Brain Awareness Week (BAW) 2014—March 10-16—is still more than half a year away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning your events. For those new to BAW, it’s a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Public outreach that propagates breakthroughs in recent brain research can help children and adults learn how to live a more brain-healthy lifestyle and, by increasing the public’s awareness, also increase their support for funding further research. With these benefits in mind, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI) created Brain Awareness Week in 1996.
You might think it’s too early to start talking about an awareness campaign that’s in mid-March, but over and over again in their Partner Reports our Brain Awareness Week partners stressed the importance of starting preparations early. Partners discussed how an earlier start would have helped with media exposure, creating buzz, finding and reserving a venue, and working with schools and teachers, who have to prepare curricula early in the year.
There are a ton of great resources on the BAW website to help get your Brain Awareness Week plans in motion. Reading through the BAW partner reports can help you find new ideas or strategies for events. It also helps to look through the amazing partner photos in the BAW photo gallery for inspiration. Finally, the event ideas and planning, and outreach tools pages on the BAW website have advice and resources for partners and events of all types and sizes.
Now is a great time to start brainstorming for Brain Awareness Week. If you are not a BAW partner, go to the BAW website (www.dana.org/baw) and sign up today. It’s free and allows you to post your event information to the BAW International Calendar (free publicity), as well as to order free promotional materials and educational publications in bulk quantities. The site also has downloadable logos and other graphic materials like flyers, posters, and web banners. Make sure to take full advantage of the resources on the BAW website to help you plan your event. Also, if you are on Facebook, you can become a fan of the Brain Awareness Week Facebook page where we post helpful ideas and advice.
– Simon Fischweicher