How to Start Your Own RHHH
We are excited you want to start up Repro Health Happy Hour in your city! Please see below for the easy steps for how to start one.
Step 1) Contact us. We will provide you with an official RHHH logo for your city and a Facebook page to get started. In addition, we may be able to connect you with other advocates in your city to help you get started.
Step 2) Recruit your colleagues and friends to “like” your city’s RHHH Facebook page.
Step 3) Create a RHHH Organizing Committee. Organizing a monthly happy hour can be time-consuming if you try to do it all on your own. We have found that creating an organizing committee can dramatically decrease the workload and help you reach a wider swath of potential attendees. Look for people connected to different organizations, schools, and health centers. The more diverse the group, the better the networking. Reach out to allies working in related fields, student groups and local providers. Members of the organizing committee can rotate the duties of organizing the happy hour each month, so that it never becomes too much work.
Step 4) Set up a listserv for your city’s RHHH group. Not everyone is on Facebook and so it is a good idea to send emails as well.
Step 5) Start planning your first event!
- Pick a date. We have found that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday can be good nights as bars are not overly packed and are often willing to set aside a space for your group.
- Choose a bar. We have found that bars that have a large space for people to congregate are good spots. Always remember to call ahead and give them a head’s up that you will have a group coming. Often bars will set reserve a special spot for your group. As you are guaranteeing them a large crowd on an otherwise quiet night, owners and bartenders should be grateful and not charge you anything in exchange for the space.
- Promote, promote, promote. Post a save the date on Facebook and your RHHH listserv. Create a Facebook invite where people can easily invite others. Post the event on your Facebook page. Get your friends and organizing committee members to post on their Facebook pages and email their friends. In the beginning, you want to advertise up a storm to get a wide variety of people to know about it.
For the listserv, we have found that strictly limiting blasts to two emails per month keeps people interested but never overwhelmed. We send one save the date email and one reminder closer to the event.
Step 6) Remain neutral. RHHH is founded on a belief that the sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice movement is stronger the more we work collaboratively. RHHH is its own autonomous effort that is founded solely for movement-building. Therefore RHHH typically does not co-sponsor events or work specifically with any one organization. This policy has served us well. There’s so often a lot of politics between groups, it’s a good way to keep the event more neutral. Repro Health Happy Hours are a great place to get away from the organizational politics and connect with one another on a personal level. We encourage every city to maintain the same sort of neutral energy. This sometimes requires saying no when friends and colleagues ask if the happy hour can cosponsor an event.
Step 7) At the event, mingle, network, and collect names. As the RHHH host, it’s always a good idea to help people meet one another. You can put out nametags if you think that will help foster networking. At smaller gatherings introductions and ice breaker activities can be helpful. In order to build your listserv, you may want to put out a sign-up sheet to collect names so that people can be reminded for the upcoming RHHHs.
Step 8) Rinse and repeat! Some groups pick the same date every month, whereas others mix it up so the widest number of people can attend. Figure out what works best for your city and keep it going. The key to a successful ongoing event is consistency.
Happy Repro Health Happy Hour-ing! Please let us know if we can ever be of any help. Contact us for more information at ReproHealthHappyHour@gmail.com.