How exactly does one organize a world record attempt???


How exactly does one organize a world record attempt???

That was the Question of the Day back in January when Judy Aagard of Tiny Tots Diaper Service in California approached us with the idea of doing a simultaneous cloth diaper change. It sounded fun, and we loved the idea of tying it to longer-term cloth diaper advocacy efforts, but we had never done anything like this before. Fortunately, we're nothing if not well-connected within the cloth diaper industry! We quickly put together a core team of enthusiastic, can-do people and let the ideas roll...

The first question on the table was which type of event to do to satisfy Guinness World RecordsTM (GWR) requirements. Our options were to have different venues competing for the record (with only one winner) or to do a collaborative world record with participants at all sites counting toward the record. The problem? We needed to guarantee that we could have AT LEAST 10 (that's right, ten) sites participating with at least 25 people at each site. With a sense of taking the plunge, together we promised each other we'd get at least 10 sites organized.

Today, we're looking at more than 425 sites registered (so our initial concerns give us a little chuckle!) It turns out that cloth diaperers are a passionate bunch and were just looking for the opportunity to make a splash locally!

With such a huge turnout, managing logistics to enable success at each local event became our biggest concern. To that end, we scoured the GWR requirements and turned them into a version that was specific to our events. The website (greatclothdiaperchange.com) provides information for finding and hosting an event. On the host page of the website, we provided supporting items such as the logo, sample press releases, and a variety of evidence forms they'll need. We created a forum for discussion using a Facebook group so hosts could share information directly with one another. And we adopted a critical policy - this would be a grassroots effort. That policy steered us clear of event sponsorships (likely losing some overall endorsement funds), but empowered individuals and small businesses to drive the event. The creativity that this policy alone has unleashed could make a real difference in changing attitudes about cloth diapering.

We've had our share of growing pains, of course, as we've sought to clarify some of the minute details of the GWR requirements. To smooth the wrinkles, we gave several webinars to hosts to help answer questions and get their events properly organized. Judy has devoted much of her team at Tiny Tots to helping to handle the thousands of email messages and registrations coming in from hosts.

With a little more than a week to go until the event, it's exciting to imagine what an impact this event could have. I'm already counting it as a success for two reasons:

1. It proves that the RDA founders were on track when they decided to focus our efforts on local advocacy, with the support of local volunteers. This is where things happen.

2. It is already giving visibility to cloth diapers via the hundreds of local reporters who are in contact with local event hosts and who will hopefully witness the event.

If you're not already hosting an event, PLEASE find your nearest local event and plan to participate! greatclothdiaperchange.com

Heather McNamara
Executive Director, Real Diaper Association

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