Co-Hosting


Co-hosting events with other groups can be a good option if your organizing team is small. Having two or more groups run an event increases your reach and reduces the workload of organizing.

Events that are good to co-host are general outreach events like socials and speakers. For smaller or more focused events when co-hosting with groups with explicitly overlapping interests, you can considering running discussion meetings.

Benefits of Co-hosting

  • Exposes new people to EA through a targeted group who may be more inclined to EA than the general public.

  • May significantly increase the number of people attending the event. For example, EA Cambridge has found in many co-hosted events that the majority of event attendees come via the co-hosting group.

  • Establishing the group in the local community

  • Reduces workload of publicizing events

  • Creating synergies between EA and other groups

Downsides of Co-hosting

  • It can be time-consuming to coordinate with other groups. Also, if it is your idea to run a co-hosted event, your group may have to do most of the organising so it is likely to take more time than a regular event.

  • The wrong kind of event for the wrong group may put people off of EA. This might be the case if the speaker or members of the EA group are negative about some of the other group’s activities. It is worth talking to the main organisers of the co-hosting group about what EA is and what you intend the event to be about, before confirming the event. That way you can test their reaction to EA and your plan before inviting the whole group.

  • People from the other group may not be excited about joining EA after the event. To make your group appealing to attendees who might like EA, ensure you spend a few minutes explaining what EA is (see the short talks in the intro events page) and explain what your group does.

Who should you co-host with?

When co-hosting events, try to reach out to groups with similar values as EAs. If you're collaborating with a group that has a controversial reputation, make sure you weigh the risks and benefits . It is much harder to un-invite a group to co-host an event, or to correct a misconception about EA due to association with another group, than it is to avoid one in the first place.

Ideas for groups that may be worth collaborating with:

  • Other local EA groups

  • EA-adjacent groups: local LessWrong or rationalist communities, Slatestarcodex groups, HPMOR reading groups

  • Cause-area specific groups: artificial intelligence, animal advocacy, environmental, microfinance, policy, international development, criminal justice, development cooperation etc.

  • Philosophy/ethics groups, Thinking societies, debating club, hacker spaces

  • Departments or professors with EA-adjacent research interests or research groups like the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at Wharton

What to Expect

  • Come prepared with a concrete event, how it relates to their group, and how you expect them to be involved.

    • For example, doing a discussion session on moral uncertainty with a philosophy group, or presenting information about AI Safety to machine-learning PhDs

    • You can offer to include their logo with your promotional material, invite them to any related activities like meals with speakers, and give them a chance to pitch their group at the start of the event.

    • Socials don't have to be organised as formal, widely publicised events. For example, EA Oberlin hosted a social with the Oberlin tennis team because the organizer had friends on the team.

  • Be willing to do the leg-work. Groups are often more than willing to co-host relevant events because it’s less work for them. However, the actual coordination can be difficult because it depends on the group leadership to make things happen.

  • Have low expectations: be prepared and willing to do the bulk of the logistics and planning if necessary (and if possible for your group to do so!)

  • Be proactive about following up with group leaders and set realistic and transparent deadlines, but don’t pressure them.

  • Try and try again. If an event doesn’t work out, you can always try again another time, either with the same group or another one. Either way, strive to maintain good relations with other groups and avoid misunderstandings through open communication.