How to Host a Debate Watch Party

The Democratic debates mark an important moment in this election, and provide a big opportunity for our campaign — one that we’ve got to take advantage of.

We can’t miss this chance to gather friends, family, fellow Elizabeth supporters, and even people on the fence to watch Elizabeth in the debates and get your community organized.

At the Fall debate watch parties, we are making our new canvassing tool, Reach, a central piece. Right now, canvassing is the most important way to help Elizabeth.

Hosting a watch party is easy, and this toolkit makes it even easier! First, submit the host agreement form, join our Event Hosts Community Group, and register your event on our site. Then follow these steps:

Step 1

Invite people to your debate watch party

Attending your party will be the first step for many of your guests toward becoming volunteers with the campaign. By starting small and making an easy and fun first step (attending a debate watch party), the next ask (volunteering their time) won’t seem hard at all!

All you need to do is think about people you know you can count on to attend – and then make sure everyone who RSVPs actually shows up. This is the moment to put on your organizer hat.

1. Make a list of who you want to invite to your party. Think about your friends, family, and fellow Elizabeth supporters you know to create your list.

2. Remind your friends to come. We recommend talking to your list of friends and family three different ways (that’s what it takes for someone to really commit to something):

  • The invitation, which you’ll send over email.
  • The second invitation, to re-invite folks who haven’t responded to your first invite.
  • The confirmation, a text or phone call to confirm they’re able to come.

We’ve written sample emails and sample social media to make this easy!

3. Tips for promoting your event to the public. If your event is Public and you’d like to do even more to bring supporters to your event, here are some tips:

  • Post in your regional All in for Warren Community Group.
  • Reach out to your local Democratic Party chapter to invite them and see if they’ll help promote your event.
  • Contact local organizations and ask for their help. Local chapters of progressive organizations may be willing to send an email to their members about your party.
  • Let your local community know:
    • Submit your event as an item to the local newspaper community calendar.
    • Post it in your community’s local forums, or any relevant local Facebook groups.
    • Invite your local Democratic elected officials.

Step 2

Planning your party

Use this checklist to track your progress.

1. Training

2. Prep

3. Day-of

  • Set out your refreshments
  • Tidy up and do any necessary furniture rearranging
  • Make sure your TV or livestream works
  • Set materials up by the door
  • Set up a laptop with the Win with Warren donation page (optional)

4. During the Party

  • Make sure everyone signs in by texting PARTY to 24477 (If they can’t, have them fill out the sign up sheets)
  • Follow your agenda to have a successful event!

5. Final Steps

  • Fill out the host feedback form
  • Submit any paper sign ups on Mobilize America
  • Call your RSVPs who missed out
  • Send your follow-up email

Step 3

Make an agenda for your party

Use the host agenda to stay on track and keep yourself organized during the event! The debate itself will last 3 hours.

:00 - Guests Arrive and Check In (an hour before the debate starts)

  • Set up handouts right by the door
  • Have guests sign in by texting PARTY to 24477 and showing you Bailey

:15 - Introductions and Setting Expectations

  • Have everyone introduce themselves: What’s your name? Why do you support Elizabeth? What do you hope she’ll talk about?
  • Take a picture of your guests watching the debate and share on social media with the hashtags #WarrenWatchParty and #DemDebate

:30 - Reach training

  • Explain that the focus of tonight’s event, in addition to cheering on Elizabeth, is to get everyone using our new voter contact tool, Reach
  • Walk your guests through the importance of Reach, and how to use it. We will send you an invite code for everyone to use to join Reach.
  • You can use the Reach training slides to make it easy to teach Reach!
  • Hand out the Reach worksheet, and use it as a prompt to get everyone thinking about how they can use Reach. Have everyone work through it during commercial breaks.
  • At the end of the night, the top Reach users will get a prize!
  • We will send you your own personal Reach invite code – use that to get everyone logged into Warren for President on Reach
  • Have guests practice Reaching each other and entering information. If anyone wants to sign up to volunteer, make sure they enter that in Reach, too
  • Optional: join our pre-debate webinar with campaign staff to learn Reach, if you’re more comfortable having campaign staff train your guests (we’ll send out more information on this closer to the day-of!)

1:00 - Debate Starts

4:00 - Debate Ends

  • Lead a discussion: What was your favorite moment of the debate? What was your favorite Elizabeth moment?
  • Make a hard ask: The success of this grassroots movement depends on supporters like us staying involved and organizing together. Now that we all know Reach, the next step is to organize a Reach canvassing event in a high-traffic area in our local community together. Who’s in, and who will host?
  • Take a group picture!
  • Make sure everyone leaves with a copy of the Next Steps in their hands

Step 4

Follow up & next steps

After the party, remember to:

  • Submit your host feedback form: please fill this out so we know how it went and how we can improve things on our end in the future.

  • Call people who missed the event: let them know they were missed, update them on the meeting, and encourage them to sign up to volunteer.

  • Send a follow up email: Thank your guests for coming with the follow-up email to keep them looped in on next steps. Include the group picture that you took.

  • Submit your sign in sheets: enter any paper sign ins you received in your host dashboard in MobilizeAmerica:

    • Step 1: Click on the timeslot of your event at the bottom of your dashboard
    • Step 2: Click the “NEW ATTENDEE” button
    • Step 3: Enter each RSVP