The Valley of Dayton, OH is holding a watch party for our next livestream (and did for the Ask the Commander Livestream)- Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last? Masonry and the True Meaning of Being a Man.
We've spoken with Randy Clark, and he has shared with us 5 tips for holding your own party at your lodge. These tips can apply to 5 or 50 people -- truly whatever you wish.
Below are 5 easy tips for throwing a livestream watch party:
1. Utilize Your Space, As Only You Know How
Anywhere with internet access and appropriate seating space will suffice. This can be a lodge's multipurpose room, lodge hall, or even a Brother's home.
The Valley of Dayton has used its billiard/bar room for these watch parties, as they have televisions with internet access already in place. If your lodge has a multipurpose media room that can hold those in attendance, we recommend using that space. However, depending on the available space, and the crowd, a lodge hall may be used.
Is the event short notice, or do you want it to be a little more casual? Perhaps a particularly generous Brother could host a watch party at his home.
2. Get the Word Out
Let your members know about the watch party. Each Valley and lodge has different channels of communication. Utilize whatever means you have and are most comfortable with -- whether it's email, social media, word of mouth, or a good old-fashioned flier announcing your party.
The Valley of Dayton sent an email blast to Valley membership (using Constant Contact) and sent a notice to the local lodges inviting their members to attend. Additionally, we created multiple posts on our Facebook page.
If possible, create a way for attendees to RSVP online, so you can have an idea of how many are coming. One can use services like Survey Monkey or Facebook Events to create RSVPs, or simply ask people to comment on social media posts if they are attending or not.
3. Make it an Event
Have a plan for the night. Entice Brothers to join the watch party, not just for the livestream, but for the experience of connection and conversation with fellow Masons. It does not have to be elaborate or expensive, simply gathering together with your Brothers can make for a special evening.
Dayton, for example, meets in the lodge 30 minutes before any watch party with light refreshments and snacks. During this time, one could speak about the agenda for the livestream, and what those in attendance are looking forward to.
4. Post Livestream, Keep The Conversation Going In-Person and Online
After the livestream ends, keep the energy flowing. Have a follow-up discussion on the topic with your group. It's a great way to connect and forge bonds between Brothers. The conversation does not have to end at the watch party.
The Valley of Dayton encourages its members, including those present at the watch party or watching at home, to join the conversation by posting wrap-up thoughts online through social media. We’ve even seen members provide suggestions for how Brethren can use the videos in their own lodge efforts.
With Brother Clark’s tips, you’re sure to host a successful watch party with Valley Brethren. We invite you to post about your watch parties and tag the Scottish Rite NMJ on social media!