Greetings! Our team has been getting prepared for the upcoming English speech contest featuring North Korean refugees.
* The 7 refugee speakers have been getting prepared by working with speech coaches.
* We have 13 volunteers signed up to help at the event. We are really thankful to have so many people willing to help out!
To make the event even smoother, attendees can do a few things:
* Arrive early. Between 1:30 to 1:50. Volunteers will be there from 1 pm to help setup the room. Doors will be open to attendees from 1:30 pm. It will take time to process everyone who arrives, so the earlier you can arrive, the better. Your ticket is valid until 1:50 pm to be guaranteed of a seat. Arrive early, arrive early, arrive early, then we can finish early…
We will do our best to wrap up by 4:30… which is more likely if people arrive early and we can start on time…
* Print out your ticket. You can help things go much faster by printing out your ticket and handing it to our volunteers handling registration. At the least, have it handy on your phone by taking a photo of it now (in case you lose wi-fi at that key moment). But it would be better to have the print out.
* Look at the directions now. A lot of people wait until the morning of an event, or as they are on their way, before looking at directions. We have some volunteers who have agreed to be guides, but you can help by being aware in advance. Here:
If you know you are the type to get lost, then plan to arrive early.
When you arrive in the building, report to reception, tell them you are going to “TNKR.” That is what they have previously coded for the contest.
* Disruptions: Let’s do our best to avoid disruptions. If you know you need to leave early, then please sit at the back of the room so you can leave without bumping into someone speaking. When entering the room, especially if you are late, please don’t walk in talking loudly, “HI EVERYBODY, I’M HERE.” And of course don’t be the person with their phone ringer on during the event (someone please remind me to make this announcement, and to turn off my phone).
During the contest:
* Respect the speakers: That means, be quiet when the speakers are talking. There is no excuse for side discussions, chit-chat. I was truly amazed by a couple of idiots talking during our last contest. If my angry look could have killed, it would have wiped out their entire families.
It will be the first public speech for some of the refugees. If you need to have a separate conversation, then leave the room. You can save your questions, comments and jokes for the time that I will be speaking after the contestants have all finished. Bring it on, I can take it!
* Dress code: Business casual. But what does that really mean? Be aware that the event is scheduled to be recorded, photos taken. So don’t wear anything you’d be embarrassed to have posted on Facebook. If you show up looking scandalous, I’ll call your mom to let her know that you showed up Business Clown instead of Business Casual.
Donations: There is no admission fee for the event, but we will have a donation box at the entrance. Please make a donation to help us with this project. As I will explain at the contest, we are planning an exciting follow up event for which we have no sponsor. So that means, bring cash to make a donation of any amount…
Parking: If you plan on driving, then send me an email with your name and license plate number. I don’t know how many parking spaces will be available (there should be many because it is a Saturday), so if you get the info to me sooner rather than on Saturday morning when I will be handling many other things, I should be able to request spaces.
* * *
Any questions? CJL@post.harvard.edu
I am sending this Tuesday night, hoping everyone will check their email before the event. I will follow up with answers to questions that others may be wondering about.
If it took you a long time to read this, recognize that it took me even longer to write it…
People often ask, “How can I help (fill-in-the-blank) cause?” To the 106 people who have signed up to join our speech contest tomorrow, the question for you is, “How can I be a good attendee?”
1) Read emails and updates related to the event. (That means, don’t sign up with an email or Facebook account you rarely check).
2) Check the directions in advance.
3) Arrive early. For an event starting at 2 pm, that does not mean you are on time if you arrive at 2. On time means you arrive 10 to 15 minutes in advance, so registration can be processed, everyone can be seated, and the organizers can check last minute details.
Don’t be the attendee who:
a) arrives just as the event is beginning, thereby disrupting things.
b) announces your rival, “HEY, EVERYBODY, I’M HERE” or gives a shout-out to the person at the microphone.
c) drops your bag or purse, spilling everything on the floor.
… then your phone starts ringing or alarm about the event goes off.
.. as you knock over or fall out out of your seat
d) talks during the contest to other attendees. Only staff volunteers and speakers should be talking during the event tomorrow. Exceptions will be if and when the audience is asked questions by the MC.