Deciding to Host

How this Playbook Helps

WELCOME! We’re glad you’re here. Before we get started with suggestions and how-tos, we want to introduce you to this Playbook. We realize that putting on a fair can be a big effort. Our hope is that the materials we’ve developed will help streamline the work and get you the results you’re after.

Several leaders from a few communities in Massachusetts that have hosted events – Concord, the Berkshires and Agawam – got together and pooled their resources to give you a jump-start and a set of tools for your own event. We recommend that you read through the Playbook once and then spend more time with those sections that are most useful to you. There is a lot of (great) information and resources in the Playbook. Don’t be daunted! Go for it!

This Playbook will help you attract a broader audience, involve schools and students in meaningful ways, inspire guests at the fair to commit to energy-saving actions, measure the pledged actions and their environmental impact, and plan future programs that meet your community’s needs. This Playbook will save you time, effort and money because you won’t have to start from scratch.

While the Playbook offers detailed instructions, we realize that every community will have ideas of its own. There is plenty of room to improvise – and we’d love to learn how you innovate. Please let us know!

Throughout this guide you will find buttons and links that enable you to quickly send us an email. We’ll be in touch soon afterward.

We know this from experience…

When you see the crowds arrive at your event and you witness their optimism and determination as they choose actions to reduce their CO2 emissions, you’ll know that your effort was well worth it.

Suggested Steps

Click the sections below for helpful details and resources:

Assistant Superintendent, Sheila Hoffman, Agawam

Video: Assistant Superintendent, Sheila Hoffman, Agawam, on Cooler Community Expo

As much as you can, engage town/city leaders to get their support. These important people include the Town Manager, Mayor, Superintendent of Schools, the Energy Committee Chair and anyone else interested and in a position to help promote and provide resources for your Fair.

These leaders can:

  • Provide overall sponsorship
  • Communicate the value of this event to the community
  • Endorse and promote the fair
  • Engage participation from town departments and schools
  • Provide financial backing and in-kind resources such as facilities and equipment
  • Actively participate in the fair to set the tone and encourage community action.

BEST PRACTICE: In Agawam, the whole project was triggered by the Mayor’s endorsement, which led to support by the School Superintendent and the Energy Committee. Fantastic synergy!

The Mayor’s endorsement

The Mayor’s endorsement

TIME SAVER: You can save a lot of time by using these tools to help you introduce the idea to your community.

  1. Cooler Community Introductory Presentation
  2. Introductory Video
  3. Resolution by Mayor Sapelli, Agawam

Consider whether or not the following key success factors are largely in place in your community. If they are, you’re likely to have a great event!

  • Supportive community leaders (e.g., Mayor, Town Manager, Select Board, Energy Committee)
  • A School Superintendent who wants to collaborate
  • Teachers who would like to help students host student exhibits
  • A 2 – 3 person leadership team that is motivated and willing to take charge
  • A core group of volunteers (8 – 10) with a variety of skills
  • Financial rebates for energy efficiency and renewable energy, including programs for low-to-moderate income groups
  • The ability to raise some money to pay for the cost of the fair (see the Budget section of Organizing for Success)