We have a checklist of essential of items to bring to your next event. We also cover things you "could have," and items that are "nice to have."
- “Must Have” items
- “Could Have” items
- “Nice to Have” items
“Must Have” items
The following are items that you should have ready at every single Yang Gang event, no exception. You worked hard to get people to show up to your event; don’t waste the opportunity to gather essential volunteer information and lay the foundation for future events.
As people arrive at your event, make sure they use the sign-in sheet. The sheet should ask, at a minimum, for their name, phone, email, and an “I want to volunteer” checkbox. You can let volunteers who have sign-in to previous events provide just their name for attendance purposes.
Make sure every new volunteer fills out a volunteer survey. All the questions on the survey are discretionary (they don’t have to answer anything they are uncomfortable answering) but it provides crucial information to help you plan future events and expand your leadership team. Even old volunteers should fill out a survey if they haven’t already.
Your welcome letter should contain all the beginning action steps a new volunteer needs to support the campaign right away. The letter should include your gang’s social media links, contact information, instructions on how to join slack, and details about recurring events. Any other “on-boarding tasks” your gang may have should also be included in the welcome letter. If your event’s participants’ hands are ever idle (like during a coffee social when the guest speaker is talking), they can work on the on-boarding tasks while they listen.
The last piece of paper you should have readily available is a signup sheet for your upcoming events. The best time to invite someone to anything is when they are right in front of you, so use that opportunity to find establish when and how they can get involved again in the near future.
All of these resources can be prepared digitally via a laptop or tablet. Personally, I believe having a pen and paper is more efficient; it avoids the “techno-phobia” some people may have, and you never have to worry about your sign-in sheet breaking, stalling, or running out of juice. That’s why the last essential items I recommend always having available are clipboard and plenty of pens.
“Could Have” items
The next few items are things that are not crucial, but they greatly enhance your event and help make the most of the time invested.
If you do a really good job marketing your event, you might get people who are still on the fence about Andrew Yang. These are great people to have at your event! When they have questions, naturally you'll want to direct them to Yang2020.com/policies. However, it's also a good idea to have brochures handy so they have something tangible they can read right there on the spot. Make sure your gang's contact information is on the brochure; for the Dallas Yang Gang, I've modified the official brochure to include our local gang's contact info.
Volunteers are always looking for additional supplies, whether it be hats, shirts, yard signs, bumper stickers, or copies of Andrew Yang’s book. You can buy extra supplies directly from the Yang 2020 store, or find a local vendor to produce supplies at wholesale prices. Note that if you do choose to go the local vendor route, you’ll need to be very clear and up-front about what happens to the proceeds you collect, if any. Whether you plan on donating your supplies for free, or selling them at-cost, it’s a good idea to have your policy in writing. Also, keep in mind that it is the policy of the official Yang2020 not to coordinate with any external parties (including volunteers) on any matter of funding. If bookkeeping is not your thing, the simplest way to go is to give your supplies away for free to avoid any requirements around reporting.
“Nice to Have” items
You shouldn’t sweat over the next few items. If your Yang Gang is new and you’re just getting started, you might want to ignore these items for a while. However, if you’ve already run a few events and have established a nice rhythm, consider bringing these items to raise your meetup to the next level.
A camera with a tripod is a handy tool for taking group photos that include every single person (including you!) Alternatively, you can forgo the camera and just get a tripod mount for your phone. A tripod is also good for taking time-lapses, which are a great way to capture the action in your event.
Speaking of photography, consider designating someone to be responsible for taking pictures at your event. This will free you up to focus on running your event while giving peace of mind that all your hard work is being documented.
The giant “Yang Buck” is a fun and eye-catching prop to have handy. Use it to enhance your group photos and attract the attention of passers-by. To acquire your own Yang Buck, download the hi-res TIFF file to a thumb drive and take it to a local print shop, e.g. a FedEx Store. At the print shop, request that the Yang Buck be print and cut on a poster board. Depending on the size post board you print on, it can range from $50 to $150 dollars (yeah, it’s pretty expensive). Two get more bang for your buck, consider using the TIFF file with two Yang Bucks on a single sheet. This way, you can get to Yang Bucks cut from single poster board.
Having a banner is a good way to draw attention to your event location. You can get a 6’ x 3’ banner from stickersbanners.com for less than $30, and they do same-day printing.
Lastly, consider bringing recording microphones to take video interviews. Take advantage of having volunteers enthusiastic enough to show up and consider doing a #YangGangChallenge video or a #MyYangStory video. You could do a video about your #HumanityFirstDays project. One more option is to make a video encouraging people to start phone banking.
What is on your Yang Gang meetup checklist?
These are all the items I think about having ready when I host an event. I can’t say I always remember to bring everything on this list. However, I try to stay prepared as much as I can. We put a lot of effort into making our events happen; might as well make the most of them!
What items do you bring to your Yang Gang meetups? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.