I hinted earlier this year that there was some exciting new stuff coming when it comes to Chairman Mom events. It’s a pretty dramatic change.
As I wrote before, our past events were fantastic—even transformational—for the people who could attend. People found co-founders, best friends, inspiration, life and career restarts…we know of dozens of cases where women’s lives were changed pretty substantially just by coming into contact with other women in the right setting.
But these events were out of reach for most of our members, either because of distance, cost, timing, or a combination of those things.
The more we’ve experimented with events, the more I’ve come back to something that was actually the genesis of Chairman Mom: The unexplainable power of getting a table of women together for dinner.
It shouldn’t be so transformative. But I’ve hosted more than 50 dinners of women since Trump was elected president. And it doesn’t matter where they’re held, the exact number who show up, or how good the food is. As long as a few simple guidelines are followed, the result is universally powerful. More powerful than you think it’ll be.
So here’s where we’ve decided to push all our event chips in 2020: We are going to buy you and every badass woman you know dinner.
We are going to tap a network of Chairman Mom hosts around the country (and in some cases, outside the U.S.), we are going to share our framework for what makes a dinner universally phenomenal, and we’re going to give them $20 a head to defray the costs. Then, we’ll create a group on the site for the conversations to continue, without the toxicity that can come from other social media groups.
We wanted to battle test this idea, so a few weeks ago, Catherine and I gathered a handful of women who are active on the site and have also attended several Chairman Mom events to get feedback on what elements made CM events distinct, and what holds them back now from having women over for dinner.
There were logistical issues, like time and money and childcare. But there were also emotional things holding women back.
“Will people come?”
“Will what I make be good enough?”
“If it all goes well, then what? What am I expected to do next?”
We spent three days figuring out ways that Chairman Mom can pull those barriers away. And I think we’ve come up with something amazing. Every single person at our brainstorming retreat volunteered to become Chairman Mom hosts, and each of them has already scheduled their first dinners. Their special “host kits” are in the mail to them, as you read this. The most exciting thing was how they were taking our framework and making the dinners their own.
Takeout dim sum feasts around a coffee table.
Picnic dinners in the woods.
Booze-free dinners with an epic catered food spread.
Co-hosted Chairman Mom dinners in other cities and countries as folks travel for work.
Potluck dinners where the $20/head goes to group child care instead of food.
You could knit. You could do a gigantic puzzle together. You could go on a run and then enjoy a carb crash together. Or you can just be.
These are non-traditional, imperfect dinner parties. Do not clean your house. Do not put away toys. You don’t have to have a large space, or even a dining room table. You don’t need to cook. You just need to hold space, and we’ll show you how.
There will be more details on all of this in the future, both announcements of our first dinners in various markets that you can sign up to attend and an inspiration board of what those looked like. You may hear from some of our hosts in this space.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a Chairman Mom host, we’re going to add a half dozen every month. Our goal is to seed more than one hundred dinners in 2020. (!!!)
Email me to get on the waitlist or find out more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is going to be the biggest thing we have ever done. I want you to be a part of it.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- How can I get my partner to do the household chores he agreed he’d do?
- Do you work out when you are sick?
- How engaged are you in the primaries if your state has a later primary?
- How do you pick out a new chocolate to try?