CFD Start Guide
This start guide is designed to introduce you to CFD and give you some tips and pointers for organizing your own CFD event. If you have any questions please join and use the CFD forum or contact us though our contact form. You can also chat with us via IRC on #cfday on Freenode if you want to bounce ideas around or get more advice. Also check our SocialNetworks page to start networking with the CFD community around the world.
Organizing a CFD event is a fun and effective community building experience in your area. Culture Freedom Day is an outreach day where you can initiate newcomers to Free Culture and communicate on the broader issues of Culture Freedom through a variety of activities of your choice. Is there something locally relevant to your country or region that you need to express? Is there some great local success story you want to tell? Or do you want to introduce cool local artists who have embraced Free Culture?
Culture Freedom Day is your chance to stand united with the entire Free Culture community.
How can I celebrate Culture Freedom Day?
There are three primary ways to celebrate CFD:
- Join an existing local CFD organization and help make their CFD event a success.
- Host your own CFD event!
- Encourage local art colleges, galleries, museums, social venues used to showcase art to make their CFD events!
CFD will be most effective if we keep some target groups in mind:
- Art schools, colleges and universities
- Cultural centers
- Local pubs or restaurants
- Culture related businesses
Steps to organize your CFD event
Read the CodeOfConduct page and see if you can agree!
Join the Forum to get feedback of your planning.
- Register your event so people can find your event from our website.
- Report on your event. We'll have an easy report webform for you to fill in after the event!
The average CFD event usually requires only a few organisers to share the workload and ensure the event is in hand. You can often recruit helpers from:
- Cultural centers
- Special Interest Groups (Culture, art, music, movies, photography, etc.)
Universities & schools
- Culture, music, photography, movie or other form of art clubs
- Family and friends
- Companies (Developers, Marketing departments, etc.)
We have found that the event can bring local artists together and give them the recognition they deserves. Besides it can encourage other people to release some of their work under a Free Culture license. The number of helpers required depends on the sort of activity you choose, but generally, the more the better. That way people have a good time and it also becomes a social event. If your volunteers enjoy themselves, they will pass on a good vibe and offer to volunteer next year too
Remember, we are all volunteers so it is a matter of what we can, when we can. Always remember to thank your volunteers and make sure they have a good time.
What should we do?
Be creative! You can organise any kind of CFD event you want. You can find a location / time to have a few meetings to brainstorm / discuss about the CFD event:
- Set your goals like objectives, target audiences, scale, style, theme.
- Event timing (should it be a morning, afternoon, evening or a whole day event? why?)
- Who can be the host?
- what kinds of arts will you pick?
- Will you have exhibits?
- If so, who will supervise the items on display?
- Will you organize movie projection?
- Have you considered giving away water, or selling drinks?
- If so, are you authorized to sell those drinks?
- Do you plan on having a panel discussion with the artists you've invited?
- If so, who will lead the discussion?
- Who else can you get involved?
But just to get you started, here are a few ideas some people have had:
- Have a concert in a pub to play only free culture licensed music.
- Have an exhibition in an art gallery or cafe to display only free culture licensed photos.
- Run a booth at a market or fair and display some free culture arts.
- Get together with schools, universities and other people who can benefit from Free Culture.
- Run a competition, best Free Culture licensed music, graphics, short video.
- Set up a simple public booth and hand out free culture designed postcards (and explain the benefits of free culture license).
- Run some demo machines in a public space and show off some Free Culture licensed works.
- Hold a free culture exhibition in galleries, museums, schools, businesses, cafe or other areas.
- Hold a seminar on Free Culture, Licenses, etc.
- Have a cultural event - food, drink, music (jam session? - Free Culture music).
- Organise an expo to highlight free culture success stories.
You may also set a theme for your event / activity, we have a wiki page for event organizers to share your EventIdeas.
Depending on the sort of activity and scale of your event, you may need to set a budget for the event. It's good to prepare a budget plan and find ways to finance it, there are usually a few ways:
- Sponsorship from Free culture Friendly Companies (e.g. cafe, pubs, cultural centers, museums, libraries, etc.)
- Donation from members of local communities and interested clubs.
- Sharing cost among the participants.
If you plan to raise fund, it's good to prepare a proposal clearly specify the event details suggested as below and then approach different companies / organisations.
- Objective of the event.
- Target audiences.
- Messages to be delivered.
- Date and venue.
- Activity scale and form.
- Estimated budget plan.
- Benefits of sponsorship / donation.
Promoting the event in advance
It is very important to communicate the event to your target audiences, there are a lot of ways just to name a few here:
- Posters and flyers: Download the poster design from here (tbc), put your event details, print them out and post them in selected places two weeks before the event.
- Announcement in different websites, forums and mailing list: e.g. interested groups, Colleges and Universities.
- Press release: if you have connection with local press of your country / city, approach them, either send them a press release to build awareness of your event before and after the event or host an interview if possible. Otherwise, you can always approach local culture related journalists to do so. You may want to contact them to make them come to the event.
- Social Networking: Status.net, Identi.ca, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Word of mouth: ask around to bring friends, family and co-workers to the event.
Preparing for the day
Below is a basic checklist that should cover most events that you would plan on running:
- Got your volunteers organised?
- Your venue is well prepared? Microphones? Video Projectors? White Screens?
- Are you planning to live stream your event?
- Do you need insurance for your event? (some people can look to larger organisations to help out with this. Ask around.)
- Do you have schwag to hand out? CDs, flyers, balloons? Anything shiny that will give you the chance to engage in discussion.
- Have you liaised with any other CFD event organizers in your region or country? Sometimes this can help with pooling resources and having a stronger all round effort.
- Do you have have decent signs prepared so people can find / recognise your event?
- Do you have signs to tell participants how to tag, twitter, etc.?
- Do you have a board to allow participants to write down what they feel about the event?
- Is your event in an easy to find place that is useful to reach out to a broad new audience?
According to experiences, there are a few things you may want to pay attention during the events.
- Documenting the whole event by photos or video and share them in different channels, it is suggested to tag the photos to "culturefreedomday".
- Interviewing audiences to get feedback of the event (as sometimes paper surveys may not get the same result).
- Others would be the temperature, ventilation, sound level of the speakers, noise control from audiences.
After the event
- You may want to gather those materials that can be reused for the next event.
- Of course you have to indulge yourselves with a good meal to talk about the feeling of the event together with the other volunteers, saying thank you to all the volunteers are very important as well.
- Encourage those volunteers / yourself taken photos during the event, ask organizers and audiences for their feedback, post them in websites and / or blog about it so that we can reach out even more people.
- Send a press release to different press.
- Send thank you letter and report summary to sponsors, exhibitors, artists, speakers and supporting organizations.