On the Day
How you set up the space will determine how easy it is for your attendees to move around and mingle, as well as how well your presenters can be seen and heard.
We usually set up seating in rows or in a semicircle facing a ‘stage’ area. When we’re looking for venues, we’re always on the lookout for spaces where there’s a seperate room or space to serve the soup and for people eat and mingle, away from the chairs and stage.
This means you won’t need to rearrange chairs and people can move freely to chat, rather than being limited to talking to those sitting near them.
If this isn’t possible, just keep in mind how people will eat and move about when you’re setting up the chairs and soup station.
You’ll also need to set up an area for a registration desk where you can tick people off as they enter and hand out name tags if you have them - we’ve introduced name tags to our more recent events and get people to write their name and how many SOUP events they’ve been to, which acts as a conversation starter.
The registration desk can also double as the voting table after the presentations.
You’ll need to prepare a list of tasks and delegate them to your volunteers prior to the event to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day.
Doing this a few days in advance if possible helps ensure people come prepared and know where they should be at what time.
We like to hold a team briefing at the beginning of set up to ensure everyone is across the runsheet and answer any questions.
Now, it’s action time! Your event might look a little like this:
- Attendees arrive, check in at the registration desk and mingle with one another. If you’ve chosen to serve the soup upfront (as we usually do for midweek events) then direct the attendees to collect their soup during this arrival period
- Once everyone is seated, the host welcomes everyone and does an acknowledgement of country
- There should be a short introduction to the idea of SOUP and the purpose of the event. You will also want to get everyone amped to hear about and get involved in some awesome project
- Each presenter will speak for 3 or 4 minutes, then allow for 3 or 4 questions from the audience after each presentation
- Have a break for the audience to cast their vote, collect some soup if it’s being served mid-event and/or grab a treat
- Now is a good time to have the entertainment and get everyone settled again
- Announce the winner of the night and close off the night by doing some thank you’s and acknowledging the purpose of the event. Let people know about future events and how they can get involved with the projects or with your team
- Give people a chance to do some final mingling
We’ve created some resources to help you run your event, including examples of a run sheet, a checklist and email templates for presenters.
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