Watch Party Planning Guide

Watching TV

Planning the event:

  • Make sure you can watch CNN. If you have a cable provider, you can use your own cable TV or internet to livestream. If not, partner with a friend who has cable, or coordinate with a local restaurant or bar to host your party.
    • You can livestream the event from CNN's website if you have a cable provider. If you don't receive this channel or don't have cable, you can watch online with SlingTV, a TV streaming service you can subscribe to for $15 during your first month. Cancel when you're through with the party if you wish.
    • Restaurants and bars may even have a private space where your party will be able to hear the town hall better. Don't forget that nonprofits can sometimes score free room rentals!
    • Wherever you watch, make sure your venue has enough comfortable seating where your guests can clearly see the screen!
  • It may help to set a goal for what you want to accomplish with your party. Some examples include:
    • Building deeper relationships among a team of people who have been involved in this work
    • Bringing together some community leaders of organizations
    • Recruiting a big group of people to take action together
    • Identifying new people in the community who care about this and would want to get involved
    • Or something else, but getting clear on what you want to accomplish will help frame how it goes
  • Send invites to your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Note: CNN has not yet announced the start time. We expect it will start at 8 PM ET and we recommend starting your party at 7 PM. We'll share updates when we know more.
    • Ask invitees to bring a friend.
    • These can be as simple as a text asking if they're interested!
    • Facebook events are a great way to easily spread the word and keep track of who's RSVP'd to your party (how to create a Facebook event). This is no substitute for a personal invite, but it sure helps you to get people to come!
    • If it's a public event, you can promote your party through community calendars.
    • Send reminders in the days leading up to the party. 
  • Snacks make any party better, but you can keep it simple. Water, coffee, and a platter of cookies is plenty. Or invite guests to bring a dish to pass.
  • Plan some topics for discussion so you can engage with your guests before/after the town hall.
    • Invite a speaker to kick off the event, or prepare a couple of opening remarks yourself.

Watching TV

The day of your party:

  • Make sure your cable/livestream, as well as your speakers/subtitles, are working properly.
  • Encourage all your guests to register on our website to receive MiCAN emails. We'll follow up with ideas and ways they can take climate action in their area.
  • Do a round of introductions with an icebreaker question where your guests can share stories, concerns, and inspiration for climate action.
    • Ask your guests about the role of climate change in their lives. Talking about climate change and sharing meaningful stories with trusted people close to you is one of the most effective ways of driving climate action and building relationships in our communities.
  • Make watching the town hall more engaging by participating in activities, such as:
    • Tweeting/sending messages to the candidates
    • Making predictions with your guests
    • Or playing a game of "candidate bingo"
  • Take plenty of photos and share them on social media!
  • Before everyone leaves, engage in a final discussion about how the town hall went. If you forgot to have guests register on our website to receive MiCAN emails, do it now.
  • You can also invite your guests to take some action, like making sure everyone has registered to vote or have them RSVP to another event.

Follow up:

  • Once you have hosted your watch party, send us some photos, and post on social media. The more people hear about climate change, the more they care about it.

Have other questions about hosting a watch party? Feel free to reach out to us at climate@miclimateaction.org!

TV Watch Party


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