How to use and plan Esperanto Events
Every day, somewhere, Esperanto speakers meet one-on-one, in small local clubs, and in regional and special-purpose events. A larger Esperanto meeting is usually called a "Congress" or, in Esperanto, a Kongreso. Yearly events include national conventions, and the Universala Kongreso which is a huge international, worldwide convention. The national convention of the United States Esperanto speakers, hosted by E-USA (formerly ELNA,) drew 95 participants from 7 countries in 2005 when it was held in Austin, TX. The Universala Kongreso drew over 2300 people from over 70 different countries to the town of Vilnius, Lithuania in 2005.
These events are great experiences because they let you meet interesting people, let you hear different Esperanto speakers, and, if they are international, let you meet Esperanto speakers with whom you may not share another common language at all. (Typically, at a local club meeting in the United States, most people know English, but that is certainly not true at the Universala Kongreso!)
However, as E.F. Schumacher titled his book so long ago, "Small is Beautiful". Small events are much easier to organize than large ones. Why not consider hosting or attending a small kongreso in your area, perhaps with a specific theme? The E-USA newsletter and website are the best places to learn of planned congresses of all sizes, and of course if you plan one yourself, please tell E-USA so that they can help you promote it.
The four most important things to remember in organizing a kongreso are:
- Have fun.