Step 8: Final Preparations


You are almost there. Keep the following things in mind as the day gets closer:


Assign everyone a task and give them a nametag or ribbon so attendees can easily identify them as volunteers. Thank volunteers in your opening and/or closing remarks. We suggest having:

  • One greeter at the door.
  • One or two greeters at a table to take down registration information.
  • One greeter at the registration table throughout the day to answer questions.

Name tags and ribbons 

Providing nametags to attendees makes it easy for them to connect with one another. Consider providing color-coded stickers that survivors can stick to their name tags signifying whether they lost a child, sibling, parent, other relative, friend, or other. (For more details, see  2014 ISOSL Day Ideas for Programming .)

Room Set-Up 

  • Make sure you have more than enough chairs for everyone who has signed up.
  • Test the audiovisual equipment to make sure it works properly, and can be seen and heard from all seats at your site. Retest it the day before the event, and again the morning of the event.
  • If you will be serving food, make sure you have a table for it, as well as tablecloth, plates, utensils, cups, and napkins.
  • A safe place for candle lighting (see below), two candles and candle holders, and matches or a lighter. (Alternatively, two battery-operated flameless candles.)
  • Providing boxes of tissue is a nice touch.


Ask some of your volunteers to make large, clear signs that say "International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day." Place the signs where they can be easily seen, outside the building, inside the building if needed to find the gathering, and if you are using different rooms for other activities.

Opening Comments 

Prepare a short welcome explaining the purpose of the day (see  2014 ISOSL Day Key Messages ), thanking volunteers and donors, and giving a brief overview of what attendees should expect during the gathering.

Finalize any plans for food and/or local programming.

For more detailed information, download our 2014 ISOSL Day Organizer Manual