Make your Seniors Event a Success

Make your seniors’ event a success


Morning tea is always popular – it brings people
in and keeps them going!

Event planning 

Event planning and more guides to come, but in the meantime, these broad guidelines from the World Health Organisation are a great place to start and our 12 Tips for hosting successful workshops/talks/seminars.

If you are running social activities for seniors or older Territorians, consider following the broad guidelines* below:

  • Find a location that is convenient to older people with affordable, flexible transportation and/or parking.
  • Give the option of participation with friend or caregiver.
  • Time your events which are both convenient for older people (early) during the day and appropriate to the climate (e.g. heat, humidity, wet).
  • Try to make admission to an event is open (no membership required).
  • Make entry/check-in as quick a process as possible that does not require older people to stand queuing for a long time.
  • Keep events and activities are affordable with no hidden or surprise costs.
  • Organise a wide range of activities  to appeal to a diverse population and to keep people engaged and interested.
  • Encourage people of different ages and cultural backgrounds to participate.
  • Ensure your venue’s facilities are accessible (bathrooms and kitchens)
  • Activities and events are well-communicated to older people in a variety of ways – press/print as well as digital.

COTA meeting rooms

If you wish to make use of COTA NT’s large activity room or board room at Spillett House in Darwin, please view more 

12 tips to running successful workshops for seniors

In addition to the WHO guidelines above, we found following the tips below worked really well too. Please feel free to contact us with any more suggestions – we are always happy to improve.
Not too late, not too long and don’t start until everyone can see and hear you comfortably.

  1. Length Aim to make a typical information-based workshop or seminar between 45 minutes and one hour in duration.
  2. A longer session at Spillett House (Darwin) should not run any longer than two hours (due to 2 hour city parking restrictions, most people will leave sessions early).
  3. Refreshments Make sure that tea/coffee, water and biscuits are available (at Spillett House, pre-order if you are not a regular user of the rooms). Morning tea is always popular – and a lunch even more so.
  4. Any other refreshments provided should be healthy and nutritious options, and wherever possible catering for diabetic, gluten-free dietary requirements.
  5. Keep all refreshments refrigerated or covered until serving. Make tongs available to avoid unnecessary handling. Consider using packaged portions.
  6. Housekeeping and Health and Safety guidelines must be announced before each presentation (click for House Keeping Notes for Spillett House)
  7. Presenters are encouraged to use a (hand-held or roving) microphone to enable all participants to hear what is being said.
  8. Presenters are encouraged to speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
  9. Presentations should be interactive wherever possible, humour (where relevant) helps to keep people engaged and interested in the topic.
  10. Take-homes Samples to show, information brochures and/ or giveaways are always appreciated by participants.
  11. Facilities PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos and Internet resources can be viewed using the provided laptop and monitor in the large meeting room (presentations should be brought on USB sticks). ZOOM is also now available – but if you are using this facility, it is highly recommended that you have a run-through of set up prior to your activity day.
  12. Keep it entertaining. Keep it relevant. 

Further information

More information about age-friendly communities including guidelines for social participation are published by the *World Health Organisation (Global Age Friendly Cities – A Guide).


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