This is a great time to start planning your Parliament Week event, and we’ve got loads of ways to help you.
On top of that, we’ve had a look at feedback from last year’s programme, and picked out some top tips to make sure you deliver a brilliant event or activity in November.
1. Let people know your event is for Parliament Week
This might sound obvious, but it’s really important to tell people your event or activity is part of Parliament Week. This will give your audience a better idea about why you’re inviting them along, and will help them understand how your event fits into the bigger picture.
We’ve made it really easy for you to tell people that your event is part of Parliament Week. You can show this quick video during your event, and you can access our logos here. You’ll also be able to order branded resources to give out at your event from 5 October.
2. Give people enough time for interaction and participation
From our evaluation of Parliament Week 2014, we know that people really value being given the time and opportunity to take part in discussions. It’s easy to fall into the trap of allowing your speakers to overrun a little, meaning there’s limited time for questions and conversation afterwards.
You can avoid this by giving your speakers a thorough briefing beforehand, and organising an efficient person to chair or lead proceedings on the day.
3. Get MPs, Lords or other big-name speakers
The thing people love the most about Parliament Week is that it allows them to interact with politicians, parliamentarians, or people with an interesting perspective they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
It may take a bit of chasing to get your local MP or a Member of the House of Lords to come to your event, but it’ll be worth it. Plan early, ask them soon, and be specific – what exactly do you want them to do when they come?
And don’t be disheartened if your first-choice speaker can’t make it. People will value other high-quality speakers just as much.
4. Keep it informal
It’s all well and good inviting your local MP and allocating enough time for a discussion, but if your audience doesn’t feel comfortable then they won’t speak up.
Fostering a friendly and warm atmosphere at your event is key to making people feel relaxed. Focus on that, and the discussion will flow freely.
5. Tell people how they can get involved
If your event or activity is based around an issue that people are likely to get passionate about, make sure you tell them how they can make a difference about it.
This year, we’re focusing on people who have made a difference in the past and how people can get involved with Parliament today. It’s important to emphasise that our democracy relies on people getting involved, and to explain how that’s possible. Again, you’ll be able to order resources to help you do this soon, but in the meantime find out how people can have their say here.
If you’ve got more tips you’d like to share with other partners, get in touch on Twitter using the hashtag #PWpartners.