This timeline for planning a field day includes tasks that should be completed two to three months before the field day, one month before, two weeks before and the day before.

Two to three months before the field day

  • Finalize the site, program, schedule and speakers. Create a flyer (see Downloadable Tools and Templates for an easy-to-use flyer template).
  • Identify the audience. This may include fellow producers, Cooperative Extension and other ag professionals, researchers, students, community members, government officials and the media.
  • Contact targeted organizations or groups with preliminary information about the field day.
  • Contact SARE Outreach and your region’s Communications Specialist for assistance promoting on their event calendar, social media, newsletter and blogs. They may also be able to assist with media outreach and press lists.
  • Develop a budget and choose a fee. Investigate the costs associated with those arrangements you will make as you get closer to the event, such as food, AV equipment (microphones, speakers, projectors, etc.) and printing.
  • Begin identifying and contacting media outlets to determine their schedule of deadlines. Develop a media calendar with deadlines (see the Working with the Media section). This will help with delivery of press releases as the event nears.
  • Start social media postings and send save-the-dates.
  • Decide if people need to register, and if so, how they will do so.

One month before the field day

  • Continue with media outreach and invitations.
  • Monitor registration and close it if you reach capacity.
  • Order portable toilets and canopies if needed.
  • Order any AV equipment you will need.
  • Start preparing remarks and plan the walk through the field. Time it.
  • Order any food you are planning to serve. If possible, aim for a creative menu using local produce and meats. If serving food, check local food safety regulations.
  • Find someone to photograph and/or video record the event. See the Capturing the Event with Video section.
  • Order SARE materials to distribute. Visit the SARE WebStore for information on how to order books, bulletins and much more. Check out Resources and Learning to see what is available.
  • Start sending a map and schedule to those who register.
  • Create handouts.

Two weeks before the field day

  • Start sending press releases, PSAs and calendar items. Follow up by telephone with key editors and writers to ensure coverage.
  • Monitor registration and close it if you reach capacity.
  • Buy name tags and other supplies.
  • Confirm the food order or purchase it now. Purchase water.
  • Make signs with the name of the event and to identify parking, restrooms, registration, gathering area. See the Downloadable Tools and Templates section.
  • Create signs with directions, if it is possible to place them on roads near the site. See the Downloadable Tools and Templates section.
  • Print any informational materials that will be distributed.
  • Check the weather for the next couple of weeks. Will you be able to hold the event outside?

Day before the field day

  • Set up a registration table.
  • Set up a food and beverage table.
  • If possible, place signs with directions on nearby roads.
  • Place signs to identify parking, restrooms, registration and the gathering area.