Co-host a social gathering

Description

Co-host a social gathering with another ERG or an event put on by a company department such as HR . Partnerships boost your visibility, share pooled resources, and/or leverage existing event infrastructure.

Goals

  • Primarily to increase visibility of the allyship initiative.
  • To have a brief speech about the initiative letting people know what it is
  • To hand out information about the initiative and educational materials

Theory of Change

Co-hosting a social event is a great way to get a wide audience of people who otherwise might not show up to one of your more targeted events and be able to deliver to them either a brief message or to hand out educational materials that they might look at later.

Logistics

Costs and food

Hopefully you can split costs with your co-host. This usually means spending money on food and drinks, and sometimes room reservation fees.

Target / likely audience

Because this is primarily a social event (not a themed or programmatic event), you will get a wide range of people and this allows you to get your message out to people who otherwise aren't as involved.

Location / Participation Size

These events are often held at larger spaces like cafeterias and auditoriums or off-site venues like restaurants. You're only limited by room capacity and participation recruitment.

A/V Needs

Consider having a short 2-3 minute video that you can play. This will get people's attention for a brief pitch afterwards (which may need amplified sound) about the initiative and allyship.

Other resources needed

  • Handout initiative information (flyers, etc)
  • Provide educational materials around allyship for those who want them
  • Provide easy methods for membership and newsletter subscription. Plan on having paper signups that you will then enter into a computer yourself. You will lose people by having "live" signups on a laptop since that creates bottlenecks (only person can enter their info at a time)

Roles and responsibilities

  • Allyship initiative lead – Give a quick and really engaging speech.
  • Program lead – Establish partnership with co-host. Provide the right handout materials. Input collected subscription info into computer. 
  • Active members.  Active members can mill about, talk with everyone and potentially answer questions. These informal convos can have a big impact.

Agenda / Program

  • 0-60 minPeople arrive, hang out, eat, and drink
  • 60-65 min. Say a few words about initiative, show people where to sign up and get more information.
  • 65 min+. More socialness

Tips and pitfalls

Making it work

  • Find the right line between social/fun and getting your message across
  • Have active members wear allyship initiative t-shirts (if you have them) so that the members of the other initiatives (and visitors) know who to talk to if they are interested in the allyship initiative. 
  • Make you've got all materials, handouts, signups, and logistics covered. They're easy to forget but can make a real difference.

Timeline

Timeline constraints

  • Coordinating with your co-host.
  • Have relevant handouts

2 months prior 

  • Coordinate with other ERGs or departments way in advance to iron out potential conflicts.
  • Set location / reserve room

1 month prior

  • Finalize food/drink plan with co-host
  • Have ready informational handouts
  • Get membership and newsletter subscriptions ready
  • Recruit active members to come and represent the initiative
  • Recruit participants
  • Open RSVPs

1 week out

  • Confirm food, location, and marketing logistics are worked out 
  • Make sure active members are coming
  • Have short speech ready to go

1 day prior

  • Finalize RSVPs
  • Remind RSVPs about date/time/location
  • Finalize food order, make sure plates, cups and utensils are ready
  • Make sure any Audio/Visual is ready

Event day prep time:

  • Bring all handouts
  • Arrive to location early enough to do setup
  • Handful of volunteers to make sure food and drink is happening and that there are enough people knowledgeable about the initiative at the event, that people are engaged not just with small talk but also what the initiative is and why it matters
  • Make sure person in charge of food knows how to collect the delivery and set everything up and that they have all eating materials required
  • Test A/V equipment

1 day after

  • From membership list and email list collected at event, (1) email everybody thanking them for showing up, (2) provide general info about the initiative, (3) the next initiative event

Communications

Subject: Come to the [your initiative / their ERG] mixer!

Join us for [drinks/food] at [day], [date] at [time] in [location]. You can learn a bit more about each group, or just enjoy the company and dinner. Hope to see you there. 

RSPV here: [link]