Democracy Summer House Party Toolkit

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THANK YOU FOR HOLDING A JUNE 16th EVENT!

Schedule and Agenda

Arrange your schedule around the time of the livestream, allowing half an hour for setup and testing equipment, half an hour for guest speakers, and some time afterward for discussion and interaction, as well as clean-up.

Sample Schedule

5:30 - Volunteers arrive, setup and testing of tech equipment

6:00 - 6:30 - Registration, mingling

6:30 - Welcome and introduction by host/spokesperson from your group

6:50 - Pep talk or guest speaker

7:00 - 7:40 Livestream

7:45 - Post-livestream discussion and strategy session

7:50 - Clean-up 

Note: This is just an example. Adjust your schedule around whatever time makes sense for you and your guests and your plan for introductory speakers.

 

Speakers

As event organizers, you will set the tone and agenda of your meeting. Take a few minutes to welcome people, let them know practical details about the schedule and venue, and get them fired up. Don't be afraid to take notes with you on key points you want to cover - it's easy to forget once you're up there. Here are talking points you can use to introduce Rights & Democracy!

There are a number of people who would be powerful and impactful speakers at your event, and it is worth inviting a few to take part, such as local volunteers and organizers, representatives from advocacy groups and unions who have experience in the sort of work you want to do or individuals among your group whose lives have been directly impacted by policy. If you don’t have any speakers at your event, that’s okay too - you’ll be great!


Venue

If your home is not a suitable location for the house party, ask a friend or look for a venue with reliable internet/wi-fi, sufficient space and seating for at least 30% of your anticipated crowd (giving priority to the elderly and people with disabilities).

Think through the logistics of your meeting. If people will drive to the meeting, is there enough space for people to park? Is the address clearly marked? Will the meeting happen at dinner time, and if so do you want to ask guests to bring a snack or dish to share? Is your venue accessible for people with disabilities?

Other venue options may include:

  • Your home/backyard with webcast setup available (this is definitely free and preferred!)
  • A library meeting room
  • A café or pub (many will allow you to use the space on a 'slow' night)
  • A union hall or meeting room
  • A college lecture hall outside of normal class hours
  • An apartment or dorm common room


Tech  Requirements

For Small Events (under 10 attendees):

A single computer or television with internet streaming capabilities and good sound will do. If using a computer, tablet or laptop, test its audio capabilities first. Turn on a spoken word track, turn the volume to maximum, and step back. If you can still clearly hear what is being said from 10'-15' away, that should suffice for a small crowd.

For Large Events (more than 10 attendees):

There are a number of different options you can consider for larger events. Many venues will already have projection, audio or streaming equipment. If so, be sure to check it before your guests arrive. A few options might include:

●   Laptop projector and speakers

●   AppleTV

●   Chromecast (if TV has USB port)

●   Roku (if TV has USB port)

Most importantly, be sure your venue has reliable internet/Wi-fi.


Event Promotion


Once you have pinned down location for your livestream event, please register your event at www.radvt.org/democracy2017.

When you post your event on the RAD website, be sure to:

  • Include details that may encourage people to come, e.g. topics and speakers.
  • Input a capacity slightly higher than your venue can hold, to allow for no-shows
  • Include details that make it easy to reach your venue, such as nearby bus stops, parking options or accessibility information.
  • Set yourself to receive emails when guests sign up, this way you will have their email addresses and can reach out to them if there is a change in venue or schedule.

We will send you a link to your event page so you can invite your friends and family by emailing them the link to your event. Post the link on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Front Porch Forum (sample post), or on meetup.com. Ask everyone you know to spread the word!

Rights & Democracy will send a targeted email to members in your area to help promote your house party.

If you need to update your event after it’s been registered, please contact jeffrey@radvt.org

 

Other Ways to Publicize

A defining feature of any movement is that it continues to grow and gain momentum. Inviting friends, and even known Rights & Democracy supporters/members, will help you build a core volunteer team. But it's also important to reach out beyond your normal social sphere, in order to truly engage with your community. Consider using:

●   Press advisory (sample advisory) and event notifications to local newspapers

●   Fliers posted where those impacted by issues you're addressing may see them

●   Signage, posters, social media, local community organizing pages, etc.



Confirmation

Before your event, reach out to the people who have RSVP'd. This can be through a call, text or group email - whatever is most convenient for you:

  • Ask if they have questions, or need directions.

  • Ask whether they would like to volunteer to help with setup, take down, food preparation, overseeing sign-in, creating signage, even making calls to other attendees - whatever you need!

  • Allowing volunteering is a great way to increase turnout and help your attendees be active participants in something, not just spectators.

 

Sign In

As people turn out to your event, invite them to use this form to sign in. At the end of the gathering, have attendees fill out these commitment cards to know how to best follow up with them. If they wish to become sustaining Rights & Democracy members,please use this form.  Print enough copies that you will not run out - if you have extras, you can save them for your next event. Be sure you have a designated volunteer to send a copy of the sign in and membership forms to Rights & Democracy, 70 S. Winooski Ave, Burlington, VT, 05401 or email them to us at jeffrey@radvt.org.


Post-Event

Designate volunteers to help with clean-up and pack-up after any event - you want to be sure that your venue hosts are happy to invite you back again. Also, designate at least one volunteer to email copies of the sign-in sheets to jeffrey@radvt.org.

Follow up with your guest speakers and attendees to thank them for their time and ask if they would be interested in attending future events. Post any photos that were taken at your event on your website and social media pages, to show how successful your event was and encourage more people to come next time! Use #democracysummer and #togetherwewin, and tweet as us! Our Twitter handle is @RightsVT.

Thank you for hosting this LiveStream.

We hope that this kickoff event helps your local team grow as we harness the momentum that we need to enact real change in Vermont and beyond!

 

Host Checklist: 

 

❏ Secured a Venue with...

     ❏ Internet Access

     ❏ Screen or Projector and Sound System

 

❏ Event Promoted...

     ❏ Event registered at radvt.org/democracy2017

     ❏ Link shared with friends and family

     ❏ Press Releases Written and Sent (if desired)

     ❏ Attendees Sent a Follow-up before event

 

❏ Schedule and Agenda Set...

     ❏ Allowing Time for Set-up, Sign-in, Discussion

     ❏ Set Around Time of Livestream

     ❏ Guest Speakers Invited and Incorporated into Schedule

 

❏ Event Set Up…

     ❏ Volunteers Scheduled to Help

     ❏ Seating Set Up

     ❏ A/V System, Computers and Internet Tested

     ❏ Sign-in Forms Available (printed)

 

❏ Post Event …

     ❏ Clean-Up

     ❏ Sign-In Sheets sent to jeffrey@radvt.org

     ❏ Follow-Up With Attendees

     ❏ Photos and Event Write-Ups Posted (with hashtags!)

 

❏ Supplemental Material

     ❏ Sign in sheets and membership forms

     ❏ Rights & Democracy introduction and Fundraising Pitch

     ❏ Commitment Cards  

 

Consider making a copy of this checklist to help you organize your event.







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