How to Run a Town Hall

It is important to remember that there is no single “right” way to run a town hall. We will run through some best practices and frequently asked questions, but in the end this is YOUR event and YOU know your community best!

Pre-Event Checklist

After the Event Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

Any advice for running an event for the first time?

Be confident! Putting this together is no small feat and you are doing it because you care about these issues and your community. Don’t be afraid to cut candidates/officials off if they run too long. Don’t feel bad about asking audience members to mind their tone and remain respectful.

What happens if we run out of space? What happens if we run out of time?

Is there standing room or an overflow area you can utilize? If not, ask for contact information and offer to follow up about future opportunities. Do people still have questions that they aren’t going to get a chance to ask? Can the guests offer to follow up later? Can you plan a follow up event in the near future?

How do I deal with protesters/disruptors?

Always remain calm and respectful. Remind everyone that this is a dialogue and, even if they disagree, they can engage constructively and respectfully. Let everyone know they can have a turn to ask a question.

What kind of questions should we ask?

This is totally up to you and the attendees! We know some of the most impactful moments come from personal stories. Share why this issue is important to you and why you care so deeply.