Now that you’re ready to talk about death differently, use this step-by-step guide to help make sure your D2KDUSA is everything you want it to be.
STEP 1: PLAN
Chances are you’ve never hosted or organized an event about death and dying before. Few people have. Start by asking yourself:
- HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU WANT TO SPEND ON YOUR EVENT?
- HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU WANT TO INVITE?
- WHO ARE YOU INVITING?
- WHAT IS THE THEME?
- WHERE ARE YOU HOLDING YOUR EVENT?
- WHEN IS THE EVENT? (Establish clear starting and ending times)
- WHO IS HELPING YOU?
When approaching people about your event, prepare to be met with responses ranging from “That’s weird” to “That’s awesome!” The subject of death and dying can stir up deep fears, or excitement at the prospect of having the space to talk freely about a topic that causes so much discomfort. TIP: Community groups are often looking for new and unique event ideas and may be interested in attending or cohosting your event. Talk to the VFW, Rotary, schools and universities, book clubs, places of worship, library and neighborhood centers.
STEP 2: INVITE
Having decided where, when and who your event is for, your next step is to invite people to come. Everything you need to plan and promote your event is available in the D2KDUSA toolkit.
STEP 3: GAIN COMMITMENT
If you're planning a small, low-budget event, people can RSVP or “just show up.” But for larger events, it’s advisable to have people pre-register. Advanced registration helps you budget, communicate with attendees, enroll volunteers, and make sure your plans meet the needs of those attending. For example, if someone is recently bereaved, attending a light-hearted death literacy event may not be an appropriate. In that case, honesty is the best policy.
STEP 4: PREP
How you set up your event is entirely up to you. Consider budget, sponsors, location, and how much help you have organizing and running the event. Remember, the event doesn’t have to be perfect to be successful, because the purpose behind D2KDUSA is awareness. Don't stress out or over promise what you can't deliver. The D2KDUSA toolkit has customized event materials ready for use.
STEP 5: ENJOY
Remember, you’re hosting a D2KDUSA event because you believe it’s the right thing to do, not because you’re an “expert.” In our experience, your guests will be genuinely grateful for the unique opportunity to openly talk about death. All will be well. Relax and enjoy your event!
STEP 6: FEEDBACK
Please take the time to share your experience with us by completing a post-event survey from MailChimp. Your feedback will help us make future D2KDUSA events even better! The brief questionnaire will ask you what worked, what didn’t and what you would change if you hosted the same event again next year.
STEP 7: WALK THE WALK
Choosing to be a role model is courageous. It's ok to show that you walked your own path to death literacy. Here are some suggestions.
- Learn about Advanced Care Planning and complete your own ACP
- Fill out your own Emotional Will
- Discuss end-of-life wishes with a loved one
- Research burial options
- Visit or volunteer at a hospice care facility
- Check-in on a recently-bereaved friend
- Use social media to start a conversation about end of life
Brand your D2KDUSA event with official graphics!