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Your Opportunity: Tips on How to Host a Watch Party from an Event Planner

By Erin Doherty

Whether it’s cooking a favorite recipe for friends, recommending a great book, or sharing photos of your travels on social media—when we are passionate about something, we want to share it with others. The best way to do this is by inviting them to experience it, too.

Hosting a Watch Party for our Virtual Insight Trip to Uganda is a great way to introduce friends and family to Opportunity’s mission. My team has curated a powerful one-hour journey through busy streets, serene coffee fields, and vibrant school grounds so viewers can witness how Opportunity is transforming the lives of those living in poverty.

The Virtual Insight Trip will run from approximately 2:00-3:00 p.m. CT and will include an optional live Q&A with field experts during that time. 

Last year, Opportunity’s inaugural Virtual Insight Trip to Colombia received an industry award for “Best Virtual Customer Engagement Experience” from Ragan Communications. So, you won’t want to miss this next one!

Preparation is the key to success when it comes to events, so I’ve put together a plan to help you with yours:

1. Become a Host

Register your party at opportunity.org/virtualinsighttrip and you’ll receive the following resources to help you plan:

  • Support from a local Opportunity Representative
  • A digital invitation to send to your guests
  • Family-friendly worksheets so kids can participate!
  • A tech tutorial for streaming from your computer to your TV
  • Tips for how to encourage donations to Opportunity 

2. Invite Your Guests

Start by inviting family, friends, and neighbors. Then, tap into your extended network—colleagues from work, friends from clubs or teams you belong to, church groups, fellow parents from your child’s school, and other like-minded philanthropists or community leaders. Fill out our template invitation with your event details, and I recommend including a personal note—it goes a long way!

If you’ve gotten a “yes!” from 6 or more guests and you have registered by September 11, we’ll send you a special Watch Party Kit with a few of my favorite must-haves for an international-themed event, like a Ugandan snack, recipe, keepsake, game, and Opportunity branded event accessories.

3. Add Elements

I love a good theme and seize any opportunity to incorporate it into my events. Adding event elements to tie in the theme—like a signature drink or photo backdrop—make it more fun, engaging, and memorable for your guests. You could even kick off your party with a group “cooking class” where everyone learns to make a traditional Ugandan dish that you enjoy together while you tune in!

4. Step Up Your Setup

You want your guests to have the best possible experience at your event—so style your spread, decorate your den, and set up your screens! If you are streaming our event from a laptop or tablet, we’ve got the hook-up. Click below for some resources to help you connect your devices so the whole party can watch together.

5. Make the Ask

Lastly, after what is sure to be an inspiring event experience, encourage your guests to give the gift of opportunity. While it may feel daunting to ask a room of friends to write a check, remember this—people give to people, not causes. So, share with them why you support Opportunity, what our mission means to you, and how you’ve seen our work transform the lives of those living in poverty. Lead by example and make the first gift yourself, incentivize others by offering to match their gift, or set a fundraising goal you can challenge the group to reach, so that more people like the ones you met through our Virtual Insight Trip, can benefit from Opportunity.

And no event would be complete without the “thank you”—and mine goes out to you. Thank you for being a waymaker by sharing our mission with others and for helping us move the needle closer to a world without poverty. It is the generous spirit of people like you that makes our work possible.

If you have questions or need help planning your event, please reach out to your local Opportunity Representative or my events team at [email protected].

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