Format and Goals of the Event
Once you decide to host your own Change Food event, you need to pick a theme around which you organize. Visit the Change Food Library, where we have an organized database of informative videos on changing the food system. These videos are easily searchable by topic. Once you have decided on a theme, answer the following questions:
- How many videos do you want to show at your event?
This will depend on how much time you have. If you want to do a shorter, one hour(ish) “lunchtime” Salon or Video Club Series, one video is best. However, if you are organizing a lengthier, after work event or even an all-day event, you should find three or more videos to showcase. Remember, these videos vary in length from approximately 10-20 min, which should determine how many to include, while leaving time for discussion.
- Will you include a live speaker(s) at the event?
If you would like to do so, you need to reach out to potential speaker(s) as soon as possible and finalize the speaker(s) involvement. Speakers could include scientists, professors, students, food business owners, chefs – essentially someone who is an expert or has a unique outlook on this conversation. Salons can be held with or without live speakers, and in many cases the videos are sufficient for generating discussion. You should carefully consider what the speaker(s) will bring to the table – make sure it is something that expands or enhances the conversation. And just be sure not to promise something you cannot deliver on! Planning who should speak and following through on outreach should be done ahead of time – at least a month to a few weeks in advance for a small event and several months in advance for larger events.=
- What are the goals of your event?
There should be a concrete purpose to your event that you can share with participants. For example, the 2015 Facing Factory Farms Salon in New York City had the following goals:
- Generate actionable ideas on how to fight the growing presence of factory farming in the U.S.
- Discuss how to involve urban residents and students in fighting factory farming and other food issues.
- Use this Salon as a template for other interested individuals to create their own event around a food issue.
Organizers should use these goals as a framework for the Salon, as well as to provide focus for the discussion during the Salon. Concrete goals also provide a way to evaluate the success of the Salon after the fact.
- Finally, decide on a venue, date and time!
Nail down the logistics as early as possible, so you can begin to promote your event right away. Deciding on a venue also means you have decided on the relative size of your event – remember Salons can range from small, intimate gatherings to a larger, more formal conference. There are merits to both, so consider which one best fits your goals or purpose.