December 8, 2011

Mega Booth Planner

[Adopted from The LA Times Book Fair - Event Management Guidelines]

The WhyIslam SoCal team has put together an excellent set of guidelines for managing their extra-ordinary mega event, The LA Times Book Fair. You will find the following guidelines very helpful and can customize them to coordinate an event of this size in your local area.

Please call us at 1-877-Why-Islam if you wish to speak to our Dawah Booths Support team who can help you manage dawah booths locally.


To convey the message of Islam by distributing free material, primarily copies of the Holy Qur’an, to the general attendees of the LA Times Book Festival.



Why Islam has consistently increased its presence at major festivals around the country. In LA Times Book Fair, we setup Daawah Booths at opposite ends of the Book Festival to generate a decent level of exposure. Given that the attendees of this festival are regular readers; our main goal is to provide everyone an opportunity to receive a Free Qur’an. In addition to the Qur’an, we also provide free Why Islam Pamphlets and Qur’an CD’s. The booths are staffed by volunteers from all around Southern California, mainly Why Islam members. This booth is one of the largest Why Islam booths nationwide.



Refer to the ‘Booth Supplies and Expense Sheet’ for a complete breakdown of each category.


Items Total
Daawah Material
Display Material
Support Material
Miscellaneous Supplies


Suggested Positions

In order to be more organized, effective and efficient, the following positions should be formed under the dawah booth committee:


Project Manager

  1. Overall manager of the project
  2. Facilitates the committee meetings
  3. Implements this Handbook
  4. Reports directly to the Dawah Committee
  5. Absolutely everything relating to the look of the booth needs to be run through the Project Manager (i.e. signage, layout, material, EVERYTHING)


Booth Managers

  1. Overall managers of their respective booths
  2. Oversee the setup and maintenance of the booth
  3. Coordinate volunteer arrival and orientation
  4. Ensure that this document’s checklist is completed


Fundraising Coordinator

  1. Responsible for establishing a budget
  2. Coordinates fundraising efforts for the project
  3. Ensures that all needed funds are collected


Committee Members

  1. Active participants and volunteers
  2. Share input, experience and innovative ideas


Outreach Coordinator

  1. Responsible for advertisement of the event
  2. Work with fundraising chair to raise money at different Islamic organizations
  3. Coordinate with the local masajid and MSA Dawah committees for resources, volunteers, and complementary booths
  4. Coordinate with local Latino Muslim organizations to cater Spanish speaking folks


General Project Timeline


This is a basic breakdown of what needs to be done and in what time frame. The committee should provide a more detailed version of this.


Seven months prior to event

  1. Appoint a Project Manager
  2. Solicit committee membership
  3. Reserve your location(s) for next year’s festival


Three months prior to event

  1. Establish regular committee meetings
  2. Study and implement valuable additions to our presence at the Festival
  3. Develop the design of each booth
  4. Start to develop a fundraising plan
  5. Place order for all Daawah material


One month prior to event

  1. Contact all local Muslim organizations, Masajid and businesses and inform them of our presence at the Festival
  2. Begin advertisement of the event through digital media: facebook, email, etc.
  3. Develop a press release to be sent out to local news agencies
  4. Solicit volunteers from the Muslim community
  5. Collect all necessary supplies


Before the Festival

  1. One week before the event:
  • Setup final pre-event meeting with the committee and the Dawah Committee
  1. Thursday:
  • Setup mandatory volunteer orientations through respective regional WhyIslam teams
  • Check if all materials (including the Qur’an shipment) have arrived on time and ready to be loaded next day.


Tasks during the Festival:


  1. Call trucking company to rent and schedule a truck right before Jumah
  2. Transport bags and brochures from WhyIslam office to the truck by Asr
  3. Get hired help, if necessary
  4. (For more tasks, see appendix)


  1. Mandatory on-site Volunteer Orientation (before hours being)
  2. End of the day, pick up valuable items (ex: Pamphlet holders, head phones, etc.)



  1. End of the day, distribute dawah bags (consists of Qur’an, other materials) to all workers, event staff, and clean-up crew.


Post Event Task:

Before July

  1. Thorough evaluation of the Festival
  2. Final reconciliation of all Daawah material
  3. Submit project report to the Dawah Committee
  4. Possibly hold a volunteer banquet


Suggestions and New Ideas

[Record ideas generated by team meeting prior to the event]






Event letter from Festival Coordinator:


I hope you are just as excited as we are for the next LA Times Festival of Books! We greatly appreciate your participation in this year’s event and everything you do to make it such a huge success.

A few final notes/comments in preparation for this weekend:

1. Exhibitor Manual: The exhibitor manual can be downloaded from the event website: See the “Exhibitors” tab and click on “2009 Exhibitor Manual” to download. This document has been created to fully brief you as an exhibitor so please take the time to review it before arriving on-site.

2. You should have received your parking passes, loading zone placard (Zones C-J only) and exhibitor wristbands by now. These were all shipped out over a week ago to the address provided on your Exhibitor Application. If you have yet to receive your exhibitor materials, please let us know immediately. If you recently signed up to exhibit and just received confirmation of your booth number late last week or this week, please allow additional time for your materials to arrive.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR PARKING VOUCHERS/LOADING ZONE PASS. We will not be able to replace lost/forgotten parking passes.
See attached UCLA map for an overview of all parking locations. The Festival map has also been attached again for your reference.

3. LOAD-IN/LOAD-OUT: Although we will have staff on-hand to assist with load-in/out as much as possible, please arrive prepared to load-in as quickly and efficiently as possible. Please provide YOUR OWN HAND CARTS if needed. With 300+ sponsors and exhibitors to set-up, it will behoove you to be as self-sufficient as possible to ensure that your booth is ready to go before the Festival opens at 10am on Saturday. We understand that some folks will require special assistance and our staff will be more than happy to oblige. All we ask is for everyone’s patience as we attempt to assist anyone who needs it.

4. SATURDAY NIGHT: Please cover your items overnight and we highly suggest removing anything moisture-sensitive from the ground. While there is general event security, we advise you to bring a tarp/something similar & zip ties to cover the front of your booth. It goes without saying to bring anything valuable with you when you leave the site Saturday night.

5. NEVER leave your booth or materials unattended, particularly on Sunday for load-out. There will be PLENTY of staff on-site (indicated by T-shirt or credential) that would be happy to guard your items for a short period of time if you need to step away and don’t have your own staff to assist you.

If you have any final questions/comments, please do not hesitate to call or email. NOTE: I will be on-site beginning Thursday afternoon with intermittent access to email.

It has been our please working with all of you and we’re extremely excited for a successful event this weekend! Your thoughts/comments are important to us, so any positive feedback or constructive criticism would be much appreciated in hopes of continuing to improve this event in the future.

Thanks and we’ll see you this weekend!
Kristin Wyatt
IMG – LA Times Festival of Books
2049 Century Park East, Suite 2460
Los Angeles, CA 90067


Friday Tasks

Task Person Responsible
1 Transport bags and brochures from Waqas’ home to the truck on Friday by Asr
2 Call trucking company (contact info and truck type in the attached 2008 receipt) to rent and schedule a truck right before Jumah in Garden Grove.
3 Get hired help from the nearby Home depot. For location call Br. Housam (714) 383-1526
4 Park it in the masjid right after Jumah.
5 Get dollies and other material from the storage: posters, banners, stationary, labels, anything you have room for. Bring it to the truck before Asr as Masjid closes early.
6 Load it by 6 PM with Qurans (already there), brochures (to be brought by Br. Shan) and bags (to be brought by Br. Shan).
7 See if the hired help can come back at 5 AM next day Saturday. If yes see if they can arrange their own transportation back or if someone can drop them back.
8 Drive truck to UCLA at 6am (Call Br. Hussain on your way to keep the loading pass ready) and unload the books at both our booths
9 Drive the truck back on Sunday night or Monday morning to the WhyIslam Office and unload the remaining material.
10 Pick hired help on the way to unload it.  
11 Return the truck.


Saturday Tasks

Task Person Responsible


Sunday Tasks

Tasks Person Responsible



(Once a note is adopted as standard practice then it will become part of the actual handbook):

  1. Get more involved with the programming of the Festival. Possibly have speakers or reserve some stage time (recite Qur’an, lectures on hot Islamic topics, stories of Convert, Q&A of Islam…etc.)
  2. Look into advertising in the Festival Program (hand out)
  3. “Free Qur’an” shirts
  4. Contact MSA for their resources.
  1. Plenty Qur’ans and other materials in Spanish needed along with Spanish du’ats.
  2. Plenty Qurans needed in Persian (for Iranian community)
  3. Security/crisis management (appointed by Booth managers)
  1. Additional booth near the festival (if possible)
  2. Revise Evaluations: procedure, process, questions, etc…



  1. Volunteers w/ Tshirts- w/ booth number & catchy phrase- walk around crowded areas
  2. WhyIslam teams do mock dialogues specifically focused on Bookfair 4 weeks in advance
  3. Work on more efficient system of stacking Qur’ans/Pamphlets in booth, as well as a system of restocking on the tables
  4. Big, eye-catching images (e.g. Hajj, Qur’an display, etc) to attract people to booth
  5. Play Qur’an? Have headphones set up in a decent-looking manner- could have sign saying “listen to the Qur’an”

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