World Hoop Day Planning Guide 2015
With the celebration of World Hoop Day 2016 only two weeks away, if you haven’t already figured out plans for how you and your area will be spending October 1st, 2016, then now is the time! Perhaps there is already an event being organized in your city. If so, you can show up there to share your support and enthusiasm in whatever ways are needed most. But what if there isn’t something on the calendar where you live? When hoopers all over the planet will be gathering to celebrate World Hoop Day do you really want you and your town or city to be left out of the mix?
Just in case you’re thinking “I’m just one person and tere isn’t enough time,” then think again. Back in 2010 Kevin O’Keefe stopped by a small coffee shop in New Orleans and started talking to people there about World Hoop Day. The owner loved the idea and decided to send out press releases. A local hoop group heard the news and signed on to donate some hoops to gift to kids. Musicians were inspired by the giving and came out to play. People ended up showing up to celebrate from all over. It even made the local evening news, all because one person stopped by a coffee shop a few days before World Hoop Day. If all that can transpire in just a few days, imagine what can you and your hooping friends can do with almost two weeks! Need a little more guidance and inspiration? Here’s Ten Great Tips to help you rock World Hoop Day 2016 wherever you live.
1: Know Your WHD Info: Before you even begin, it’s important to read up on World Hoop Day so that you can tell others in 10-30 seconds exactly what it is and what it means to you. The World Hoop Day website is chock full of info, but in a nutshell World Hoop Day is a two fold thing. On one hand it’s a non-profit charity that raises money to gift hula hoops to children in need around the world. On the other it is also an international hooping holiday celebration where people gather together to hoop for health, peace and joy. Once you know what World Hoop Day is, here’s all you’ll need to figure out.
2. Location, Location, Location: Most World Hoop Day events are held in public parks. Some people choose farmer’s markets, community centers, school gyms, beaches. Choosing the best spot or venue for your World Hoop Day really depends on where you live, which hemisphere you’re in, and your anticipated number of hoopers. Given that World Hoop Day is a really great day for promoting hooper visibility – with a great cause attached to it too – you might want to consider a public place where that will definitely get you noticed. That way you can use the event itself to help spread the hoop love to anyone just passing or driving by, maybe even getting them to donate a buck or two to gift a hoop to some needy kid in another part of the world. Another things to consider in choosing a great location include convenience to public transit so everybody can come. A nearby public restroom is pretty cool to have too.
3. Ask Permission: Does your desired location require a park permit, performance insurance or rental fee? Usually these answers are only a phone call away. If it’s possible, however, talking to the powers that be in your area in person has been known to sometimes help the WHD cause exponentially. There are so many World Hoop Day stories now where the personal approach resulted in fees being waived, even locations signing on as a co-sponsor. Once they understood what the World Hoop Day mission was all about they were in. Also, if you show up playing the part of a responsible looking adult, whether you actually are or are not a responsible looking adult, it’s been our experience that when you’re looking like one it really makes a difference.
Now if you show up and ask in person you might even be able to get the unofficial inside scoop on how to make a WHD event happen a lot more easily too. I personally recall talking to a helpful city worker once about hosting a WHD event and she told me that if I wanted a permit for World Hoop Day it was going to cost several hundred dollars – “but if you were to host a political rally hooping for world peace, well, that would end up obviously being free under the first amendment. You are planning a WHD protest demonstration where you’ll be hula hooping for World Peace on the property that day, right?” See what I mean? It’s the kind of candor you just can’t get on the phone.
In the end, even if your location does end up having fees attached to using it, if you can’t cover these costs out of pocket, perhaps you can be reimbursed by holding a raffle or asking for donations. Whatever the case, finding out the facts will help you make an informed location decision, and will help you avoid having your event unexpectedly getting shut down by the powers that be – something that happened to me once when I didn’t take the time to ask.
Let’s Get Planning!
4. Plan The Day: World Hoop Day 2016 is happening on Saturday, October 1st. Before you go making a Facebook event or a flyer or writing a press release you’ll need to decide on a few other things – like what time? When it comes to planning the itinerary World Hoop Day plans can range from incredibly simple to very ambitious. A simple plan might be to schedule a hoopjam for an hour and have collect donations to give to the non profit side of World Hoop Day. Ambitious plans might includes a performance or performance showcase, a free class or classes, coordinating something with local children’s organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs for not only gifting hoops locally, but to get kids there for the hooping celebration itself. Maybe a favorite local DJ or band would want to be on hand for it too. Some cities organize a full day of WHD activities.
5. Support World Hoop Day Itself: It’s always great if you can include some way to support the World Hoop Day mission in your planning. The majority of the money WHD receives every year comes from us hoopers and these events on World Hoop Day. That money then gets turned over to WHD Ambassadors who literally travel with hand-made hoops to hand deliver them to children without toys around the world. WHD has gifted hoops to kids in some of the most remote regions and most impoverished places on earth. Donations can be made directly to World Hoop Day through its fiscal sponsor MarinLink. And yes, all WHD contributions are tax deductible, so tell people that when you’re asking for money.
6. Recruit: Once you’ve got the plan figured out, ask for help from friends and friends of friends to make hoops to gift, DJ, bring snacks or food, take photos, teach classes, create flyers, perform, write press releases and spread the word online. When approached with a clearer idea and something of a schedule you’ll likely find there are lots of people who will be willing to help once they know what you need.
7. Promote World Hoop Day: In the all too grim world of the media most news agencies won’t pass up a story opportunity like World Hoop Day. Hula hoops to help needy kids is a winner every time, but they have to know about it in order to report it. Writing a press release and sending it to the media in your area will not only help promote your event and WHD, but you may very well discover hoopers in your area you didn’t even know about, as well as recruit new ones! Many people will happily jump on the band wagon to hula hoop for a specific day and cause that wouldn’t ordinarily be willing to do so. Take advantage of it! And don’t be surprised if the media turns up at the actual event with a camera crew, or invite you to do a guest spot hooping on the air before the event to help you get people to come on out. It happens all the time.
Hoop Locally, Think Globally
8: Spin It World Wide: Be sure to send your event information to World Hoop Day so others can find you. You can also learn this year’s World Hoop Day Dance choreography – and teach it, film it and send your video in for inclusion in the final global World Hoop Day Dance video project. Whatever you do, however, when you’re talking about World Hoop Day, let people know this really is happening WORLD WIDE, all around the globe! Last year there were events held on all six major continents!
9. Hoops Hoops Hoops!: Now what’s World Hoop Day without hoops, right? Pre-World Hoop Day hoop-making parties are a great way to not only encourage community involvement, but at the end of the party you’ll have a whole bunch of hoops on hand for people to use at your event and to gift to local kids in need in your area. Some World Hoop Day events plan for having a hoop making station at their events. Those who have never made a hoop before are often quite excited to help with the process, even those who may not want to actually ever want to hoop themselves. Ask for donations to cover the cost of your materials. And if you don’t have the energy or interest remember – all donations to World Hoop Day do all this hard work for you and take those hoops even farther.
10. Gratitude: Last, but not least, we wrap up our tips with a friendly reminder that it’s always helpful to maintain an attitude of gratitude throughout your event planning and organization. Manners and politeness really help when it comes to getting the help you need and plans can go much further with a smile. Keep a list of those who have contributed to your World Hoop Day event along the way and be sure to thank everyone who gave of their materials, time, energy and donations.
That’s our World Hoop Day Planning Guide 2016! Whatever you end up doing for World Hoop Day 2016, we here at Hooping.org are looking forward to sharing the day hooping it up with you wherever you are and seeing all of your photos and videos from your event – no matter how large or small they turn out to be. All you really need to celebrate is yourself and a hoop. You’ve got that already, right – so things can only grow from there. Here’s wishing everyone a very exciting World Hoop Day 2016 and if any local World Hoop Day organizers out there that have valuable tips to share, please do so in the comments below.