Are you organizing a town hall event and feeling overwhelmed by the planning process? Look no further! Our experts at Pigeonhole Live have compiled a comprehensive checklist to ensure your event runs smoothly. From pre-planning to post-event follow-up, we've got you covered. Keep reading to discover the must-haves and pro tips for hosting a successful town hall gathering.
No matter the size of your team, a company town hall is a significant event. A successful town hall meeting can boost productivity, engage employees, and cultivate your organization's culture. To ensure your next town hall runs seamlessly, here's what you should do to run your next town hall gathering like a pro!
- Establish your town hall requirements
- Choose a town hall meeting format
- Perform pre-event test runs for the town hall
- Collect feedback from town hall attendees
1. Establish your town hall requirements
To ensure your town hall meeting is successful, it's crucial to establish your requirements from the start. Begin by defining your concept, setting goals and objectives that align with it, and considering your meeting requirements, including technology needs. You'll also need to establish a registration process to gather attendee information and ensure a smooth check-in process. Lastly, take measures to ensure the security of the event and its attendees.
What are the requirements for your meeting?
- Confirm the number of people attending
- Decide if the town hall will be physical, remote, or mixed
- Decide if the town hall will be recorded
To ensure a successful town hall meeting, it's important to first lock down the details, particularly your audience. Before making any decisions, it's crucial to know whom you're reaching out to. This knowledge will allow you to better target your event and tailor it to the needs and interests of your audience.
What is your concept for the event?
- Decide the purpose of the event
- Decide the expected outcome of the event
- Decide on the message(s) that would best achieve this
- Decide on the speakers and moderators that would be most appropriate for these messages
Establishing a clear concept for your town hall meeting can guide your next steps, including selecting the sessions and activities to include, determining the CEO's speech, and choosing the poll and survey questions to ask.
To select the topics to cover, consider doing an online poll before the event and allowing employees to vote on the concerns they want to be addressed. This ensures that the content of your town hall meeting is relevant and engaging for your audience.
What are your registration and security plans?
- Implement measures to ensure that only employees can access town hall meetings
- Enforce data security measures to prevent the sharing of classified information
- Assess your company's security requirements and ensure that vendors meet them.
Security is crucial when sharing sensitive information during a town hall meeting. Creating a secure environment will encourage more employees to participate and facilitate effective conversations. Communicating your security requirements will also aid in selecting the appropriate tech vendor, especially if they will be managing sensitive data related to your company.
2. Choose a town hall meeting format
Choosing activities and sessions
- Write out the event agenda
- Choose polls, surveys, and other engagement activities
- Decide on media and supporting tech
- Check if your agenda matches your intended message
Select activities and sessions carefully to align with the message you intend to convey. Consider the speakers, engagement methods, and session arrangement in the agenda. Additionally, if the town hall involves technology, ensure that the sessions are compatible with the live stream format, and that online audiences can participate in live Q&A, polls, and surveys.
- Determine device restrictions and work within them
- Define security requirements and ensure they are met
- Identify necessary data to collect and develop a plan for data collection
- Establish tech support needs and allocate resources accordingly
- Choose suitable livestream tech, audience engagement, and polling tools
Before seeking technology partners, it's important to take stock of your requirements and budget. This will help you make informed decisions about what tools or partners will best suit your needs. Make sure to have all the information about your activities and sessions beforehand.
- Determine critical information employees need to know (e.g., time, venue, links, agenda) and ensure it is communicated first
- Send out invites with standard town hall rules and agenda
- Determine if any printouts or digital decks need to be distributed beforehand
- Decide if there are any polls that attendees need to fill out before the event
- Consider opening Q&As early to crowdsource questions
When informing employees of the upcoming town hall meeting, make sure to provide important information. Notify them of any active participation that may be required, such as audience participation tools or referenced decks, and share the agenda with them. This will help ensure that everyone is prepared and engaged for the town hall.
3. Perform pre-event test runs for the town hall
Technology test run
- Test every party's role, including tech partners, moderators, emcees, and presenters
- Ensure all images and text are clear when projected or streamed
- Verify that all interactive elements are working correctly
- Ensure that organizers and moderators are comfortable with the technology
- Confirm that tech partners' requirements are met (e.g., Wi-Fi strength, devices, mics)
- Ensure that transitions between sessions are smooth and quick
- Develop a backup plan in case of Wi-FI failure.
If you're planning a large-scale town hall, a full-scale test run is essential to ensure the event runs smoothly. This step is especially important if you have tech partners working with you on the event. By holding a test run, you'll have ample time to troubleshoot and identify any potential issues before the actual event, giving you and your partners the opportunity to address them together.
Pigeonhole Live offers a Test Mode to help organizers prepare for their town hall. Use our handy Test Mode Checklist to check your set-up, test the Audience Web App, review the Projector Panel display, and practice using the Moderator and Admin Panels.
You can use Test Mode anytime before your first session goes live to make sure everything is working smoothly and that you're ready to engage with your audience. Don't worry, when the Test Mode is turned off, all test data will be removed.
Content test run
- Review content to ensure it addresses employees' key concerns
- Ensure that the content is concise, time-sensitive, and relatable
- Verify that the content delivery is clear and understandable to employees
- Confirm that the content conveys the intended message to employees
- Assess whether the speaker is suitable and appropriate for conveying the messages
To ensure that the corporate town hall content engages employees, it must be intentional and relatable to them. As the town hall takes place during work hours, its content must be valuable to them and just as important as the work they could have done. This means conveying more information quickly while being clear and understandable.
To check the quality of the content, test a sample with a few independent groups. Their insights can provide valuable feedback for improving the town hall experience.
4. Collect feedback from town hall attendees
- Define what would make the town hall a success
- Establish how the success metric will be measured
- Develop a plan to ensure a high rate of data collection for success metrics
Before holding a town hall meeting, determine the success metrics by considering the goal of the event. These metrics could include attendance, the number of questions asked, or a post-event survey. It's important to identify your company's success metrics beforehand, as each company may have different measures of success. After the event, collect feedback from attendees using these four best practices.
Keys to a successful town hall meeting
Organizing a successful town hall meeting requires careful planning and attention to detail. From establishing the audience and concept to choosing technology and measuring success, there are many elements to consider. However, with the help of this useful town hall checklist, you can ensure that your event runs smoothly and engages your employees effectively.
At Pigeonhole Live, we understand the importance of creating a successful town hall meeting. That's why we offer a range of audience engagement tools, polling software, and Q&A platforms to help you facilitate productive discussions and collect valuable feedback. So, if you're looking to improve your town hall meetings, try out Pigeonhole Live today and take your events to the next level!