Each year, thousands of people participate at institutions, parks, and backyards around the world. Events range from small family gatherings to community events drawing hundreds of visitors.

InOMN events do not need to follow a set agenda: you can tailor your event to match your available resources and expertise, and the needs and interests of your audience.

How to Host an Event in 7 Easy Steps

1. Consider your audience and setting.
***If your event is for family and friends only, see Moon Viewing Ideas for the Whole Family for suggestions.***
2. Check when the Moon will be visible from your event location.
3. Download InOMN Materials.
4. Advertise!
5. Register your event on the InOMN website!
6. Host – and have fun!!!
7. Evaluate!
Example InOMN Event

1. Consider your audience and setting

A. Participants: Who would you like to come to your event?

  • How many people would you like to be there?
  • Will this event be open to the public? Will you confine it to members of a club or society? Members and their families?
  • Could you involve school groups?

B. Location: Where will you host your event? Make sure you have all of the proper permissions and permits to use your desired venue, and then consider:

  • How many people will this venue hold?
  • Will this size be sufficient to accommodate all of your desired participants?
  • Is there easily accessible parking from which your participants can safely reach this venue, with enough parking spots for all of your expected participants?
  • Does this venue have both an indoor and outdoor area? Would you like to use them both?
  • Does your venue have access to restrooms?
  • Will you be able to turn off enough outside lights so that they do not interfere with telescope viewing?
  • Can you make sure there will not be any sprinklers watering the lawn, if you will be using a grassy area for observations?
  • What will you do in case of rain?

C. Get help!
Who will be assisting you with your program?

  • Are there amateur astronomers in your community? Could they bring telescopes, assist with viewing, and/or provide a speaker (if you choose to have one)?
  • Are there any colleges in the area with astronomy departments or clubs? Would they be willing to help host your event?
  • Will you have enough people to help you set up, run, and clean up after your event?
  • Check out the Find Partners page if you’d like help connecting to local astronomical societies or the Speakers Bureau.

2. Check when the Moon will be visible from your event location.
If you are hosting an International Observe the Moon Night event, it’s important that your guests have the opportunity to observe the Moon! Check the times of Moon rise and set in your location, and remember that if you are in an area with a lot of trees, buildings, mountains, or other obstacles that block your view of the horizon, it may be best to schedule your event well after Moon rise or well before Moon set.

3. Download InOMN Materials
InOMN materials are available on the Event Materials page, which has all of the materials you need to start preparing for your InOMN event.

4. Advertise!
Now that you’ve got all the plans made, it’s time to attract your participants! Whatever your intended audience, we have materials to help you advertise your event.

5. Register Your Event on the InOMN site
Register your event on the InOMN website to put your event and location details on the map!

6. Host – and have fun!!!
The main event! Make sure your participants, your volunteers — and you! — are (safely!) engaged, excited, and learning and sharing information about the Moon. Check out the Example InOMN Event for ideas on how the flow of your evening could occur. Feel free to modify the example event as needed or desired for your particular audience and facilities.

7. Evaluate!
We hope that all InOMN events will be resounding successes — and if they are, we would like to know about it! However, just as importantly, we’d also like to know if anything did not work out as you hoped it would, and what we could do to help you improve your future InOMN events. Please fill out a host’s (facilitators) evaluation to let us know how it went and how we can help.

In the host’s (facilitators) evaluation, we will ask you to summarize the experience of your participants: What did they think was the most fun? The most informative? What would they change for next year? Knowing these answers can help you be an even better host the next time around — and help us to provide better materials, training, information, etc. in the coming years to help both you and your participants have even better experiences at future InOMN events.

Please encourage your attendees to fill out the participant’s evaluation at your InOMN event to ensure their voices and opinions are heard, and their suggestions considered.

Example InOMN Event