Online & Offline Event Planning Guides

Event Planning Guidelines: Reimagine Tomorrow

UWC Day is a time to celebrate the strength of the UWC movement as a force for a more peaceful and sustainable future worldwide.

On (and in the days around) 21 September 2020 (the UN International Day of Peace), all members of the UWC community are asked to come together to work towards positive global change - whether through organising or participating in UWC social gatherings, volunteering, fundraisers, panel discussions or any other UWC mission-led activity.

For UWC Day 2021 the theme will be: 'Reimagine Tomorrow’. At a time when the impacts of COVID-19 are still very present in our lives, injustices and conflicts continue to cause pain for many, and the effects of the climate crisis are already being felt, particularly in the most vulnerable communities around the world - we hope that this theme will give us all an opportunity to take a step back and to dream up a better world.

Because in order to start building a more peaceful, sustainable and just future, we have to start by reminding ourselves that such a future is possible: we have to Reimagine Tomorrow.

We look forward to celebrating, reflecting, and acting upon this message with you. The below information is designed to support you in planning an activity or event for UWC Day 2021. Please let us know if you have any questions by sending us an email at

Step 1 - Create an Event Overview

  1. Goals

To "Reimagine Tomorrow...[choose a cause you would like to think up new and innovative solutions for]". This could include causes that help to...

  • ...inspire others to work for change

  • ...bring about new ways to encourage climate change action in order to pave the way for a sustainable future

  • ...fight for a more equitable tomorrow

  • ...make a difference in the community

  • ...tell more people about UWC

  1. Target Audience

This could be...

  • UWC alumni

  • UWC students

  • Prospective UWC students/parents

  • Non-UWCers

  • Others

  1. Activities/Programming

Past UWC Day events have featured all kinds of different activities, such as...

  • Volunteering in the community

  • Art exhibitions or film screenings

  • Social gatherings

  • Potluck dinners/lunches (attendees bring food to share)

  • Trivia nights

  • Painting or crafting activities

  • Information sessions for prospective students/parents

  • Keynote speaker or panel discussions

  • Outdoor group activities such as eco-system clean-ups

  • Open mic events

  • Change-making initiatives such as hackathons or ‘Dragon Den’s’ events focussed on providing solutions to global issues

  • UWC Refugee Initiative fundraising events

For more ideas, refer to the Event and Activity Brainstorm. Furthermore, please consider local Coronavirus restrictions when planning your event.

  1. Date

UWC Day officially takes place on 21 September - but UWC Day activities can take place at any time near that date!

  1. Budget

UWC Day events don’t have to cost anything to run. Try hosting a film screening and discussion online, or bringing people together to volunteer for a cause that is important to you (either virtually or in-person, depending on local social distancing regulations)!

  1. Location/venue

UWC Day events are held in cities, towns and villages - and online - around the world each year!

Step 2 - Register Your Event

When your event overview is complete, register your event with UWC International so we can help promote your event, and include it on the global map of UWC Day events and activities!

Step 3 - Promote Your Event

There are many visual resources available to promote your UWC Day event - you can find them all on the Ready-to-Use Visuals page. If you would like to create merchandise to use for your UWC Day event, you can find template visuals here.

  1. Create a Facebook event

    • This is a great way to publicise your event and get people interested in attending!

    • Clearly define WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN the event is taking place!

    • After your event, you (and the participants!) can share pictures from the event here.

  1. Create an event on the UWC Hub

  • This is the best way to publicise your event within the UWC community, and get other UWCers interested in attending! UWC Hub events are also included in the weekly Hub digest, which goes out to almost 6,000 users via email.

  1. Create a way for attendees/participants to sign up!

  • If your UWC Day event is very informal, you can just use a Facebook event to encourage people to attend.

  • If you are selling tickets for your event, or registering people for free (but need to know how many attendees to expect), consider using an online platform to handle ticketing such as Splash Or EventBrite, which are easy to use and for free. You can also try using Google Forms.

  • If you are creating an online event through a platform such as Zoom, you can get people to register for the event in advance of the meeting via a Zoom generated registration link, for example. More info on setting up Zoom meetings can be found in the online events guide.

  1. Post about your event on social media

  • Remember to use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (if you have them) to encourage people to come to your event.

  • Remember to use the official hashtags:

    • #UWC

    • #UWCDay

    • #UWCDay2021

    • #ReimagineTomorrow

    • #UWCmovement

    • #UWCmission

Online Events Guide

Below you will find a step-by-step list of suggestions on how to host a successful online event this UWC Day. You will also find practical tech tips on using Zoom to host your event, if you choose to host using this platform.

Tips For Hosting An Engaging Online Event/Party/Gathering

Pick a host and co-host

It's important to know beforehand who will lead the event, and who will help lead the event - and to discuss amongst yourselves what roles you will each play. This will give the event direction, and allow for it not to become too dominated by one voice.

Assign your helper as ‘co-host’ (on Zoom the host can do this by clicking on the three dots in the top right hand corner of your co-hosts screen and selecting ‘make co-host’).

Play music at the start

This is one way to break that ‘awkward silence’ when you are waiting for everyone to join.

Allow people to say hello

This is important to break the initial barriers that are inevitably in place when people first meet via their screens.

If there are more than 7-10 people on the call, ask people to introduce themselves via the chat. For example, by saying their names, where they are calling from and what the weather is like with them.

If there are less than 7-10 people on the call, keep the introductions short and give the participants clear guidance on what to share with the rest of the group. For example, ask them to share their name and to sum up their day in 5 words.

Organise the Fun!

Unlike in-person events, relying on participants to chat amongst themselves will not work in the online format. Instead, it is important to:

  • Pick a theme for the event - a topic you will discuss, an activity such as a trivia quiz, petition-signing or mask-making. See here for a collection of UWC Day event ideas (many of which are possible to do online).

  • Consider visual aids - whether sending out a virtual Zoom background beforehand, telling participants to come in funny socks or hats or asking them to bring a particular object to the Zoom, this can help connect participants in a physical way. If you opt for the object, you can ask participants to ‘pass’ the object from screen to screen when they want to pass on the microphone for someone else to speak, for example.

  • Use energizers - this is particularly important if the event is 1 hour or longer. Lead 5 minute breaks for participants to do a yoga pose together or dance move, for example. Short videos or songs can also be good for breaks.

Keep it short and sweet

Generally speaking, try to keep the event to 1.5 hours max to avoid video-conference fatigue.

Ask everyone to unmute themselves at the end so you can hear everyone’s voices!

So that the event ends on an upbeat note, ask everyone to unmute themselves at the end and say goodbye. This cacophony of voices - while a disturbance at other points of an online event - can be uplifting here.

Zoom Tech Guide

Scheduling a meeting in Zoom

  1. Log into the Zoom account with which you would like to host your meeting.

  2. Go to “Meetings”, then “Schedule a new meeting’

  3. Fill in the “Topic” with the title of the meeting

  4. In “Description (Optional)” write the description for your event.

  5. Fill in the “When” section with the date of the meeting, the start time of the meeting, the duration of the meeting

  6. Make sure the time zone is correct.

  7. If you would like people to register for your event in advance of the meeting, select ‘required’ under ‘registration’ - this means that people will then be sent the link to join your meeting via email once they have registered. It also means you can keep track of how many people you can expect at your event.

  8. In “Meeting ID” click “Generate Automatically”

  9. In “Meeting Password” click “Require meeting password”. You can use the automatically-generated password or insert your own.

  10. In “Audio” click “Both”.

  11. In “Meeting Options” click “Mute participants upon entry”. Click “Allow participants to join anytime” only if you would like participants to be able to join before the host. If you would like to be present at your event before others join, do not select this option.

  12. If you would like your meeting to be recorded click “Record the meeting automatically” and “In the cloud”.

  13. Click “Save”

  14. When the next page opens up you can select to save the event to your calendar of choice.

  15. You're now ready to start promoting and inviting guests to your event!

Hosting the meeting

  1. If you are the “Host” you need to make sure that you “Sign in as Host” in order to access additional control features.

  2. During the meeting, you have the ability to:

    • Mute and unmute participants

    • Allow participants to share their screen or stop a screen share

    • Administer and view the results of a poll

    • Clear non-verbal feedback in the participant right-hand panel (note: the Host cannot clear a “yes/no” vote. Participants need to remove their vote once the results have been recorded)

    • Place participants in breakout rooms.

    • Start, pause and stop the recording of the meeting as needed

    • Have additional security features (listed under the badge icon on the bottom right of the screen/control panel). These include

      1. “Locking the room” so no more people can join the meeting

      2. Dis/enabling anyone in the call from sharing their screen, changing their name, or using the chat.

    • Use the “polls” feature, in which you can create polls and send to all members of the call. These can also be prepared in advance when you are scheduling the call. After saving the meeting on the website, click on it and scroll to the bottom of the page where you will see an option for polls.

Sharing your screen in the meeting

  1. During the meeting, if you need to share your screen content (i.e: to show a presentation) click on “Share Screen” which can be found at the middle of the bottom of the screen.

  2. When you are finished click on “Stop Share” which will be found on the top of your screen.

Creating and managing breakout rooms

  1. You must ‘enable breakout rooms’ in the Zoom meeting settings before the start of your event. To do this:

    • Log in to the Zoom account you used to schedule the meeting.

    • In the navigation menu, click Account Management then Account Settings.

    • Navigate to the Breakout Room option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled.

  2. Once in the meeting, only the host can create breakout rooms. Watch this video for a step-by-step guide on creating breakout rooms.

  3. You can either create random breakout rooms or assign participants to certain breakout rooms. You can also allow participants to join their preferred breakout room themselves (by defining which breakout room will cover which topic, for example).

Voting during the meeting

  1. If there is a poll that you wish to run during the meetings this is best to set up ahead of the meeting by logging into your Zoom account, click on the scheduled meeting that you would like to add the poll to and then scroll down to the ‘add’ poll option.

  2. You will then be able to enter a title for the poll, select if you would like it to be anonymous and add either (a) single or multiple choice question(s).

  3. The host of the meeting will be able to run the poll and see the results of the poll during the meeting.

  4. Additionally, if during the meeting there is a topic that needs to be voted on click on “Participants” and this will open the white panel to the right of your screen. You are then able to click on “yes” or “no” to vote. The Host is able to see the vote count and clear the votes once the results have been recorded.