Open Data Day[1] (ODD) is an annual, worldwide celebration of open data and an opportunity to show the importance of open data in improving our communities.

Not many individuals and organizations know about the meaningfulness of open data or why they might want to liberate their data from the restrictions of copyright, patents, and more. They also don't know how to make their data open—that is, publicly available for anyone to use, share, or republish with modifications.

This year ODD falls on Saturday, March 3, and there are events planned[2] in every continent except Antarctica. While it might be too late to organize an event for this year, it's never too early to plan for next year. Also, since open data is important every day of the year, there's no reason to wait until ODD 2019 to host an event in your community.

There are many ways to build local awareness of open data. Here are four ideas to help plan an excellent open data event any time of year.

1. Organize an entry-level event

You can host an educational event at a local library, college, or another public venue about how open data can be used and why it matters for all of us. If possible, invite a local speaker[3] or have someone present remotely. You could also have a roundtable discussion with several knowledgeable people in your community.

Consider offering resources such as the Open Data Handbook[4], which not only provides a guide to the philosophy and rationale behind adopting open data, but also offers case studies, use cases, how-to guides, and other material to support making data open.

2. Organize an advanced-level event

For a deeper experience, organize

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