3 Months Before
- Define the goals for your Science Café.
- Check out other cafés, in person (check out Find a Café for the café nearest you) or online at Café Stories and Science Cafés in the News.
- Consider the audience that your café will serve.
- Develop a budget and consider funding sources as needed.
- Contact potential sponsors, community groups, and/or partners to generate support for your café.
- Search for a moderator if you are not going to moderate the café.
- Choose a venue (visit in person if possible), and set a date and time for the event.
- Select topics for the first two café events.
- Name your café and register it (http://sciencecafes.org/register) to join the online community and get access to in-depth information. (You can always change the name later!)
2 Months Before
- Investigate potential guest scientists for the first two café events.
- Choose a moderator and confirm his or her participation.
- Create Facebook and Twitter pages, and/or website for your café.
- Select guest scientist(s) for the first two events and invite them to present.
- Consider and plan how you would like to evaluate the cafés.
1 Month Before
- Consider any audiovisual needs you will have.
- Develop a promotion plan.
- Reconfirm date, time, and other arrangements with the venue.
- Confirm the guest scientist’s availability and participation. Request his or her bio and contact information as well as any links to videos or multimedia (but NOT PowerPoints!)
- Develop text for email invitations, calendar listings, flyers etc. to promote your café.
- Share promotional information to partner organizations.
- Send out online invitations via email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
- Send out calendar listings to as many online and print publications as possible
1 Week Before
- Repeat online invitations via email, Facebook, and other social media.
- Prepare handouts, trivia questions, etc. as needed.
- Create a survey form and make copies.
- Check in to verify that the guest scientist is ready, share the schedule, and to help with any last-minute needs or questions.
- Confirm the schedule with the moderator.
- Gather all supplies needed for the café, including: audiovisual equipment, sign-in sheet and evaluation forms, pens and pencils, and NOVA scienceNOW DVD.
- Send out reminder online invitations.
- Don’t get nervous—get excited instead!
Day of the Cafe
- Arrive at the venue, arrange the furniture, and set up audiovisual equipment.
- Check sound levels and cue up the DVD.
- Make sure any refreshments you’ve arranged will be ready.
- Introduce the moderator and guest scientist to each other; chat together over drinks or appetizers.
- Greet early arrivals.
- Prepare/distribute the sign-in sheet.
- Let the crowd know that the event will be starting soon.
- Don’t fret about starting exactly on time, but don’t stray too far from the schedule.