We’re so excited to be connecting with even more individuals, companies, organizations and others across the country – and all around the world – at What’s the Fix? this year. We are committed to making this year’s online event even more engaging and accessible than ever, but rather than watch What’s the Fix? alone at your desk or on your couch, why not put together a company-wide watch party? Or a local meet-up with friends or others passionate about using stories to help change health care? Or invite people over to sit on your couch with you for the event?!
To help with planning, we put together a few ideas about how to host a watch party. But, first and foremost, if you are planning to host a watch party – whether it be for two people or 500, please register your watch party here so we can say hello!
Office Watch Parties
If you are in an office and hosting a watch party, keep the following in mind:
- Select timing for your event. Will you be streaming the event all day? For half the day? Or just for a or certain session that is particularly relevant to your company/organization?
- Get a headcount. Use Evite or a simple calendar invite to see who is able to attend.
- Reserve a room with enough space for your attendees, as well a screen and laptop/wifi connection that can be used to display the event. If you can, get a space where people can easily stop by and join in throughout the day (a more open space works great!).
- Encourage conversation Even though you aren’t in the room with us in Austin, you are a very important part of our event! Make sure to join in the conversation over Twitter on #WTFix and ask questions through the event live stream interface.
- Food keeps people happy! If the stream will run all day, bringing in coffee, snacks, having a lunch break, etc. are all great ways to keep people invested and motivated in what’s going on. It could even be potluck-style if your office doesn’t have a budget for the event.
- Will it be work and watch? Consider allowing people to continue working while they join the group to watch and discuss the event, or you might choose to have a work-free zone for your watch party. Do what’s best for your team!
House Watch Parties
You’re welcoming a group of friends and #WTFix‘ers into your house? How AWESOME! Probably the most comfortable and intimate watch party, we would recommend the following:
- Again, get a headcount! You don’t know what you’re planning for if you don’t know how many people are planning to attend!
- Seating. Ensure you have enough places for people to sit while still being able to see the screen.
- WiFi. Plan for your guests to tweet along and ask questions throughout the event! Providing a good WiFi connection will be key so they can type along on their laptop or save on their cell phone data.
- Household. Warn your family/roommates in advance about what’s going on (invite them to join in) and if they aren’t part of the event, ask them to respect your space.
- Food. Will you cater, cook or potluck the event? Either way, food is key to keeping people happy and functioning throughout the day.
- Timing. Will you host all day, or just for morning or afternoon sessions?
- Discussion. Will you have a recap discussion the end of the day? This is a great way to recap all you’ve heard and thought about during the day but will need some advance planning (especialy if you’ve been streaming all day).
Local Meetup Watch Party
If you’re getting together with your local meet-up, the biggest question will be around where you can access a space that allows for you to stream an online program. You’ll likely lose your laptop for the day and may need to bring your own HDMI cable to hook things up.
Selecting a location that has a private or semi-private area is ideal so that all those in attendance can hear what’s going on while mingling. For those going this bigger route, there are certainly more moving parts to think through. If you do host a bar or restaurant, will it be cash only/each person for themselves, or will there be some food/drink provided? How will you encourage discussion in between watching? How will you encourage online participate with attendees all around the world and the in-person audience in Austin?
If you need any advice or help to try and get the ball rolling on hosting a local meet-up watch party, please get in touch!
AND NOW…THE TIPS!
In general, no matter where you throw your watch party, these are a few ways to engage with the conference and your fellow watch party guests – so we’re all connected in this great big thing called #WTFix!
- Listen, but also discuss. In the week before What’s the Fix? we will be sharing a list of discussion questions to reference throughout the day to help ignite conversation at your watch party. And why keep the discussion in the watch party only? Get online and share your thoughts and questions on Twitter and through our live stream interface!
- Say hello! Tweet at us! Send us pics of your watch party, or a little hello video from your group! DM us on Twitter in advance to let us know that you’re having a watch party so we can give a shout-out from Austin.
- Ask questions. Don’t forget to keep an eye on Twitter with our hashtag #WTFix and use the BrandLive interface to stream the event so you post questions for our speakers. Our digital host, @WheezyNurse, will be specifically watching for online questions coming through and will be asking them in the room.
- Steal our background music. We have a growing Spotify playlist that might just be some great background to your watch party during breaks or lunch. Have a recommendation? Tweet it at us!
- Make some new friends. We will be tweeting at online attendees from Austin and we want all our in-person and virtual attendees to still connect, network and build relationships that can help change health care. SO – check out our Twitter list and start making some new friends!