How to Throw a Hollaback! Party

"How to throw one helluva Hollaback! party"

  1. First things first, get organized.
    Being organized is pretty much the key to doing anything successfully. I recommend sharing Google Documents where you can all update a massive to-do list. You can start and amend a contact and/or press list this way too. I also recommend all sharing a Hollaback Google calendar to remind yourselves about meetings and deadlines. I recommend creating a Hollaback folder on Dropbox, an amazing and free file-sharing site, where you all can share photos, text files of your site’s WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter login’s and passwords, logos etc.
  2. Assign roles to your group.
    Hopefully you’ve brought a bad ass team with you. Assign roles to help keep everyone on track and get things done. These roles may be PR Manager, Communicator, Social Media Manager, Online Awareness Manager, Accountant, etc. So many more can be created and each person can have more than one.
  3. Start your brain.
    Now that you’re organized, start thinking about what you want to get out of this event. Make a list. Write down goals. How many people should be there? Will the event be indoors or outdoors? Should it be at a bar or a coffee shop? Write a manifesto or a mission statement with your group. Research other parties or launches in your city and look at what made them awesome and newsworthy. Don’t forget to incubate your thoughts. Nothing this amazing happens instantly.
  4. Money doesn’t grow on trees
    Now that you know what you want you should think about budgeting to make it happen. Will you need to fundraise before you start or just hopefully earn your money back after the launch? In Chicago specifically, we broke even after our launch party. We earned about $200 at the launch selling drinks and food and raffle tickets. We also had a donation box that a few people put cash in.
  5. Resource List
    This is important. Start a long running document of possible allies such as other non-profits or anti-harassment groups that may give you a shout out on their Facebook or e-mail blasts and bring attention to your party. Some starters lawyers, police, transit company spokespeople, Slutwalk leaders, rape centers, college feminist groups, self defense class leaders can all be helpful. You might want to collaborate with these people further down the road so keep this list safe.
  6. Press Release
    Press releases can be hard and intimidating if you haven’t done one before. Start early. Do some research online as to how to do one professionally. Make sure you have the # # # at the end.
  7. Press List
    Think of where you have to send the press release. Start a list of newspapers, blogs, magazines, and TV channels to send it to.
  8. Be social
    Spend a few days trying to ramp up your social presence. Set goals for how many Tweets you can get re-Tweeted or for how many Likes you can get in a week.
  9. Materials
    Make invites, flyers, stickers, and/or buttons to create awareness about Hollaback in your city. Also, make some invitations printed and/or digital to invite people to the party.
  10. Be Legal
    Check out what permits you may need to legally make the party happen. Cover yourself. You don’t want to wind up having to pay a hefty fine because you unknowingly broke a law. Be courteous to your neighbors if you’re planning on being outside. Invite them and give them plenty of notice of the party and let them know what time it will end.
  11. The Party
    Depending on your location you may have to provide these things yourself: tables, donation boxes, raffle prizes, seating, food, drinks, security, a photo/videographer, music, microphone, contact list sign up sheet and more.

Here are some more fun ideas that will keep your party guests engaged and talking about street harassment:

  • Have a signature pink HOLLAcocktail drink at your party
  • Have guests write about their street harassment experiences on Stick-It notes and post the notes around the party (Hollaback NYC did this at their “Holladay” themed party)
  • Have a storytelling bar at your party where your guests can use computers to upload their stories to the Hollaback! blog. You can hand out Hollaback! pins or pink tiaras to guests who tell their stories!
  • Have a photo booth with anti-street harassment signs that guests can hold in their pictures. You could also have a video camera in the photo booth to record guests sharing their street harassment experiences. (Hollaback! Como hosted a benefit show with a photo booth.)
  • Set up a projector and have pictures of anti-street harassment signs and photos from Hollaback! events showing throughout the party.
  • Have a silent auction where you give away Hollaback! gear, anti-street harassment posters, or items donated by organizations and businesses. Hand out bidding sheets to guests and have them place their bid for each item on their sheets. Collect the bidding sheets and announce the winners who made the highest bid for each item at the end of the party.
  • Play fun party games by changing traditional party activities to anti-street harassment activities. (Ex. You could have guests play “Pin The Tail on the Harasser” or “Duck, Duck, Harasser”)
  • Your guests may be interested in having your Hollaback! site  co-host their future parties and events. You can create Hollaback! party packs that include a CD with your favorite anti-street harassment songs, Hollaback! stickers,  Hollaback! tote bags, and other promotional items.


From Hollaback! Chicago’s launch party