Club Kickoff

Description

Kickoff your allyship initiative with a fun event to provide general info and inspire new and existing colleagues to get involved over food.

Goals

  • Increase visibility of initiative
  • Communicate the importance of allyship
  • Provide easy ways to get involved with the initiative
  • Provide easy ways to learn more about allyship
  • Solicit feedback and general thoughts from your colleagues on their thoughts, challenges, and hopes around allyship

Theory of Change

  • First impressions matter. When launching your initiative, it’s very important to be visible to a wide range of employees to solidify the initiative's legitimacy as a company institution
  • Getting feedback early on about where your colleagues are with allyship helps to shift framing and potentially programming to capture more interest
  • New employees’ general enthusiasm helps get them motivated to care about allyship and involved in the initiative.
  •  New employees aren’t yet overwhelmed with commitments. Take advantage of opportunities to get in front of them while they can still dedicate time to the allyship initiative

Logistics

Costs and food

Food and drink

Target / likely audience

Enthusiastic and receptive men

Location / Participation Size

  • Reserve a spacious area, potentially for a BBQ or potluck. 
  • If planning the event outside (i.e. a BBQ), reserve a backup location in case of bad weather conditions. Don’t let the weather ruin your turnout!

A/V Needs

  • Potentially – Sound amplification for speeches
  • Potentially – Projection to show a short video
  • Other resources needed

    • Handouts (e.g. flyers, postcards) that explain allyship initiative basics (i.e. mission statement), how to join, event calendar (or next event), a quote about the initiative's importance
    • Survey to get feedback from incoming members about their thoughts, challenges, and hopes around allyship

    Special recruitment considerations

    Recent employees may be especially receptive and have fewer existing commitments,  so consider timing this event to align with opportune moments in your company's hiring cycle. It’s important to get in front of new employees early to capture their interest.

    Roles and responsibilities

    • Allyship initiative lead – Make speech and motivational pitch
    • Program lead – Getting all the event logistics together, ensuring cooperation and coordination with other stakeholders, especially other affinity groups and ERGs, to make sure the date/time of the event works well. Gathers feedback. Sends follow-up emails after event.
    • Female speaker – Make speech and motivational pitch
    • Food logistics – Order food, ensure proper tableware (plates, cups, utensils, napkins, etc), ensure food delivery arrives to right location on time.
    • Photography, social media, and documentation – Take pictures during event. Document learnings to be shared out to larger audience.
    • Active members – Have personal conversations about allyship and initiative activities with perspective members

    Agenda / Program

    • As folks show up, have ready: ​
      • Initiative info handouts
      • Survey​
      • Email list to sign​
      • Membership sign up – and ways to distinguish between these different things
    • People hang out and eat food for 30-45 minutes
    • Speakers begin
    • Male club lead and female partner group speaker (i.e. WIB leader) should each give a 5-minute talk (importance of Allyship, sharing an impactful story, sharing why they care and are involved, how colleagues can get involved, getting educated on the issues, taking corrective action). Male speaker should talk about club mission statement, positions, programs
    • People go back to eating and socializing. Be sure to collect email addresses from people to sign them up. Don’t trust them to sign themselves up. Make sure to actually get their email address so that you can sign them up.
    • Enthusiastic club members who are already there should be engaging people

    Tips and pitfalls

    • Get the basics right:
      • Do all the recruitment prep work. It will pay off.
      • Make sure you have a nice location that's easy to get to
      • Make sure you have quality food and enough of it
      • Get the date/time right. It might be important to coordinate with other ERG/Affinity groups and departments like HR
      • Inspiring speeches
    • Ensure active and enthusiastic members are there to chat with potential members and make them feel welcome.

    Timeline

    3 months prior to event

    • Coordinate with other ERGs and departments to find best time for this event
    • Finalize date/time for kickoff event

    1 month prior

    • Finalize location for kickoff event
    • Open RSVPs

    2 weeks prior

    • Other ERG leadership and relevant departments announce through their communication channels
    • Engage in further outreach as appropriate to your company context 

    1 week prior

    • Make sure somebody is on top of ordering food and food setup logistics

    1 day prior

    • Finalize RSVPs
    • Remind RSVPs about date/time/location
    • Finalize food order, make sure plates, cups and utensils are ready
    • Make sure any Audio/Visual is ready

    Event day prep

    • Bring all handouts
    • Arrive to location early enough to do setup
    • Handful of volunteers to make sure food and drink is happening and that there are enough people knowledgeable about the initiative at the event, that people are engaged not just with small talk but also what the initiative is and why it matters
    • Make sure person in charge of food knows how to collect the delivery and set everything up and that they have all eating materials required
    • Test A/V equipment

    1 day after

    • From membership list and email list collected at event, (1) email everybody thanking them for showing up, (2) provide general info about the initiative, (3) the next initiative event

    1 week after

    • From membership list and email list collected at event, email out summarized feedback

    Communications

    Subject: Allyship initiative kickoff

    Being an inclusive and conscientious leader is an important part of our community. It's also a strategic career advantage to better understand and empathize with your colleagues, supervisors, and direct reports. Our initiative focuses on building emotional intelligence and recognizing the unconscious blindspots that mountains of research shows we all have.

    Join our kickoff on [day], [date] at [time] in [location]. We'll have food, drinks, and  good company. We'll tell you a bit more about ourselves, how you can get involved, and get your feedback on what you're interested in with regards to allyship.