Planning for Your Town Hall Meeting
Planning is critical to the success of any event - the way an event is designed helps it achieve
its objectives, or sometimes miss the mark.
Performing an assessment prior to
planning the meeting will guide Town Hall Meeting organizers in identifying priority issues
around underage drinking in the community that should be addressed during the event. Determining
meeting logistics, speakers, and ways to achieve those meeting objectives are next steps.
Planning the timing of your Town Hall Meeting is a crucial piece to maximize its appeal and
attendance, and will help you in marketing your meeting to get maximum media exposure. The
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) encourages organizers to
hold their events any time of the year, mostly between March and May, as there are a
number of corresponding awareness events, observances, and peak times for underage drinking
- Alcohol Awareness Month in April;
- SAMHSA's National Prevention Week in May; and
- High months of alcohol use initiation by children under age 18 occur in June and July.
Building on national observances helps build momentum around a national dialogue about
prevention. Appealing to parents and other influential adults during times of higher risk
of alcohol use and consequences (e.g., spring break, prom, and beach week) increases the
sense of urgency in addressing these problems.
The following free materials can help you organize essential details and host an effective,
The following resources can provide useful data and local information when planning your meeting and identifying priority issues in your community.
Next, read about Promoting Your Town Hall Meeting.