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Debate Watch Party Host Guide

Host a Debate Watch Party for the final presidential debate before the election.

Debate Watch Parties are a great way to familiarize yourself and others with Barack Obama's policies, and plan for upcoming activities. With just a few weeks left before Election Day, it's crucial that we make the most of this opportunity to have Barack's message of change heard by as many people as possible - both during the debate and in the days that follow.

As people gather at your house to watch the debate, let them know about how they can help spread Barack's message of change to people in your neighborhood or in a neighboring battleground state with our new online tool called Neighbor to Neighbor.

This guide will provide you with all the tools and resources you need to host a successful Debate Watch Party, and walk you through the process. It is organized into three sections -- Before, During, and After your event – to help you prepare. You should read all sections so that you know what resources the campaign has to offer you and your guests, and learn about what you can do to create a successful evening.

Step 1: Register your Event

Take a moment to register your event online. Be sure to select "Debate Watch Party" for the event type. Posting your event online means you can get your own web page for your event, invite others to your event, track RSVPs and send details and reminders to your guests.

Remember, make your event searchable if you'd like to allow supporters on My.BarackObama to RSVP. Make your event unsearchable if you wish only to invite friends and family.

Step 2: Invite Friends, Neighbors, and Colleagues.

Start with people you know. Think about friends, family, colleagues and neighbors, despite their political affiliation or past political involvement. This is a chance to bring people together to watch the candidates square off about important issues, but also to help organize for the last few weeks of the campaign. Aim to invite a few dozen people to your event, and try to ensure you have at least 15-20 guests.

You may also want to reach out to your larger community. You can find your local My.BarackObama group and invite members to attend by emailing the group’s listserv. You can create your own event flyers and post them at your local coffee shop, grocery store, or library.

Encourage all of your guests to RSVP for your event so you know how many people to expect. Also, don’t forget to send an email to all of your guests using the Email Attendees link on the Manage Your Events page a day or two before the debate to remind everyone of the event’s details.

Step 3: Get your Materials in Order

There are some things you should have ready before your Debate Watch Party.

Debate Watch Party Agenda
Use our suggested agenda or create your own.

Event Flyers
Create a personalized event flyer.

Sheets
Use this sheet to have all your guests sign in.

Neighbor to Neighbor Videos
We've launched a new online tool, called Neighbor to Neighbor, which allows you to contact voters where you live or in a neighboring battleground state. You should consider showing one or both of our training videos on Neighbor to Neighbor at your Debate Watch Party to get your guests familiar with the tool.

Issue Flyers
Think about printing out flyers detailing Barack’s positions on important issues.

Contribution Forms
Print out several contribution forms to have ready at your Debate Watch Party.

Debate Watch Party Agenda:

Each debate will air live at 9 ET. We suggest that you invite your guests to arrive 30 minutes beforehand to mingle and plan for upcoming activities. Suggested start time: 8:30 p.m Eastern, 7:30 p.m. Central, 6:30 p.m Mountain, 5:30 p.m. Pacific.

0:00 Guest Sign-in
Make sure everyone signs in. Wait a few minutes to let everyone arrive before starting.

0:05 Welcome from Host
Introduce yourself and share your story. What inspired you to get involved in the campaign and why are you hosting this Debate Watch Party?

0:10 Group Introductions
Have everyone introduce themselves and share their story about what inspired them to get involved. Get to know each other – you will be spending a lot of time with these people in the remaining few weeks to help organize your community for Barack.

0:20 Neighbor to Neighbor
Introduce your guests to our online tool called, Neighbor to Neighbor, and ask all your attendees to participate in a canvass or phonebank. Settle on a time and place to meet before the debate starts.

Make sure you, as the host, are trained on Neighbor to Neighbor before your Debate Host Party. Check out our training videos. You may even want to consider showing one or both of the videos on your computer.

0:30 Start of Debate

2:00 After the Debate
Thank guests for coming and ask them to consider making a contribution to the campaign (make sure you have some contribution forms on hand) to help pay for our 50-state efforts. Also, remind your guests of when you’ll be meeting to canvass or phonebank.

This agenda is meant only to be a suggestion to guide you in your activities. Feel free to organize your Debate Watch Party according to your preferences.

Capture Information
Enter your sign-in sheets online.

Mail in Contributions Forms to:
Obama for America
P.O. Box 802798
Chicago, IL 60680

Thank Your Guests
Send thank you emails to all of your guests and let them know about other upcoming activities.

Share Your Feedback
How was your event? What worked best? Share your ideas for future hosts. Submit your feedback.

You just helped Barack get one step closer to victory! It’s people like you who make this campaign for change possible.

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