The big day has come and there you are, wearing your shiniest smile while waiting for your participants to arrive! Don’t rush, though! Your tasks are not over yet, as you definitely need to check all the details one more time. Time to remember the well-said Latin proverb…“verba volant, SCRIPTA MANENT”, meaning in literal that “spoken words fly away, written words remain”! Let’s create your to-do checklist!
A stitch in time saves nine! Come to the training venue earlier and solve unpredicted situations!
- Get familiar! You are hosting the event, so it is important that you get familiar with the venue and all places of…interest in it, such as restrooms, canteens, smoking rooms etc.
- Make it obvious! Unless you have booked the whole building for your event, make sure you make it easy for the participants to locate the working space. A useful tip would be to make signs, draw arrows or put posters that will lead to the working space.
- Every detail counts! Entering the working space will be the first impression of your participants, so it is important to be welcomed in a hospitable environment. Check that there is sufficient lighting and enough ways to refresh the air after a working session. Finally, ensure that sound distractions are eliminated or minimized as much as possible.
- Set it up! Transform the place into the appropriate working space for your activities. Make sure that there are adequate tables and seats for everyone. It is usually more practical to arrange the seats in a semi-circle that allows everyone to be able to watch and interact with the group.
- Are you fully “armed”? Check your equipment: have you brought everything you need with you and does it work properly (slide projector, flip charts, laptops, printers etc.)? If you need a WI-FI, confirm there is a strong network and be ready to share the password with the rest of the group.
- Materials! Make sure you have brought all materials for your activities, printed handouts or any other objects you might need for the energizers, ice-breaking and team-building games you have planned.
- Who are you? Remembering too many names is a heck of a task – both for the trainers and for participants themselves. Be prepared and create name tags for all participants to wear, at least during the first days of the event.
- Sign attack! Since all participants are supposed to attend all sessions of your event, you need to verify their presence. In order to be able to keep track of that (and also prove it to your sponsors), bring printed forms of a participants’ list, where they should sign every day during the sessions.
G-D-P-R alert! Make sure you respect the data safety of your participants and you receive their full consent to collect and use their personal data. Include a disclaimer under every document they sign and ask them to clearly give their consent for the collection and processing by signing under a statement.
- Take a break! Coffee breaks and refreshments allow everyone to take a breath between sessions, relax for a few minutes and be energized enough to continue. Make the necessary arrangements with the venue for the preparation of the buffet on specific time and location.
- Arrival! Most probably participants won’t arrive all at once – especially at your first meeting, as everything will depend on the travel arrangements. Ask the front desk or the reception of the venue to help you confirm the arrival of each participant using a checklist, so you can keep track of them.
Sponsors are usually playing the role of Big Brother! You will most probably need to offer them evidence of the participants that attended, the activities that were realized and the financial management you did. Therefore, apart from the signed participants’ list, make sure you follow verifiable reimbursement procedures (keep the receipts, tickets etc.) and assign someone to take pictures and videos during the activities. In any case, the latter will be extremely useful for the follow-up phase of your youth exchange project!