Public Lab Wiki documentation

Host an event

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Why host an event?

Events can be a way to bring new people into a project or to explore ideas together; they're also a great means of learning and teaching different techniques. There are several types of event models Public Labbers use for different reasons. Read more below to find an event structure or idea that could help you shape your event.

Types of events

Choosing an event type depends on your goals! Read through these examples to help figure out what kind of event you'd like to host.


1. Community organizing events

Organizing style events are done to help you and your group push forward on a cause. If your community is facing a new environmental challenge such a new polluter, organizing events help you to get started, get people in the room, get on the same page and to move your group forward in a your objectives. They can help you to:

  • galvanize people to a cause,
  • understand the resources you have within your community,
  • identify the relationships people have to eachother,
  • pinpoint the things you need to gather or do to accomplish your goals, and
  • set strategies in your action.


  • Power mapping
  • Picking an advocacy strategy

2. Events to try out and remix a new idea

Many Public Lab events seek to draw on attendees' various skills and experiences to come up with and/or adapt some new ideas. A hackathon is one example of this kind of event, as are:



3. Teach and Learn

Some events focus on teaching a specific set of skills, to enable a larger group to use a method or technique. This can give concrete skills to participants and broaden the number of people who can put a method to use.

Some events of this type seek to "train the trainers" and enable participants to teach the skills in turn to a yet another group. This helps to ensure that there is broad access to a particular method and that it can be adapted and shared with many new people and in new places.


Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.

Also see events you can host in a series such as: - The Wetlands Series - The Garden Series

4. Hybrid or umbrella events

Some events incorporate a variety of activities to span all of these. Public Lab's annual and regional Barnraisings are a good example of bigger events with a lot of separate sessions, often run by attendees, which span all of the above event types.


Public Lab events

Events others host