SUGGESTIONS AND TIPS – A FIVE STEP PLAN.
Step 1: Picking a Format
Step 2: Finding a Space
Step 3: Gathering Resources
Step 4: Promoting the event
Step 5: Executing the event
*Media Documentation: It is highly suggested that you document your event in some form of media. Creating a YouTube channel is a great idea .You might want to also consider a Ustream live webcast of the event itself. Creating a page for photographs of the event is also good.
*Tickets and Money: Profiting from Zeitgeist Day Events is strictly prohibited. It is to be either free or “at cost”. An “at cost” event simply means that it is break even in the end. Admission prices are generated by taking into account the number of people to attend along with the cost of the space and production. In other words, if you have a space and production which costs $800 and you anticipate 200 people attending, then the ticket price will be four dollars, etc.
 PICKING A FORMAT:
The following is a list of possible formats which can be used for your Zday event. These are simply suggestions and hybrids of these ideas are also very possible. It is important to note that the most common of all formats is a public screening of various media coupled with a Q&A/discussion. It is also important to consider materials for your event such as pamphlets, DVD media to pass out, and anything else that can help spread awareness. Not listed below are other ideas such as public access broadcast of certain video media(films), radio show programs or other activism/awareness mediums. For example, it might be a good idea to get the phone numbers of dominant radio stations in your area which allows for Call ins and thus engage the host of the show with information about our movement while they are on the air, etc. All this comes down to creativity. In the end, safety and legality is, of course, important. The Zeitgeist Movement does not condone any type of radical behavior which could lead to bad press and we will denounce any activities that put us in a bad light. This is an awareness campaign.
The most simple format is a household gathering. This can be private or public, depending on your level of comfort. It could be seen as a party of sorts. Invite friends and family members to talk about the ideas that we advocate; watch one of the movies or presentations/lectures. Note that if you choose to publicly advertise your event, please be careful about who you let into your home. While we try our best to assume the goodwill of people, sometimes it is out of our control and thus safety and security is a sad, modern reality.
Acquiring a theater or hall for video screenings is one of the most popular mediums. You could screen relevant information and documentaries as a means of relaying information other than lecturing. An example would be to play “Zeitgeist Addendum” for an audience that has not yet seen the movie. There are also a number of ZM lectures available for free download in dvd format on this site. Of course, our media is not the only media that can be shown. There are other socially relevant documentaries out that as well which could be part of a program. However, maintaining focus onThe Movement is certainly preferred. If a Chapter representative is orchestrating the event or attending it, it is a good idea to try and engage the audience in a Q&A about the movement as well. Public interaction is very important in general as questions are very common about this direction.
If you have a good group of friends interested in the movement, you could hand out materials in a public space. Be it a street, the city centre, a popular bridge or wherever a lot of people pass by. You could think of funny items like a Zday balloon (used in London last year) paired with a free dvd and a flyer. Or whatever nice package you can think of. Please do check your local laws about handing out materials on the street and setting up a stall/stand. We also condone the idea of “FlashMobs” for awareness. Please visit our toolkit for downloadable flyers and pamphlets.
A lecture is a presentation of information done by one or multiple persons to inform an audience about a certain subject. These lectures always contain a vocal element as there are speakers and very often they are assisted using audiovisual tools such as a powerpoint presentation or a movie to get their points across and summarize what is being talked about. A good example are Peter Josephs London and Iowa lectures. This format is best used in combination with another format as a ZDAY with a lecture alone might be very one-sided in information exchange.
A conference is a meeting of people that come together to confer about something. A conference usually lasts multiple days spanning a number of different meetings and lectures / screenings. This format would be most suitable for ZDAY events that are expecting a lot of visitors that travel a large distance and would have more benefit from an event spanning more than 1 day.
A symposium has a lot of similarities to a conference. However the focus is more on the exchange of scientific ideas and would be advisable for organizers who have the materials to show and present the ideas to an audience of journalists of any kind of media. As well as an audience with scientific knowledge in the same field.
An exhibition on ZDAY would be a showing of artwork and ideas presented in a physical form through models, drawings and paintings combined with possible vocal explanation of technology that would manage the earth’s resources and energy much more efficient than is being done today.
 FINDING A SPACE:
In most cases a theater or simple hall will suffice for your event. If you live in a large city, there should be a number of spaces at your disposal usually in the form of lecture and concert halls. If you live in a smaller town, very often a church facility or a local town hall can be utilized as well. It is always good to book well in advance and to make sure any media materials require are also arranged through any rental agency or the like. As a general note, due to the somewhat controversial nature of what we are advocating and the tendency for people to not understand immediately, it is important to be strategic in your communication with organizations you might be renting a space from. Rather than try to describe at length what The Movement is about, it is better to generalize and describe that we are a sustainability organization working to help transition society into a more ecologically and socially productive climate.
 GATHERING MATERIALS:
For obvious reasons a certain monetary aspect comes into play when it comes to getting materials.Here are some basic tips on how to acquire the resources in the most movement spirited way.
Don’t ask for money, ask for resources.
A good thing to consider is when you are working in a team, to provide the materials together. Instead of thinking of a budget, think of how we can each share a resource to the event. For example if you are in need of a location to hold the event. Ask your community whether someone could arrange that for free or for little monetary compensation. Agree to bring food and drinks instead of buying them before or selling them at your event. If you are spreading dvd’s, agree to do 50 each instead of buying a bulk from a monetary accumulation. There are many ways to work together, and in some cases it will surprise how everyone can come up with something to contribute to the event without spending any or much money at all.
Be very transparent.
In some cases the former scenario might not work out as well as hoped. If you are in need of a monetary budget you should adhere the following. Always calculate the cost beforehand and set that as your goal for contributions by your community / team. If you are receiving the money in person, keep a record of who contributed what. Reimburse any expense not made. If you must receive the contribution online, use a “chip in” widget where everyone can see what the goal is. Be very clear to point out all the expenses too.
Funding from culture or other governmental funds.
Why not use the system to do something good? Since you are already paying taxes and contributing to funds such as culture and other governmental funds you could apply for funding. If you draft a good plan and sent it in to a local organization that deal with funding cultural or educational events you might get funded. In this case as well, you should be completely transparent.
Sponsorship and cooperation with like minded organizations.
Another thing you could do is get in touch with local organizations or corporations that are developing technology or promoting social directions that are in line with our goals. If you explain them the goal of our event and the movement, perhaps they will be interested in sponsoring, or attending your event. You could also offer them a stand to present their product/ technology. However, please allow to understand that this day is not about promoting a commercial product or selling anything.
There are many ways to go about promoting your event. Try to be as creative as possible and ask your community / team about any opportunities to as cost free promotional instruments they might have.
Target audiences to consider:
Your local community: In all cases your local community would be the first audience you might want to appeal to. Inform everyone you know and care for to join your event on Zday and try to have them help you spread news of your event. Mouth to mouth promotion is very effective and more importantly: Cost free.
Local media: Local media can be a great instrument to promote your event. Write EVERY institution that is involved in reporting about local events and don’t forget the independent media. If you succeed in having them cover you in an item, this will help a great deal in mapping Zday results worldwide as well as interesting people to come to your event.
Universities and other educational institutions: Another very important audience are students. Students are often very receptive to information that is skeptic about the system as it is and will likely find it interesting to participate in your event. Make sure that a reasonable time before your event you communicate with universities and see if they are willing to allow you to hand out promotional material for your event or you could hand out flyers in front of a university.
Materials to use for promotion:
Zday event Toolkit:
There is a list on this site of free Zday event materials that you can use in order to promote your event and of course to hand out at the event yourself. The printing and burning of these materials should cost you little and will provide maximum content.
Flyers are also a standard tool for promotion. Create your own.Hand out flyers in locations that are either busy or might have an audience that is receptive or open minded. This is also a low cost promotional material depending on the flyer design ( color and paper choice ) and of course the quantity. Usually the more flyers. The cheaper the cost.
Local media advertisements:
If it is not too expensive, you could use local newspapers and other media and buy some adspace to promote your event. If you make your choices right you should be able to get a lot of viewers. Choice of newspaper or magazine by content should be considered as a possible factor.
Ad spaces in public transport are also very effective.
Use the internet:
Forums, websites, Twitter, Facebook, youtube or whatever online environment that is popular in your area. Use the internet to promote your event as massive as possible without being considered a spammer or unintelligent poster. Use to the max but with discretion and respect the online environment you are using. This option is a must, it is free aside from your monthly internet fee and highly effective.
Get your friends to invite friends:
As mentioned earlier the best promotion would still be mouth to mouth advertisement. Ask your friends and community to spread word about your event and to extend a request of passing the message on to their friends as well. Cost free, and efficient too.
 EXECUTING THE EVENT:
The most important thing is that you and all your participants have a good time and learn a lot from each other and understand the direction we could be headed. A little advice and a few tips as to make your event run as smoothly as you can.
Have a flexible timeframe for the event.
Running on a too tight schedule usually is not fun. Make sure you have enough room in your agenda for the day that will allow for some parts of your event to take more time than others. After all its about the experience and exchange of information. Not a test on time management.
Have coordinators or point people that can handle questions.
Depending on the size and format of your event and the staff that you are working with it might be handy to have your team act as point persons for people with questions related to the movement and direction in general.
Make sure the scenery appeals.
Many people are scared of new ideas. The least you can do to comfort them is to make sure that you have a warm and welcoming environment that is clean and warm and stimulating to exchange knowledge in.
Secure information integrity.
Working together with truth movements for example is great. However make sure that anytime you secure as much as possible the information integrity being put out by members of the movement in your team and community. Make sure that everyone that visited understands the movement points at solutions. Not at problems.
Food and Drinks:
Allow people to bring their own food and drinks to your event. Unless there is a dire need to fund the event with a low profit sale of these items try to be as open and sharing as possible. In the likeliest case this may lead to enjoyable situations regarding sharing and we would definitely not be perpetuating the commercialism.
A word of encouragement
Thank you very much for taking the time to review our 5 step plan to Zday 2010. We hope this plan will aid you in setting up your Zday event. We hope march 13th will be a day to remember by the movement and the world as one that showed global cooperation like few have done before.
Gilbert Ismail – Int. Chapters Coordinator