If you attended TEDxMileHigh: Rise, you were likely happily surprised by how seamless the switch from in-person TEDx conference to Zoom experience was. The talks were vivid, engaging, and inspiring—traits that are usually easier to accomplish when there’s a live audience. But, here’s the important question: What did you do to enhance your viewing experience? In other words, did you watch the talks on a projector surrounded by cheese puffs and chips and guac? Learn how to host a watch party for TEDxMileHigh: Vision with these seven experience-enhancing tips.

How to Do a TEDxMileHigh Virtual Event Right

1. Recruit Your People

If you have attended TEDxMileHigh events solo in the past, you’ll know there are usually many opportunities to meet new people. A virtual event makes it a little more difficult to make new connections. To help emulate the extra inspiration and excitement you get when you discuss TEDx talks with people in real life, recruit your friends to watch with you!

This can be your group of besties, your family, or other people you already have invited into your circle of pandemic safety. To be extra cautious, host a virtual viewing party! If you have a backyard, set up a socially-distanced viewing with chairs spaced out six-feet apart.

Extra Tip: Plan for Talk Time

Just like when watching a movie, it’s quite annoying when people talk over the dialogue on screen. Plan for “Talk Time” at intermission and/or after the entire conference to ensure that everyone is able to express themselves without being disruptive. 

2. Handy Notebook 

Bring your notebook and your favorite pen! Keep track of the ideas you like the most from the talks by jotting notes. Then, when it’s time to discuss with your people, you’ll remember what you wanted to talk about. 

3. Nibbles Needed

Snacks and screens are a combo deal, so food is a necessity. Beyond the obvious popcorn, get creative! Make some Dorito jalapeno pepper jack cheese nachos or pigs in a blanket. After the event, avoid hangry guests and remedy the Post-TED Talk information overload by munching on some snacks.

We recommend the TEDxMileHigh-Themed Snack Plate. This includes: strawberries, blueberries, yogurt-covered pretzels, raspberries, and cheddar cheese (notice the color theme?).

4. Don’t Forget the Drinks

Even if it’s water, drinks are key! 

We recommend TEDxMileHigh-Themed Red Mocktails or Cocktails. This Includes: Strawberry Daiquiri, Mulled Wine, or some good old Cabernet Sauvignon. Alcohol-free options: Punch or tomato juice. 

5. Get a Projector

This can’t be the first time you’ve been told to buy a projector. They were already cool before the pandemic, but now people are projecting movie nights in their backyards, projecting YouTube videos onto the ceiling from their bed, and even projecting in the middle of the day (made possible by draping blankets over all the windows… I speak from experience). No matter your method, projecting a TEDxMileHigh event makes the experience feel eerily “live.” When TEDxMileHigh CEO Jeremy Duhon appeared on my living room wall last month for Rise, he was life-size and if he hadn’t looked similar to a hologram, I might have thought he was in the room levitating in front of me. 

If you thought the Rise event was enjoyable from your laptop screen, imagine what the experience would be like projected onto the side of your house. 

6. Blankets and Pillows

Grab your fluffiest pillows, blankets (all of them), and pile them up in a corner in your house. Plop your laptop (or projector?) on a chair and drape your blankets over the chair and your seating area (think rainy day basement forts from your childhood, we know you’ve wanted an excuse to make one). Lean back and enjoy. 

7. Dance Break!

When intermission arrives, get on your feet and start dancing. Put on a favorite song, or some TEDx performer tunes. Get the blood flowing to help your mind stay focused on the next round of talks. Or, if you prefer, you can check out this talk by Mark Martin and hone your beatboxing skills to show off during intermission.

The Most Important Step

Spread the word! TEDxMileHigh: Vision is taking the virtual stage on December 5th. It’s never too early to secure your free admission. Register here!