How to organize a ZDay?

The suggested date to organize a ZDay (Zeitgeist-Day) is the second weekend of March. This is a period where there are not many festivals organized or holidays planned. The weather also makes it attractive to go out for an indoors activity. When this event is organized globally on the same day, we would have maximum exposure and may also influence social-media algorithms to our advantage.

Start the ZDay planning before December to make sure the location, date, time and schedule of the event can be announced 3 months in advance. Your audience needs to plan their busy lives as well, having this arranged on time helps everyone.

Organizing a ZDay can be an overwhelming task, but in general it’s easy to organize. The venue will do most of the work and speakers are responsible for the lectures. But how to puzzle this together?

  1. Keep ticket prices low (between 5 to 10 euros), high ticket fees demotivate people. There are online solutions to manage ticket sales.
  2. Realistically estimate how many people may attend your ZDay, this gives an indication of your budget and how large the venue needs to be. If a realistic estimation cannot be made then aim for a small venue. It’s better to have a fully sold out ZDay than one that demotivates due to only being half full and suffering a financial loss.
  3. Venue location is important, travel time can be a demotivating factor. A venue in a large city, max 15 minutes from the city center by public transportation is suitable. Consider public libraries and non-profits with an activist background as possible venue locations.
  4. To keep things simple, the venue needs to include a (projector) screen, (wireless) microphones, a sound system loud enough for the entire room, comfortable chairs and thee/coffee. Organizing this yourself for the ZDay location can become a logistical overload and be expensive.
  5. It is encouraged to facilitate a live stream of the event, make sure this live stream is also recorded so you can edit and publish it later for everyone to watch.
  6. It helps to develop a theme for your ZDay, such as how climate change is worsened by our infinite growth economy and how we can apply more sustainable practices. Check if people in your chapter have a relevant background or like-minded organizations who can step in to do a talk. Also check your contacts at universities.
  7. Promote the ZDay event 3 months in advance with the location, date, time and schedule. Create social-media banners for your platforms and a short 3 minute promotion video. Spread information about the event online and encourage others to do the same.
  8. Communicate to the speakers what kind of connections are available for the (projector) screen such as HDMI or USB-C. This prevents clumsy situations to find ad-hoc solutions while the event has already started. Also consider providing a single laptop for the entire event and agree on the presentation format the speakers will provide, such as a PDF or ODF.
  9. Do an online trial of the entire event with all speakers to make sure everyone has time-boxed their presentations and your schedule is respected. This also provides the opportunity to check if the presentations of the guest speakers align with TZM.
  10. Be at the venue well before the event starts to check all the facilities such as the (projector) screen, (wireless) microphones, the sound system and if all presentations open properly.
  11. Make sure you have a visual ZDay banner at the venue entrance for easy recognition.
  12. Consider scheduling a panel discussion and Q&A[1] with all speakers to close the ZDay.
  13. Also consider organizing a social activity after the ZDay, such as going for drinks. This provides a less formal environment to network with people.
  14. Save time, if the venue is to your liking then organize your next ZDay there as well. Finding a proper location is the most important and time consuming task.

  1. Questions and Answers ↩︎

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