House parties are a low-cost or no-cost field activity to engage and expand your network of supporters. They are also an opportunity to reach out to new voters in an area, and a great way to find volunteers.
WHAT IS A HOUSE PARTY:
A supporter welcomes you into their home, invites their friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members, golf buddies, soccer parents and everyone they know who might be interested in learning more about your campaign. The advantage of a house party is allowing people in a community who have already established their support for your campaign to validate your candidacy to their peer group. The informal setting of being in your supporter’s home helps you expand your network of supporters by lending you the credibility of someone the invited guests already know and trust.
HOW THEY’RE HELPFUL:
House parties are a way to reach out to new voters. Inviting voters to an event in their neighborhood demonstrates that you care enough about a community to come and listen to them. And it also validates your candidacy by showing that you already have the support of their neighbors and members of their community.
WHY THEY’RE IMPORTANT:
Inviting supporters and potential voters to a specific event provides a value-added connection. Rather than a cold-ask for support, asking them to cast a vote that may still be months away, or just hitting them up for a donation, an invitation to a house party is asking them to be part of a conversation. Guests have an opportunity to meet you in a small group setting, ask questions and buy into a campaign that now feels personal to them.
GET STARTED – THE BASICS
- Choose an event name: Try to pick something fun and personal that also suggests the event will be both informal and informative, e.g. rhymes (Chat with Pat) or alliteration (Coffee with the Candidate) usually work well. But you also can’t go wrong with “Meet ___.”
- Recruiting a host: Don’t worry about finding the fanciest house or the living room that can accommodate the most people. The most important thing to look for in a host is someone you can trust to do some of the event organizing work for you and who will leverage their network of friends and neighbors to help you connect with voters you otherwise might not reach. Oftentimes, the people who offer to host a house party are already leaders in the community; hosting a house party for you will encourage them to feel a greater investment in your campaign.
- Target voters: In addition to the guests your host plans to invite, you’ll want to identify and invite potential voters who live in the neighborhood using the VAN or PDI. You may find supporters who are more inclined to attend an informal house party in their area with their neighbors than a bigger campaign event.
Next, help your host start their outreach. You can download our Free House Party Kit, to get started today. Want more tips for your house party program? Subscribe below and stay tuned for our next post – 3 MUST-DOs for your next House Party.