Chances to Chat & How to Organise Events
The main aim of the events is to promote Irish as a living language in a fun, enjoyable, and open way. There should be an emphasis on speaking Irish, and a system should be in place to help new members or learners attending for the first time. The committee should have enough time and manpower to plan and organise the event:
The venue needs to be booked beforehand. Think about how many people will be attending when choosing a suitable venue.
As with the Irish classes, enquire about insurance and settle any security issues.
What is the maximum number of people allowed in?
Will you need a steward?
Will you need music or a microphone?
Is there a sound system in place for that?
What about a television or screen, a HDMi cable or any other technical requirements?
If you need to seating for the event, make sure you arrange the seats in advance.
Will your guest speakers need water?
Think about the cost of the event.
Will you need to charge people for attending?
Can people pay at the door, or will it be pre-ticketed?
You could use Eventbrite if people need to pre-book tickets.
A Calendar of Events
In the same way your action plans should be planned out in the short, medium, and long term, a calendar of events for the year will ensure that the group sets out realistic goals and that enough time is allocated to each event.
Ideas for Events - What else should be considered?
• Conversation circle (Ciorcal comhrá) - Is Leor Beirt
All you need is a group of people to meet regularly in a local cafe, the canteen at work or the local park at lunch or for awalk in the evening.
• Table quiz (Tráth na gCeist)
Pen, paper, white board and dry-erase markers, person to corect the rounds. 7-8 rounds of 8-10 questions. One round could be what are certain words in the Irish language? There should be music and picture rounds (avoid the use of mobile phones - leave a lunch bag on each table for everyone to put phones in), prizes; ask local shops, buisnesses, pubs for potential sponsorship. You can hold a Table Quiz for a number of reasons; as a Charity Event or as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge. It is worth getting someone with experience in public speaking as MC.
• Debate (Díospóireacht)
Two teams of three, it is best if they are experienced, if possible, an interesting/ funny/ controversial motion, a place such as a lecture hall, timekeeper, adjudicators, water for the speakers, posters/ email sent out to encourage people to come. You can make this event more attractive through getting famous/well known speakers to talk about the subject as well.
• Coffee morning (Maidin chaife)
As mentioned above with scones or croissants as well maybe? Money could be collected for a variety of charities. Create and give out pages with useful phrases "tá tae uaim le do thoil" . Register with Is Leor Beirt.
• Guest speakers (Aoichainteoirí)
Invite a famous/interesting lecturer/person to speak about a certain topic, organise a location/classroom, lecture hall, provide refreshments afterwards and present a thank you gift.
• Poetry readings (Léamha filíochta)
Get a poet or several poets to recite and share poetry, organise a location/classroom, lecture hall, provide refreshments afterwards and present a thank you gift to the poet(s).
• Speed Dating (Scóráil Sciobtha)
You need a crowd of people, have the event in a place with drinks/music, if possible. Two circles of chairs facing each other are created. Every man and woman is given a number and every two minutes a whistle is blown/ it is proclaimed that it is time to move on. It is a good idea to make pages with funny/flirtatious lines and to make posters with them. Everyone writes down the numbers that they liked and at the end those couples dance together/ are interviewed on stage. A meal out/ prizes encourages people to be friendlier to one another! It is worth getting someone who has experience in public-speaking as an MC.
• Sports Day (Lá spóirt)
You can organise a sports day between different groups/ businesses/ organisations; football/soccer games or various sports. Have referees who speak Irish. Speak only Irish on the pitch, and a penalty kick should be giving against anyone who uses English. Lunch for competitors. Award ceremony after. You will need to think about health and safety. You could create a league of games. Create and give out pages with useful phrases.
• Concert (Ceolchoirm)
Well known bands with Irish/ one who sings in Irish on their album or musicians with Irish. Posters. Make sure the band speaks Irish with the crowd/ sings songs through Irish. Use smaller bands with Irish Language songs as opening acts. You will need a location, a crowd, sound system, it is wise to use a location that has all of these facilities.
• #Comhrá world record (Curiarracht #Comhrá)
Conradh na Gaeilge started the Irish language record for the first time in 2013 with Comhrá 247, when 168 hours of speaking without stopping was achieved, and the record for Comhrá '14 surpassed that with 169 hours. The video with a taster of the Comhrá '15 challenge from last year is available on Conradh na Gaeilge's Youtube at http://bit.ly/comhra15 . As part of the #Comhrá16 world record communities all over the world succeeded in speaking in Irish for 170 hours. More information anseo.
• Seachtain na Gaeilge
• Gaeilge 24
A campaign for a day where people are encouraged to speak Irish in the workplace/at home/generally throughout the day. Based on abstaining from speaking any other language except from Irish for a day. People register and receive sponshorship from relatives/ friends to complete the challenge. Collected money goes towards the cost of the campaign and to a charity. It is a good idea to give hoodies/ t-shirts to the participants so that they can recognise each other. Contact local businesses/ shops with Irish and encourage them to use it. More information here.
• Irish Ball (Bál na nGael)
Formal Occasion for the branch/group. Worth organising in a hotel with a meal and drinks and a band and DJ after. One should make posters and tickets and ensure that the menus and other notices are changed/ available in Irish. It is nice to give out annual awards then as well.
• Irish-Language Drama (Dráma Gaeilge)
You can choose a drama that already exists, write a completely new one or translate a drama that is in another language. A director with experience in drama is helpful and suggested. It is best to keep the amount of characters low for the first attempt. A location to perform the show. Stage/ Background.
Please find a list of other sample events here.