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Guidelines for Hosting outside speakers or Groups

General Guidelines, as applicable, for Hosting an LAEV Special Event or Outside Meeting on USTU Properties

Originally created 2005 updated 2013 and 2015 and 2016. Have ideas for updating or clarifying these guidelines? Send changes and suggestions to Lois crsp@igc.org

Purpose of these guidelines: To try to create an environment that is inviting, friendly and connecting for people, that is environmentally sensitive, and that is a zero waste oriented event.



1. Try to meet with speaker or event coordinator 30 to 60 minutes before event to set room up to his/her satisfaction and make sure equipment is working okay. Arrange chairs, generally in a circle or semi circle, whether in the lobby, courtyard or #201. If more chairs are needed, borrow from other spaces and/or neighbors. Know approximately how many are expected. Better to have more chairs than less, so you don’t have to keep bringing more in. In creating a congenial event, it
is important that people have as much visual access to one another as practical, so please refrain from setting chairs up auditorium style, if at all possible.

3. Use of CRSP stand ­alone projector: Make arrangements with Lois ahead of time, so you know where it is, if you are not using the digital projector in #201. Make sure there is someone present that knows how to set it up and trouble shoot either projector. Sometimes, speakers do bring their own projectors. You may need a power strip and extension cord and/or an adaptor for a mac which may or may not be in the projector pocket.. If you are using the north wall of the lobby, best plug is on the 1st floor landing beside the bookcase. Be sure that any cords are taped down if needed to eliminate any safety hazard. When show is through, turn lamp off to cool down before power is turned off (to extend lamp life; lamps cost about $400). If using stand­alone projector, make arrangements for speakers.


1. For special events in lobby when a sign­-in list and/or fees or donations are being collected: Have a table on the porch positioned such that people have to stop at it before entering, perpendicular or parallel to the front doors (weather permitting), or just inside the front door perpendicular to the front lobby door, if too cold outside.

2. Provide a sign on the table stating something to the effect:

Welcome to Los Angeles Eco­ Village AND [name of sponsoring or co­-sponsoring organization].
Name of speaker, book title (if applicable) or event
Please sign in, get a name tag, make a donation [pay your fee, if either are appropriate] and enjoy!
Suggested donation: $______ per person. Sliding scale okay. And/or “no one turned away for
lack of funds

3. Have a box or envelope to receive the money, and make sure the box is monitored until all the money is counted and secured.

4. Have guests make checks out to (whichever organization is receiving the funds, but NOT to L.A. Eco­ Village).

5. Have blank paper for receipts if people request them. Receipts are written as
“Date. Received from [name and $ [amount] for [name of event]. [Your name] for ( whichever organization is receiving
the money).

6. Provide name tags from wide masking tape or from recycled business cards with masking tape backing. Use markers and print names large so they can be easily seen from 5 feet away. Better to have someone with nice printing do name tags. First names only are ok and city or affiliation (which helps people network in their geographical or interest area). Eco ­Villagers who are hosting should have “Eco­ Village host” written under their names.

7. Have people sign-­in on the sign­-in sheets and ask them to please print clearly (we have lost dozens of contacts of visitors from past events because their info is not readable). Ask for name, zip code, phone number and email address.


1. Ask a few Eco­ Villagers to function as co­-hosts, if helpful. Co­-hosts are observant of who has arrived, invite people to look around the lobby and gardens (but remind them to stay in upper courtyard), pick up LAEV literature from literature table or stand, introduce people to one another (easy to do when everyone is wearing a name tag), talks to people who are alone or look isolated and try to connect them with others, lets interested people know about our public tours, asks people how they know about LAEV, tells people where bathrooms are, lets people know about “no smoking” and to please pick butts up when they smoke on the street, etc.

2. Specific jobs for co-­hosts include: Removing ramp (being cautious to save bolts on hall white board ledge), room set­up, reception/Check in/sign-­in/money collection/name-tags, social aspects as noted above, staff refreshment table, ensuring that technical assistance is available for projector if needed, facilitating Q&A, ensuring speaker has water, wrap­-up, and clean-­up (putting tables and chairs back where they belong), and, speaker fee arrangement if applicable.

3. Ensure that bathrooms are cleaned and stocked with soap, clean towels and toilet paper. Ensure that kitchens (#201 or outdoor) are tidy.


1. Make sure information is maintained neatly on a table that is primarily for LAEV information. If low on handouts, make copies or ask Lois for more.


1. Provide a table for speaker if they are setting up information or book sale. Assign someone to work with speaker so speaker does not have to be doing three things at the same time.

2. Provide water for speaker to last through the whole talk.

3. Provide facilitation assistance for speaker Q&A.


1. This should be well positioned without interfering with other things going on. In the past, it has sometimes been on the front porch next to the registration table, sometimes on the outdoor kitchen counter, sometimes on one of the brown tables relocated between the piano and the courtyard French doors, and sometimes in the south hall under the white board. The lobby itself may be too crowded. Provide a tablecloth or get one from #201 or Lois.

3. Coordinating host can decide if refreshments will require donation or be free. If for donation or fee, make sure there is a way to collect and secure the money, and who it goes to.

4. Because we are a public demonstration of living more ecologically and cooperatively, outside groups using our space (lobby, #201 or courtyard) should be informed by their USTU host that our practice for bringing food or refreshments onto USTU properties should be restricted to vegetarian options, and a minimum to zero of throw­away packaging. Please no plastic bottled water or drinks. We have large 5 gallon thermos containers for water, and we have non ­throwaway eating ware for up to 50 people or so.

5. Make sure there is a compost bucket and recycling bin accessible and announce to group what goes where.


At about 10 to 15 minutes past the scheduled event start time, facilitator, MC or co­-hosts should gather everyone into seats.

1. MC/facilitator/coordinator/convener coordinator warmly welcomes and thanks everyone for coming, and facilitates introductions, gives a 1 to 3 minute intro to what LAEV is about. If group is small (say 10 to 30), everyone should take about 15­20 seconds to say their name, what neighborhood or organization they’re from or represent, and any specific interest they have in being at the event). If group is large (more than 30), MC should direct small breakout groups of 3 to 5 people who don’t know each other to go around for five minutes and get to know one another (with about 1 minute per person).

2. MC/facilitator/coordinator/convener makes sure everyone knows where bathrooms are and our “no smoking” policies (smoke on the street and pick up your butts for the trash, please).

3. MC/facilitator/coordinator/convener surveys audience to determine how many are here for the first time. If the number is significant, give brief explanation of LAEV. If number is not significant, simply refer people to LAEV information table and to LAEV co-­hosts who should stand or raise hands so people can see who they are.

4. MC/facilitator/coordinator/convener makes relevant announcements about other LAEV upcoming events and/or our website for info.

5. MC/facilitator/coordinator/convener introduces speaker (use biographical info from flyer)

6. Speaker takes it from there.

7. When talk is done, it’s important for MC/facilitator/coordinator/convener to take over the Q&A period to call on people and tactfully cut people off, if necessary, who are starting a back and forth conversation or simply being irrelevant to the interests of the whole group. Also, to be sensitive to when people are starting to leave, and to bring the whole event to a close in a timely manner, thanking and applauding the speaker, and inviting those who want to continue dialogue to stay after a break. Depending on the length of the talk, it may be worthwhile to simply schedule a break immediately following the talk, and ask people to come back in 10 or 15 minutes for the Q&A. Play this by ear.


1. Some speakers make free presentation. Others have negotiated straight fees for their talks. Others have agreed to arrangements of a 50­50 split with CRSP or have made arrangements with other sponsoring organization (if for CRSP, Lois takes these monies in and writes a CRSP check to the speaker).

2. If the event is sponsored by another organization, make sure organizer of event has clear understanding with speaker about payment, if any. Some groups that use our spaces, pay space rental fees. Those checks should be made out to USTU.

3. If Eco­ Village residents are expected to pay, the coordinating host should make that known to the Community via listserve. In the past, and currently, when CRSP sponsors events, all LAEV residents have been invited to attend for free. In general, if CRSP is sponsoring the event, this policy is still in force, unless otherwise notified.


1. Money box and change if needed.
2. Receipts or blank paper for them
3. Masking tape and Sharpie marker for name-tags (or business Cards for name-tags if preferred)
4. Pens
5. Sign in sheet(s) on clipboard or folder with large envelope for money if not using money box.
7. Markers for name-tags
8. “Welcome to special event” sign
9. If event being held in #201, ensure that there are good white board markers.

Originally created for CRSP events/activities in 2005 and events being hosted by LAEV intentional community members, but hopefully, it makes sense for current USTU residents for hosting meetings and events.