Designation of Facilitator/Planning Committee
One individual with local/regional knowledge should be selected as the primary Facilitator. However, it should be noted that several volunteers will most likely be needed at different stages throughout the process of organizing a town hall meeting. Therefore, the Facilitator should consult with local professionals in the field of infrastructure and policy to form an effective Organizing Committee. APA Chapter leadership and members should remain involved with the Facilitator and Planning Committee throughout the process. APA Chapters may be able to help in locating local/regional infrastructure professionals. Various duties of the Facilitator and Organizing Committee will include:
- Brainstorming and visioning the possibilities for a town hall meeting;
- Outreach to potential speakers and partners/sponsors;
- Confirming an appropriate venue;
- Administering online activities (registration, promotion, forums);
- Contacting the news media;
- Staffing the event, memorializing the discussion; and
- Drafting the report to APA National Office.
In some cases, creating subcommittees that focus on specific elements of the town hall may be an effective strategy. These subcommittees could be organized around key areas such as: speakers, media, partnerships/sponsors, venue, event registration and staffing, and refreshments/snacks.
The Facilitator and Organizing Committee should be well organized, self-motivated, and detail-oriented. While the APA Chapter will provide a level of support, the Facilitator and Organizing Committee's effectiveness will ultimately define the program.