There is no one way to organise a TeachMeet, however if you’re organising your first one, it’s helpful to have a few pointers as to where to begin.
Here are a few to get started with…
- It’s a good idea to start by getting a group of keen, like-minded, teachers together to help you. Everything’s easier when we work together on it.
- Work out why you’re organising your TeachMeet and who it’s aimed at. Are you going to give it any particular “theme” for example. What will be your hashtag for the event?
- Find a venue! Schools and Local Authorities will often provide a venue for free. Failing that, external venues can be lovely, but often come at a cost. If you’re getting sponsorship to fund a venue the best thing is to get the venue to invoice the sponsor directly so that you don’t need to touch the money. It’s often easier just to find a venue for free to avoid having to approach, and deal with, sponsors. Try to ensure that your venue has free WiFi if possible.
- Arrange some sort of catering. This isn’t essential, but it’s a nice touch. Again, a school or Local Authority will often agree to fund this. If not, you could do even get pupils/staff to sell teas and coffees on behalf of a charity. Again, if you’re using a sponsor to fund catering it gets more complex and it’s best to get your caterer to invoice the sponsor directly. Make sure you make it clear to sponsors that their logo will be displayed in conjunction with the event but they shouldn’t expect to get to present – especially if they’re a commercial company.
- Work out your timings for your TeachMeet. These can vary, but if it’s between 5pm and 7pm, work out how long you’ll spend on each part of the night. You’ll need time for introductions, presentations, you might include some round table discussion and/or networking time. It’s good to have all this worked out in advance.
- Once you’ve got a venue and a date, you can begin promoting your event. Create a logo and a webpage and then get the message out in your community. There’s more info on how to create a webpage on this site here. The TeachMeet font is called ‘Cracked’ and can normally be found on a Mac. If you don’t have cracked, you can download this logo and use it as part of your own.
- Whatever way you organise your TeachMeet, make sure that it’s possible for anyone to be able to attend and/or present. It should be as open as possible.
- When publicising your TeachMeet, social media is great, but nothing beats directly emailing schools and teachers in your area.
- On the night itself, you need to welcome everyone and then tie it all together. A random name generator is a great way of deciding who is presenting next, and make sure you keep a close eye on the time!
- Don’t forget to encourage everyone to keep the conversation going after the event using your hashtag.
Have you got your own ideas for how to organise a TeachMeet? Add them as a comment below…