The first BIOREGIO dissemination event organized by the Deputy Ministry of Environment of Castilla-La Mancha in Puertollano, Spain, took place on 27 November 2017. This is a good example of a dissemination event and represents one of the BIOREGIO success stories.

Preparations before the event

The organisation of an event should begin with defining its objective. Once defined, and before moving forward with the planning, also the format of the event needs to be outlined. For our event, we chose an “info day” type because our objective was to present the BIOREGIO project to the public. At the beginning of the process, also a person to be in charge of the event should be designated.

Attracting people to this type of event can be challenging, however, one of the keys can be to frame your dissemination event around a more general event, preferably on a controversial and current issue. Also, the title is important, think about giving the event an attractive name and the impact and attendance should be multiplied by ten. Our event was called “Circular Economy Info Day” and it served as an introduction to the presentation of the BIOREGIO project.

The date and time chosen will unequivocally set up the conditions to the success of the event. The date and venue of the event should be set at the same time, to assure the availability of certain facilities. Neither Fridays nor the eve of bank holidays is good for these types of events. For this reason, and based on the availability of some of the speakers, we scheduled the event on a Monday.

The level of the event is set by the speakers, facilitating the speaker’s attendance is key to the acceptance of the invitation. As important is the choice of venue. As our event was framed within an institutional event, the place chosen had to be in line with this. Aesthetics, lighting, sound and capacity are crucial to creating the planned framework. We decided to organize the event at the Puertollano Museum because its capacity was for a hundred of people, it was near the train station and also, because it was close to the Council of Puertollano and the staff from the council could help with the practicalities.

Figure 1. From left to right: Mayte Fernández Molina - Major of Puertollano; Francisco Martinez Arroyo - Minister of Agriculture, Sustainable Development and Environment, Government of Castilla-La Mancha;  Javier Ariza Cantero - Environment Coordinator of Deputy Ministry of Environment, Government of Castilla-La Mancha (photo by BIOREGIO)

Organization and assessment

The agenda and the speakers are the cornerstones for an excellent organization of an event. Furthermore, the communication requires many performances: distributing the program, leaflets, invitations, radio spots and press announcements etc. However, simply including politicians on the agenda assures your event to be noticed by the media. We were successful to include several politicians, which attracted more attendants and, above all, the media. News about our dissemination event resulted in 25 media appearances.

The day before the event the venue should be checked: the assembly of the room, the audiovisual material, last details with the catering company etc. When the date of the event comes, it is important not to forget the role of the manager, who is responsible for the smooth proceeding of the event. Over 85 persons representing local and regional government, universities, research centres and companies attended our dissemination event.

In addition, to ensure the success of an event, the assessment afterwards is important. The event planning process, the organization and the results of feedback surveys should be assessed to enable learning from possible mistakes made. After our event, we organised an assessment meeting to analyse the strengths and weakness of the whole event.

To sum up, the success of your event depends on well-prepared organization and planning, successful selection of speakers and efforts in attracting the media.

Figure 2: BIOREGIO dissemination event  with high-level representatives of the Castilla-La Mancha (photo by BIOREGIO)

Written by María Caberta de la Cruz on behalf of the Deputy Regional Ministry of Environment, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.