25 April, 2016

Taking your Fairtrade event from good to great

Volunteer serving Fairtrade coffee
by Fair Trade Campaigns

Are you planning to participate in the World Fairtrade Challenge this May? If you’re looking to host a coffee break or other related event check out these ideas and tips from Fair Trade Campaigns, a national organization mobilizing fair trade consumers and advocates across the US.

This text was originally created by Fair Trade Campaigns and can also be found on their website. Download the original here or see below. Want more ideas? Fair Trade Campaigns has dozens of presentations, fact sheets and other resources that will help you make your event a success! Click here for more information!

Food-/drink-based events:

  • Fair trade wine, coffee, or tea tasting: Set up a tasting booth at your local farmers’ market
  • Fair trade banana recipes contest: Guests can make their favorite cream pies, breads, bananas foster, and other banana dishes using Fair Trade certified bananas!

Movie-based events:

  • Offer a free screening of “The Dark Side of Chocolate,” “Fair Trade: The Story” or other Fair Trade-themed documentary. See our complete Fair Trade Films list for more movie ideas!

Other events:

  • Hold a Fair Trade craft sale
  • Tie-dye Fair Trade t-shirts
  • Host a soccer game using Fair Trade soccer balls
  • Provide free Fair Trade workshops in your local community center

Tips for hosting great events:

Set a convenient date and time. Most people work until at least 5:00pm Monday through Friday, so make sure that your weekday events start no earlier than 6:00pm. Host events on the weekends if at all possible.

Work creatively around the holidays and seasons. Host events that incorporate elements of upcoming holidays. Examples include:
  • Halloween - Chocolate tasting and/or screening “The Dark Side of Chocolate”
  • Christmas - Fair Trade cookie exchange or marketplace with Fair Trade crafts
  • Easter - Fair Trade Easter egg hunt (eggs should include pieces of Fair Trade chocolate)
  • Earth Day - Set up a booth at a local Earth Day festival
  • Valentine’s Day - Send valentines to farmers, host a chocolate tasting or flower-themed event
  • Mother’s Day - Flowers and chocolate sales

Promoting your event:

Using Facebook

  • Don’t just invite everyone you know. Send an invitation to the people you think will be interested: college students, town leaders, people you know to be very involved in the local community, and so on. In your event description, make it clear to these people that they can share this event with their friends.
  • Keep your event reminders to a minimum. Message your “attending” list no more than once or twice to remind them to come. Instead, create a post highlighting the event to invite/remind people to come. This will go to people’s newsfeeds, not their inboxes, so they won’t think it’s spam.
  • Contact the administrators of other relevant pages (either via Facebook message, email, or some other platform) to ask them to share your event. You have to do this from your personal account. Try social justice groups, local community pages, etc.
  • Tag Fair Trade Campaigns in your posts. You do this by typing @FairTradeCampaigns.
  • Make sure you are active on your event page. Respond when people ask questions or comment about your event and see who is talking about your event.
  • Don’t just post the event details. As you continue to share information about your event leading up to the big day, use calls to action, quotes, pictures, and shareable content to excite your followers.
  • During the event: Post pictures to your town/university page as it’s happening. This is a way for people who aren’t there to virtually attend the event.
  • After the event: Make a photo album with photos from the event. Thank all your guests and anybody who helped make the event successful.

Using Twitter - Incorporate event promotion into your regular Twitter content. Don’t flood your followers with the same request to attend your event, just mention it sporadically (between your other posts), until the big day.

  • Tweeting 1-2 times/day is a safe bet.
  • Twitter is conversational, so ask questions and have fun. Sample tweets could be: “World #FairTrade Day is 4 days away! Hit up our event on Saturday for free #chocolate, #coffee and baked goods. [Event Link] #BakeFair” or “Have you ever baked with #FairTrade products? Head to our event on Saturday at Noon [Event Link] and check out what’s available. #BakeFair”
  • Live tweet your event. Tweet fun facts, photos, and conversations people are having so that others who couldn’t attend can follow along.
  • Use our Hashtags. Hashtags are a way to track conversations on Twitter. If you click on a hashtag, you can see the tweets of everyone else using that hashtag. We want to know what you’re up to! Use our hashtags, too: #FTCampaigns and #BakeFair. Let everyone in attendance know what your hashtags are so they can live tweet and be part of the conversation too. If there’s a chalkboard around, just write it there!

Local Media Outreach - Get your local press and influential community members involved.

  • Local Newspapers: Make sure to include weekly and issue based publications, plus Newsletters and calendars in your outreach. Have information (when, where, why) the event available when you first make contact and use our sample Press Releases.
  • Bloggers: Try search terms like “[Insert town name] local food blog”, “[_____] social justice blog”, and so on. Send a brief email explaining what the event is, why it’s worth attending, and how much you would value the attendance of the given blogger or media outlet. Offer them a gift bag, free attendance and/or a shout out.
  • Community Boards: Many communities share information about important events through online boards and bulletin boards around town, make sure you get on their radar!
  • Partner with Local Non-Profits & Clubs: If a group can’t help out financially then ask how they can help publicize the event with their members and through their own communication channels. Sponsorship does not always have to be in the form of products and money.
  • Incentives: Have giveaway materials such as t-shirts, stickers, fair trade chocolate, etc. Offer to give them (especially the bloggers) some to share with their readers and fans

Add your comment