Planning of Xmas party

SAVE THE DATE: 11 Dec - 4pm UK time

To all Members, Stakeholders and other interested and interesting folks!

You are cordially invited to the first ever online Xmas party :partying_face:
This event will (unsurprisingly) take place online via BBB.

What to expect:

  • An update on progress so far… and plans for the future
  • A space to feedback your experiences of using BBB and other ideas
  • Some ‘collective intelligence’ gathering and other fun and games using the multi-user white board
  • Bring Your Own Booze
  • Quite possibly some entertainment, some silliness… and other things

More details TBC…
If you have ideas, suggestions, or know someone who might like to entertain us (think spoken word / poetry / music…) please let me know and we can plot and scheme together…




Please make this an “event” @osb o we can easily export to our calendars (could turn on RSVP too), and people can find it on too


How interesting! I am planning to use BBB to run a Yule party on 19th December, that will combine both physical and virtual elements. I’ll describe my plans so far, and hope people like them. I would love to expand this to more of the community. It could be hosted on several sites, with people jumping around, crossing continents, etc. (And I’ve chosen Yule rather than Christmas as it is much more universal, really an annual solar event that affects all life on Earth.)

Our past, pre-COVID Yule parties have been running annually for nearly 30 years and are always a great success. We have a lovely 500-year-old house in Norfolk, England, and people come from all over the region. We get 50 - 75 people in most years. We use all the rooms in the house. People bring food and drink to share, so there is an ever changing spread as new people arrive, at no cost to us. We have a big Yule ceremony, with candles, a Yule log and wishes. Then the music and dance starts in our dining room, while the other rooms are used for socialising. There is usually a gang of children rampaging around, or colonising one of the bedrooms.

So, what is the COVID version?

  1. Invite our usual gang to form lots of micro-parties of 2 - 6 people, meeting in someone’s house near them, sharing food, dressing up.
  2. The micro-parties (and lone individuals) all join by BBB where they find lots of breakout rooms, forming and changing throughout the evening.
  3. General social rooms: You join, introduce yourselves, show off your clothes and food. Meet old and new friends.
  4. Music rooms: We invite our more musical friends to form little bands (as they do at the party) and play, or do DJ sessions. Others can listen or dance along.
  5. Story-telling rooms: We have friends who are story tellers, and we will invite them to perform both for children and adults.
  6. Cabaret rooms: Where anyone can do a turn, music, poetry, etc. especially for children.
  7. Fancy dress competition: Show off your clothes, Probably using the BBB whiteboard to vote. A funny virtual prize.
  8. Ceremony: We’ll all join together in one room, invite people to light candles, turn off their lights, etc. as we usually do.
  9. Games rooms.
  10. Discussions: curated on politics, COVID, or whatever people want.

That is where I’ve got with it so far. I’ve done and seen various sub-bits of this using Zoom during the lockdown period. Always fun and popular.

What do people think? Could we get one of these going in Barcelona? Finland? Where else do you have communities? (I can’t find your wiki, which I spotted last week and gave lots of useful information.)
Yours, Gary Alexander

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done :slight_smile: (was rushing!)

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Sounds great Gary, I love the idea of having these different drop in rooms…
Let’s see if we have any musicians or story tellers or poets in our midst…?

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Added this to our internal calendar as well

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Thanks Ben. Does it appeal to you?

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Ah sorry I meant I added the Dec 11 time to our calendar. As for the Dec 19 event you described, I think it’s a neat idea but not sure how the social interactions map to virtual. It reminds me of and maybe can be a useful tool, in addition to BBB.

I love the Yule idea, especially the pre-Covid version, but online it might be fun as well. Right now it is hard to imagine to join other people than our family “bubble” in our house in December, but possibly we could connect to the various rooms, and dance with my kids and get to know the other commoners around and whatever occurs.
I could imagine for the tools: prepare things asynchronously through this or another online forum, engage committed people in some synchronous / real time chat room (open one at to make sure it is decentralised!) and have a series of rooms prepared with those committed. The activities you describe sound fun to me. Funny dresses are always good, my kids love it. I love games, but need to learn more about the online versions. Could we play Commons oriented games online?

We’ve started working on our Dec. 19th Yule party, and will be announcing it to our usual circle of friends quite soon. The mapping from physical to virtual is turning out to be great fun. We will be recruiting people to hold the breakout rooms for set periods, and will be contacting people who are musicians, djs, story tellers, for some of that. Most of the breakout rooms will just be social. You meet people and chat. We are exploring various games we can use. I really hope we can make good use of the shared whiteboard for that.

Mostly, we are inviting a large number of friends who come to our physical parties, and some others who live further away, but I would also like to invite a few of the Meet.Coop people. Might you be interested? It should be very lively, and I want to push forward the boundaries of what we can do with BBB, but also I would like some people with a lot of BBB experience in case there are technical issues. Regards, Gary

I attended the Org group meeting yesterday, mostly to discuss the planned Xmas party. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic about it. Its purpose would be: For fun, To build the Meet.Coop community, To show off the products, To build practical mutual support between us.
We discussed a potential range of activities, probably each in different rooms: Band or DJ Room for dancing, ‘Speed dating’ (briefly meet other people in breakout groups), Competition (the most striking looking hat?), Mapping Who We Are (using shared whiteboard), Game (quiz?), Ceremony (celebrating our larger vision), Discussion (ex. Meet.Coop’s purpose), Synergy (offers & wants)

We agreed a budget of £100-200 for the entertainers.
For this to work, we need a small group to support it and to finalise details. We will need people to facilitate/welcome each room.

Any offers to help organise or facilitate?
What do you think of the idea? Would you like to come? We agreed it will be open to non members, so bring friends or members of your organisation.

Progress on the Xmas party? I won’t be at the All Hands meeting today, so here is my update.
I’ve been working hard on my own party, and it is coming along very well. We will have 4 rooms, each in a different tab or window, and I have recruited people to hold each room, and entertainers for two of them.

I suggest something similar for the party. Try 4 or 5 rooms, each with a good moderator who will chat and support all who come to it. The Shared Notes panel can be used in all rooms to list the other rooms and gives links to them, so people can switch easily, and to give timetables if specific events are happening at certain times (ex. the band).

The rooms I would suggest, to show off BBB’s strengths, would be:

  1. Home Room: Orientation and free-form chat.
  2. Small group chat/“speed dating” where you meet a few people for a short time, assigned at random.
  3. Fishbowl discussion on some suitable topic, such as the vision for
  4. Synergy session: requests for help, offers, supported by a live document which is a topic on this Discourse.
  5. Dance room: with your invited entertainers

You need to decide the time of the party, and recruit people to moderate each of the rooms.
Above all, if you want to avoid a flop with only a very few people, you need to promote the party. This Discourse has very little activity and is not suitable as the main channel. I would suggest personal messages to key partner/members, asking them to invite the members of their organisations. The message is “pre-Christmas fun despite COVID, and how Meet.coops flexible tools can support this”.

Hope this is helpful.
Yours, Gary
@wouter @osb @benhylau @jdaviescoates


I am sorry to see that none of us has been very active in proposing and preparing the Xmas party proposal - except for @garyalex! I’d hope for us to gather that Friday 11th. But maybe we should reduce expectations a bit, given everyone being so busy and we might not be able to mobilise that many people?

Gary’s proposal sounds really nice, however, and maybe we should give it a try and see who we can invite. All may be more improvised and informal, depending on the people joining and putting time into this.

Some thoughts:

  • what if every member organisation (and anyone reading this!) would invite their team to sign up for the event?
  • what if each of us we’d reach out to a few friends around us to invite them to have fun with on our little pre-Xmas gathering?
  • it would be nice if someone could perform, music or otherwise, and if we find someone volunteering for that, that would be excellent, if not, we’ll still have fun
  • we can always do the speed dating in a few break out rooms, and ask everyone to think of their key motivation to be part of meetcoop (and then feed it back into a pad or plenary session or so)
  • having a fishbowl discussion about some key topics affecting meetcoop could be ok, if it’s not too long - it’s a party after all.
  • during the All hands the day before we can discuss the final details of the programme
  • there should be drinks as well, BYOB of course :slight_smile:

Yes @wouter. Good suggestions. From my experience, I suggest that it needs more than a message in this Forum for the invitations to actually happen. Bring it up in the All Hands meeting today (which I can’t attend, bad timing), and in the Working Groups. Individual personal messages to key people!
I am happy to help, but need to be part of a small team if this party is to succeed. (And I would like to show you what I have been doing to prepare for our Yule Party.)

How about we limit scope to:

  • 1.5 hour session on Dec 11
  • Single room (break-outs if people decide they want to do that)
  • Meet & Greet for members and friends
  • Light facilitation with with some live performances

Over the weekend, I can:

  1. Rename this thread is to “Planning of Xmas party” (too much info)
  2. Create a new thread here to announce the event formally, titled “ Xmas Party 2020”
  3. We send emails to friends and invite them to the party by referencing new thread

@wouter @melissamcnab @osb @garyalex @jdaviescoates thoughts?

sounds good - and if someone could follow up on this request from Nick it would be great…
I have struggled to log in to the Resonate forum and have asked for help - but maybe others will succeed where I have failed…

Hi Oli!
I have posted in our forum
Grateful if you could reply to that and add detail about expectations for entertainers / how it will work… to make it a little easier for our forum users to find what they need in one place.

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aha - you have to have an invite to post in the Resonate forum - I posted this:

Hi All,
Thanks Nick - Yes, we (at - The online video conferencing co-op ) would like to invite you to come and party with us on BigBlueButton (the open source video conferencing tool we run for our members) - and to see if we can tempt one or two of you to perform for us! :wink:
We only have an embarrassingly low budget of 100 GBP for one band or 75 GBP each for two …
We realise this is not adequate payment but wondered if someone might be up for performing anyway and, in the spirit of cooperation we could also probably also offer free Level 1 membership to for a year (worth £108) too if you’d like - so you can ditch Zoom!

  • deadline for applications - midnight on 9th Dec
  • Date and time of event - 11th December 1600GMT
  • Length of set/s: between 20 & 40 mins - we might run these in parallel rooms if we have 2 different bands / artists… TBC
  • Platform - we will run this on BBB, you will get a URL invite and will simply need to click on the link to join to play. It will help if you have a good microphone (and camera) connected to your laptop to deliver the best quality sound. Please arrive early to test things and get familiar with BBB. Simple acoustic sets might be best for the web audio… but we’re really open to all suggestions! Remember, it’s a party and we want to celebrate - so it would be nice to have some reasonably upbeat music… :slight_smile:
    If you’re up for it please reply here with a link to somewhere we can check out a sample of your work - presumably a Resonate link!
    And let me know if you have any questions or suggestions?
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I have taken @benhylau’s suggestion and changed this thread into the “planning of the xmas party” thread and created this new one where we can actually receive people subscribing to the event.

@osb, I’d feel more comfortable if the new thread was started by you, so if you give me your ok, I can change the ownership of the first post to be yours.

BTW I’m also resonate member and can login to the thread there, so I will keep an eye on it.

I have created a little meme to visualise the event. My design skills aren’t great though :stuck_out_tongue: so feel free to improve (link to ODP file in /Product/coms/events/Xmas)

Let’s not do two rooms. The entire party session is only 1.5 h, we should have a single room and only have one or two 10min performances. I think most ppl actually come to chat and hang out. It also makes our 75 GBP ask pretty generous if it’s for just 10min?