Organising an event for women members.


Part of being a women’s representative is working with your branch to organise events that will feed into support and advocacy for women members and build the union. To get started you may choose an easy small-scale event that marks a significant day in the calendar relating to women and gender equality. A morning tea to mark International Women’s Day (March 8) or Suffrage Day in Aotearoa (19 September) is a great way to engage women on campus and generate support for gender equality.

Significant gender equity days for member events

Checklist of 10 Steps for Planning an Event

  1. 1.

    Identify the purpose of the event. For example: to socialise, to gather information, to hear a presentation on a key issue from an invited speaker, to raise funds. 

  2. 2.

    Enlist support: Friends, TEU members, Branch organiser, Branch President(s), Branch Committee and/or Te Pou Whirinaki, the National Women’s Officer, including financial support. 

  3. 3.

    Think about all the different groups of women you would like to encourage to attend and how best to do this. 

  4. 4.

    Figure out day and time that will work for your branch and do a timeline noting when it would be appropriate to send out initial notice/reminder notice/final notice. 

  5. 5.

    If you decide on a speaker, check their availability early on. Speakers might include community leaders, researchers, politicians, student representatives etc.

  6. 6.

    Book the venue or ask the branch organiser/administrator to do this for you.

  7. 7.

    Design and send a simple (or fancy) flyer/email to advertise the event and request RSVPs. You may find outlook invitations work well because they put the event in people’s calendar.  There are some stock TEU posters including an ‘EmPOWERing women in Union’ poster accessible by your branch administrator. To get further assistance from the TEU Policy and Communications team, email: (Don’t be discouraged if you get a message back asking who is organising the men’s morning tea!!  Invite them to think about hosting such an event themselves at another time).

  8. 8.

    Book some catering of kai and drinks (tea/ coffee/ Juice/ Herbal teas!) Cake, muffins, savouries, soup and rolls have all gone down well in the past. Many caterers at institutions can cater with enough notice. Otherwise it may be possible to order one from a local bakery. 

  9. 9.

    Do a plan for the session – Identify someone to welcome everyone/thank everyone etc. If you are having a speaker, get some simple info to introduce them.  (The people doing the organising don’t have to do everything!)

  10. 10.

    Send a final reminder. If possible reply to the RSVPs and say you are looking forward to seeing them at the event and invite them to bring along a colleague. 

Think carefully about a family friendly approach to activities, events and meetings. This may include holding events at varying times of the day: lunch times, morning teas or even early morning can sometimes offer greater opportunity for women to participate than an after work event. When appropriate it may also be possible to hold family-friendly meetings where children are invited to attend.

During the event

  • Take along some background information about TEU and our women’s network. Ask the organiser to make enough copies for you. Take membership recruitment information with you. You may also wish to collect names of those who attend and develop an ongoing list of interested women.
  • Hold the event and have fun doing so.  
  • Take some photos and if possible send them to the Te Pou Whirinaki: or the TEU Communications and Campaigns Officer:
  • Try to ensure that those organising the event speak to every single person who comes along and make them welcome. 
  • Make sure you finish the event at the time you notified, even if people stay on and chat.

When running an event you may want to print out and take this Group Membership Form

After the event

  • Have a quick debrief with the organisers. 
  • Follow up on anything that needs to be followed up on e.g. a request for information; sending a thank you email or card to the speaker. 
  • Make sure you report back to the Branch Committee and Te Pou Whirinaki, the National Women’s Officer, and thank those who provided financial support etc.

Enjoy your success!