain Week logo and your event page from our website. You might also send us a copy of your flyer so we can distribute it as well. Send your flyer to any mailing list you may have access to. You could also contact community partners and ask them to forward it to their mailing lists. If you are at a university, contact the communications office and try to get some publicity for it. Finally, the good old fashioned approach of putting up your flyer at cafes and supermarkets is always a good option.