The efforts and talents of serious advocates of healthy life extension will help our society recognize the capabilities of rejuvenation biotechnologies, ultimately leading to treatments that directly target the processes of aging. While researchers push progress forward directly, there are many ways in which interested laypeople can help promote the development of therapies, and one of them is building the rejuvenation community by organizing events in support of Lifespan.io.

These events can include a social gathering of friends, a meeting at a local cafe, a university lecture, or even a mini- or a full-size conference, depending on your ambition and resources. Bringing many open minds together results in new ideas and solutions, so even a small event is a step forward.

HOW CAN LOCAL EVENTS HELP LIFESPAN.IO?

The answer is very simple: Reach.

  1. Most people don’t know about the revolution that is happening in gerontology. By running a local event, you teach people about the promise of rejuvenation biotechnology. Once you build a local community, it can be engaged to support research projects running their crowdfunding campaigns on Lifespan.io. The more people involved in a crowdfunding project, the better it works.
  2. By showing attendees the recommended short videos and presentations created by the Lifespan.io team, you show them the bottlenecks of the rejuvenation industry and demonstrate the most efficient ways to help researchers. This helps to keep our supporters and volunteers focused on the important issues and not distracted by false goals.
  3. By introducing our main educational resources (the Lifespan.io Newsletter and Journal Club), you give people access to the most up-to-date, evidence-based information about rejuvenation biotechnologies. More subscribers to our free Lifespan.io newsletter and more people watching our livestreamed Journal Club represent a growth in our reach.
  4. By showing us photos and video of your event, especially if it is a lecture or a conference, you provide us with priceless content that can engage even more people both at your location and worldwide.

HOW TO BEGIN

To make creating an event easier we would like to share this Lifespan-X guide with you. To get started, create an account at Eventbrite.com, which is one of the best sites for event management. Registering at Eventbrite is free, yet even the basic version offers effective, easy-to-use tools for making your event a success.

Watch this review to quickly learn the main steps of setting up the event page.

To help us in our mission of educating the public, we kindly ask that you get your guests’ permission to subscribe them to our newsletter during registration, and please include first name, last name, and email on your registration form. Please use the following text: “By signing up for this event, you agree to be subscribed to the Lifespan.io newsletter, which offers rejuvenation industry news, interviews with researchers, and educational content. You can unsubscribe at any time.” The newsletter will help your attendees learn more about rejuvenation technologies and get even more engaged after the event.

It is up to you whether or not you want to charge attendance fees for your event. We only ask that you make it clear how exactly the money will be used. If you wish to donate some of the proceedings to Lifespan.io, please make a clear statement to that effect. If the event is free, but you would like people to donate what they want to Lifespan.io, please offer clear instructions of how to do that (for instance, by linking to https://www.leafscience.org/how-you-can-help/).

If the money will only be used to cover your expenses, compensate your work, pay a speaker’s fee, or support your next event of this kind, that is fine, but, again, please make a clear statement about that.

MAKING YOUR EVENT

Making an event consists of three stages: preparation, on-stage management, and reporting and follow-up activities. Each of them includes several subtasks. To make it easier for you, we prepared a checklist for each stage that includes the most important activities and steps.

Preparation

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  • Define the goals of your event.
  • Define the target audience, content, speakers, MC, and schedule of your event.
  • Think about how are you going to invite the audience.
  • Consider the room and the equipment you will need for the event.
  • Consider what kind of volunteers you will need and what each of them will be doing.
  • Consider taking photographs or video, whether pre-recorded or live streamed. Whenever we have a live streamed event on the Lifespan.io Facebook page, we get many positive reactions from people who could not attend in person.
  • Check with the speakers and MC when they are available. You can take the role of MC yourself if you feel confident. Feel free to ask us for advice.
  • Check with your volunteers and make sure that they are willing to spend time on supporting your event.
  • Choose the date and time that fits most or all of the speakers and the MC and that allows the most people to come (avoid usual working hours; workday evenings or weekends are usually more preferable).
  • Let the Lifespan.io team know that you are planning an event at a specific date.
  • Retrieve the recommended educational videos and slides made by the Lifespan.io team from our site.
  • Choose the place to run the event, and visit the place in person to make sure that it meets your expectations.
  • Book the room and the equipment for the event, and arrange some snacks if appropriate.
  • Let the speakers and helpers know where and when (address, date, time) the event is taking place. Get confirmation that they will arrive on time.
  • Assign one volunteer to register the guests at the place. Develop a plan for what to do with unexpected guests, should they come, and their tickets/registration fees.
  • After the room is booked and the speakers are confirmed, prepare the page of the event at Eventbrite. Create the front picture with https://about.canva.com/ for free.
  • Send us the link to the event page and the widget for our site to help you get more participants.
  • Begin your own promotional campaign to bring potential participants to the event. Let us know that we can start promoting it as well.
  • Create an event page on Facebook. Make one of our team members a co-host of this page so that we can help promote it on our social media and can make a targeted paid ad if appropriate.
  • Let us know if you can livestream the event on our Facebook page. If so, ask us to temporarily grant editor rights so that you or your volunteer can set up the stream on our page.
  • Let us know if the event will be video recorded so that we can post it on our social media later.
  • Two days before the event, remind the speakers and volunteers where and when the event is taking place. Ask the volunteers to arrive half an hour before the event, and ask speakers to arrive 20 minutes before the event. Develop a plan B in case the first speaker is late.
  • Remind the host about the event, and confirm the plan.
  • Print the list of participants (only names, without emails) to check the attendance at the door. Add a list with empty columns (First name, Last name, Email, Phone number) to register unexpected guests on site. Make sure the helpers set an application to register guests on their smartphone if you are using Eventbrite.
  • Gather presentation materials from the speakers and check it on the given equipment a couple of days before the event, or right before the event.

All these tasks except the last three (gathering materials, sending a reminder to the speakers and volunteers, sending a confirmation to the host) should be done at least one month before the event. You can gather the materials and send a reminder two or three days before the event.

On stage management

Here is a short checklist of what you need to do to run an event successfully:

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  • Arrive at the booked room 1.5 hours before the event.
  • Check the room, and rearrange the seats if necessary.
  • Check the functionality of the equipment (including video and photographic equipment) and make sure that you can show the presentation materials and the educational videos of Lifespan.io. Copy them to the local laptop if appropriate.
  • Prepare the welcoming coffee and snacks (if applicable).
  • Meet the volunteers and check that each one of them knows their role.
  • Make sure that one volunteer is ready to register the attendees and is ready to gather the registration details, including full name, e-mail. and phone, of unexpected attendees, and is ready to engage in on-site ticket sales if appropriate.
  • Welcome the attendees. Help them feel comfortable. Engage in friendly conversations without discussing too much about the event’s content.
  • Welcome the speakers. Help them feel comfortable. Remind them of their order and time limit.
  • Turn on video recording and livestreaming equipment.
  • Perform your duties as an MC by orchestrating the event.
  • Make sure that Lifespan.io presentations and/or videos are shown.
  • Keep an eye on the clock, and help the speakers to finish on time.
  • Round up the event, and express your gratitude to the speakers, audience, volunteers, and host. Announce the next event if appropriate.
  • Turn off the livestream and cameras.
  • Collect the registration papers, video and photo materials.
  • Have your team put the room in order after the event. Make sure your host is happy with it.
  • Check to make sure that you don’t owe additional funds if you used extra time.

Reporting and follow-up activities

Here is a short checklist of what you need to do to make sure that the information and materials from the event are used in the most efficient way:

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  • If the event was not livestreamed to the Lifespan.io Facebook page, please send us the video recording as soon as possible. You can use any file transfer system and provide us with a link to download the file(s).
  • If the event was not livestreamed or recorded, please send us a brief written report on the event or an article with the event’s main topics and your personal impressions (not more than two pages) along with up to 20 photos of the event. The photos can be sent via a file transfer service – please provide us with a link to download an archive file containing all the photos. We will make a blog post about your event to praise your effort and help spread your event’s content as wide as possible
  • Please provide us with the full list of people registered to the event in an Excel file. We will send them follow-up letters that provide resources and offer more information related to rejuvenation biotechnologies.
  • Once your video and written report are on our site and shared to our social media,  please share them so that people who cannot attend know where they can watch the recording.
  • In a few days after the event, meet with your local team to praise them and discuss how you could improve your next event.

Event management FAQ

We have compiled a list of the most common questions we receive about event creation and management.

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Who should I contact if I plan to run an event in support of Lifespan.io?

Please contact Elena Milova at [email protected]. Elena will share with you the materials that you can use to prepare and run the event (articles, videos, slides), and will inform the social media team of what kind of help you may need to get more attendees on board. Elena can also help you get through the event organization checklists so that you have the critical parts under control.

I have never organized an event before. Where do I find a room for my event?

If your event is meant to discuss the topic among your friends, you can organize it in your or a friend’s house. Just bring your laptop to show slides or a movie. You may also meet with a small group of people at a nice, quiet cafe.

If you wish to run an event for your fellow students, ask permission from the university to use an auditorium at a specific date and time, which is usually free. Make sure that the information about the event location is included in a poster near the university’s information desk.

If you want to make your event open to the general public and you expect it to gather many people, you may consider booking a room at a local library or similar meeting space. However, booking the room and renting professional equipment for the event may require payment in advance. Lifespan.io does not have the funds to support independent events, so please carefully assess your abilities before starting to prepare.

What kind of topic should I choose for the event?

It is important to remember that most people still don’t know exactly what aging is or about the advances in rejuvenation biotechnology. Our most important goal is to tell them about that. A win-win option would be to begin your event by briefly discussing what we currently know about the mechanisms of aging and what can happen to health and lifespan if innovative medical technologies are targeted at these mechanisms. After this critical basic information is provided, you can proceed in any other direction that you find exciting, such as a deeper glance at the emerging technologies, the most promising biotechnology companies, the demographic consequences of defeating aging, or how these innovations can help cure specific age-related diseases. You can also discuss why living indefinitely long will not be boring; it’s up to you.

Where do I find a suitable speaker for my event, if I don’t want to give a talk myself?

First, consider using a video as a foundation for further group discussion. It can be a recorded TED talk by some scientist, a pop-sci animation about aging and the ways to treat it, a panel discussion of a specific topic related to aging, a documentary, or a sci-fi movie. Prepare a list of questions for the group to discuss; rest assured, the discussion will be hot. We have a list of materials recommended for viewing here.

Second, check if you have potential speakers in your local life extension community. Try to find synergy: sometimes people are silent only because they don’t want to bother with the organization of the event, but if someone does organize one, they will gladly come to share their ideas.

Third, don’t be shy; contact the local researchers of aging (biologists, geneticists, gerontologists). In many cases, when they have time, scientists like to share their knowledge with the public. However, make sure the speaker knows what kind of audience to expect in order to make the talk match their level of knowledge so that they don’t get bored.

How do I promote my event to ensure the room is full?

You should start thinking about the promotion long before the event. If the event is small (intended for ~10 people), two weeks before the event should be enough. However, if the event is relatively big (~50 people or more), you should begin the promotion at least two months in advance (which means, you need to have all your potential speakers on board even earlier).

The usual sources of potential attendees are:

  • Your student group and other student groups that you can invite directly or via a poster placed near the information desk of your university.
  • Your friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues at work, and their friends and relatives.
  • Relevant groups and pages in social media and your own social media profile.
  • Websites of relevant organizations containing contact details of their residents (medical universities and schools, charities in the field of medicine and healthcare, medical associations, local research laboratories and biohacker communities).
  • Local meetup groups related to biology, medicine, healthcare, wellness, biotech, life extension, and transhumanism.

The Lifespan.io social media team will post about your event to help promote it, but you should remember that our supporters are very much disseminated around the globe, so most of the promotion has to be done locally by you and your team.