A community book festival would be an exciting way of getting the people of New York City involved in the literary world. An event such as this requires a great deal of forward thinking and organisation.
One of the first steps in the organisation process is to set up a fundraising committee. Advertising can be done by way of newsletters, emails and flyers. Also, if there are people who you already feel will be valuable to the team, then approach them personally. They will be flattered to have been asked, and it may make them more likely to want to be part of the event. Make a record of people who have said yes or no, as the replies are received, and never hassle anyone to be part of the committee if they do not want to be.
At the first fundraising meeting, explain the goals of the committee to all present, and have everyone brainstorm ideas, and vote on them if necessary, Be sure to allocate someone to take minutes of the meeting, even if an official secretary for the committee has not yet been assigned.
When recruiting volunteers for the festival, firstly take time to plan how many volunteers are required and for which tasks. Also, be sure to decide which skills and experience each volunteer will need to have, prior to advertising.
Advertise for volunteers by means of volunteer recruitment websites and networking databases, through newspapers and radio and word of mouth. Design a simple application form, being aware to adhere to equal opportunities policies. After this, a short list should be made and interviews conducted. The interviews should be relaxed and should focus on the applicant’s motivation for wanting to be a volunteer.
After the interview process, references and police checks should be sought, where appropriate. After this, the volunteers can be notified and offered positions working for the festival.
Planning the events of the festival is of upmost importance, just as the volunteer recruitment process. Having established authors giving talks and workshops can be an effective way both of attracting people to the festival and of recouping some money.
Furthermore, there can be poetry events, such as performance poetry. Public participation in poetry could be encouraged by having either an ‘open mic’ evening or a poetry slam.