HOSTING PUBLIC EVENTS AT INTERINTELLECT
The Revised Agreement Between Interintellect and Hosts
Pynchon Ideas, Inc.
February 2021. Last revised 1/30/2022.
Congratulations on listing your ii salon!
At Interintellect, we’re dedicated to empowering the curious minds of the world to host conversations about the most interesting topics in a relaxed, entertaining, nonpolitical way.
- Read more about our philosophy
- Our overall hosting ethos
- The types of events we currently host — including members-only listings
- Comprehensive overview of how to list an ii event (salon or otherwise)
- Hosting FAQ
What Interintellect Hosts Do
Interintellect salons are evening-length (most often around 3 hours long) online or offline discussions with balanced participation from attendees, that are organised by and hosted by a fellow Interintellect about a specific topic.
Salons are held in the spirit of multidisciplinarity, openness, opinion plurality, curiosity, and patience. Their goal is to engage and entertain — both to allow those present to dig deeper into the topic of the night, and to reveal new questions that might in the future merit their own salons to discuss. At salons, participants are given undivided attention without any one of them taking up more time than the others.
Wherever possible, salons should be held in the evening: it is a type of intellectual entertainment after which one is rushing off to no other task; it is the last thing one might do on that day, which lends it an aura of relaxation and decadence.
Currently, most of our salons are online. But before the lockdowns’, we hosted them IRL — in Mountain View and Atlanta, London and Menlo Park, Berlin and Mumbai, Oxford and Berlin… Depending on the COVID rules of each geographical location where Interintellect is present, offline gatherings are again becoming a possibility. If you are interested in hosting an IRL salon, read more about how to run an offline event here.
Online salons are hosted on Zoom, with a preference for everyone joining with video, at least for the duration of their speaking time.
Read our salon code of conduct here.
Contacting the ii Team
The ii Team can be best reached via the email address email@example.com. Every member of the team sees this inbox and since we’re all in different time zones, this is the fastest way you’ll get a response.
Should you find anything below is unclear to you when preparing for a salon, or something we aren’t covering here, please get in touch.
IMPORTANT: The ii Team is small and lives around the globe — the point of the firstname.lastname@example.org account is that we can all see it. When urgent, don’t rely on Twitter or Discord DMs, as that one person may be sound asleep on another continent…
Host Agreement and Code of Conduct
Please make sure you have read and understood the Code of Conduct based on which your attendees set their expectations of the ii.
Please make sure you have read and understood this Host Agreement based on which the ii sets its expectations of you:
Host Training and Resources
If you’re not part of the ii Forum yet, please alert the ii Team so we invite you.
If you’re already a member of the ii Forum:
- Please find hosting resources in the #💚 host_greenroom private channel (let the ii Team know if you haven’t been added yet) as Pinned Posts
- Please feel free to ask any questions of the other ii hosts in the Greenroom — they are our repositories of knowledge and your best bet of getting superfast answers based on valuable experience.
We occasionally have Host Training sessions, in which a member of the ii Team or an experienced host gives tips to other hosts and discusses any questions. Those are recorded and shared with hosts.
It is possible and encouraged to host a Host Training yourself if you feel that your experiences so far could be useful for new hosts. If you’d like to host one, just get in touch!
Getting Started as an ii Host
As always email@example.com is your main point of contact.
- Start here
- Guide to listing a salon
- Informal planning calendar for hosts where you can see what others are planning
For ticket price and attendee numbers, please see our salon listing guide.
Once a salon has been listed, the ii Team does a quick review. Once approved, published salons will appear on our website, and are announced via our public calendar, via the Announcements channel on Discord, and on our Twitter. We also highlight some salons in our weekly newsletter and reading list digest emails.
Still, the promotion of Interintellect events is primarily the host’s task. It is through our hosts’ promotion that we can reach people beyond the ii’s existing community and network, ensure our hosts get paid well, engage brilliant new members into our community, and attract future hosts.
We strongly encourage hosts to leave at least 10 days for promotion after publishing. This means that ideally an event is submitted around 12 days before the intended date of hosting. The ii Team reserves the right to refuse to publish a salon where the window for promotion time is too narrow.
Some ideas for promotion:
- If you’ve hosted before, notify your personal host channel
- Notify community members you think could be interested via DMs
- Post into the salons channel (background info on your salon, info on the reading list, etc.) and into the thematic channels (e.g., literature, technology, education, history, cultural trends, crypto, etc.)
- Our Twitter handle is @interintellect_
- Please retweet our tweets mentioning your salon (we will tag you so you can see), and if other attendees or Interintellects mention you as well
- It’s a good idea to share your thoughts, notes, readings — as well as articles, videos, quote tweets — as you prepare for your salons. Your attendees are active thinkers whose curiosity will be awoken by the material you share
- Additional tweets about your salon’s topic, polls, media can also be great ways to create the vibe
- Commenting under other people’s relevant tweets often does wonders
- Notifying people in DMs is always a great idea — not just friends, but for example, most of our celebrity attendees have also come to their first ii salons through (cold) DMs
All your curious friends and colleagues are your audience — they might just not know about it yet!
- Emails / DMs to individuals or groups
- Professional, academic, pastime circles (LinkedIn, Slack, mailing lists, etc.)
- Your blog, newsletter, Clubhouse club
- Some hosts also like to invite their partners, family
Note that in our current structure, all ii hosts get a +1 free ticket to pass on to somebody they’d like to invite: you can simply pass on the Zoom link to 1 person.
Outside the Salon
When offering tickets via our website, you are notified of bookings and can access the list of your attendees in your Event Dashboard. This is the place where you can keep track of how your salon is performing, so you can adjust your promotion and preparation accordingly.
Note: If you have less than 3 bookings 24 hours prior to your event, your event will be automatically cancelled and you can list it for another time.
The primary channel for communicating with your attendees is via your Discord channel. When we have the host pages, this channel will be accessible via your host page, too.
During a Salon
Hosting an ii salon carries special responsibilities. You’re in charge of a room full of people both well-known and new. You’re the one who steers the conversation across your topic, ensures each attendee gets a chance for equal speaking time, and informs attendees of the house rules, such as that the conversation will not be recorded, that the Zoom chat will be saved (for those in the forum it will be in the channels; others – for now – can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request it), that the follow up ii forum channel will be created…
You should be at all times mindful of people’s needs and behaviors in your salon, and that attendees might message you privately over Zoom chat when they have questions.
As an Interintellect host, you earn your income via ticket sales:
- Host earns 70% of Individual Salon Sales (see below for breakdown)
- Members: After discount, (30% off for Members) don’t take any cut
- Non-members: After full-priced non-member ticket, ii charges a 30% platform fee (subject to change). The remainder goes to the Host.
Currently we pay Hosts manually (U.S. Hosts via Stripe and International Hosts via Transferwise).
- Co-Hosts split their income equally. (If you and your Co-Host have agreed upon another split, please let the ii Team know.)
In some cases, proceeds are donated to a cause (if this is the case, it is indicated in the event’s description). If a Host would like to donate the proceeds, we will pay the Host and the Host will be responsible for distributing the funds themselves.
Please note that we do not currently offer an invoice service for Hosts or other creators. It is your responsibility to track payments through your bank statements. If you require information, such as our company address and VAT-ID for tax purposes, please email us at email@example.com.
The ii owns multiple Zoom licenses. Hosts “check out” one of the licenses.
In order for your event to be published, you will have to make an Interintellect Zoom User Account.
An Interintellect Zoom user account is a basic, free Zoom account that you will share with the Interintellect. This will allow you to start and maintain your own online salons.
We suggest you create a new account, even if you have one that you are already using for personal or business calls.
The account you share with us will be added to our user list.
We will send a reminder that has your Interintellect Zoom User Account email before your salon but your password and sign-in verification are private to you.
This is a two-step process. The first step is giving us your email address; the second step will be logging in to your dedicated Interintellect Zoom User Account and to “Approve the Request.”
You will get an email about this after your salon is published if you do not yet have a Interintellect Zoom user account.
We cannot publish your salon until this process is complete. Even though you (and your co-host(s)) are sent the Zoom link, it is your responsibility to make sure 24 hours prior to your event that you have it. Check with the ii Team if it has not reached you for whatever reason.
Please add “Host” to your name on Zoom (click on Rename in the top right corner of your little window with your face in it in Gallery View). If you have an ii scribe in the room, they will indicate their own role in their own Zoom name, too.
Please make sure all attendees are muted when not speaking (there may be a background noise you don’t hear but which an attendee with more sensitive audio might). Please insist on videos being turned on at least when the attendee is speaking.
Hosts like to alternate between Gallery and Speaker Views. Feel free to discover your own preference — Gallery View helps with keeping track of the room but it’s harder to focus on one face in it. In Speaker View, you can concentrate on one person, but have less information on who’s coming and going.
Most hosts have some notes in front of them when they host, and they also take notes during the event about points made by the attendees and their own train of thought. It is much easier to listen as opposed to waiting for your turn to speak when you can relax knowing you won’t forget what you want to say.
It’s okay not to watch the Zoom chat too much during the call (it can be distracting), but keep an eye on private (red) messages — people might have questions or want to let you know they’re leaving soon.
If you do prompt / intro questions, it’s worth adding that into the chat for those who arrived late.
Once you create your host account, an admin will create your host channel on Discord. Please message an admin if you cannot find yours!
Right after the salon, you should submit your salon documentation in the form sent to you by email, which you can also access from here. It will ask you for:
- The text file containing the Zoom chat
- One or two screenshots of the salon
- A summary paragraph
As ii hosts, making sure the value of an unrecorded live event where incredible people think together for 3-5 hours is captured for posterity is part of our job.
It’s very important for attendees to be able to find each other and continue thinking together after salons. When we’ve done tens of thousands of salons, and you hundreds, the screenshots, Zoom chats, and host channels — and the new Community Resources library we’re building — will be your pointers of memory: to know who was there, find people, build new salons on your previous salons.
Documenting salons is taken so seriously because after people have left and the Zoom call is closed, all this information may be irretrievable. When you have a scribe in the room (you’ll see this in their Zoom name), they will likely take care of the screenshots and save the chat. You can also ask an attendee present whom you trust to do so.
But whichever is the case, the salon being documented is your responsibility as a host, and we receive images and texts through the form right after the end of the salon. (It’s far better for two people to save the same thing than none.)
It’s completely okay for anyone to be forgetful in the heat of the moment of entertainment. The best is to leave e.g. a post-it in a visible spot next to your computer or set a reminder (though the timing may be hard to predict) until this has become a routine for you.
A new thing we’re introducing is post-salon recaps. These are one-paragraph summaries written by the host or one of the co-hosts with the most important points raised during the salon. It should omit private information or opinions expressed by the attendees.
The point of these summaries is, once again, memory. You can paste and pin them into your host channel, put them on your host page — and we can send them out as recaps in the ii newsletters, etc.
They will inspire people to go to your next salons, initiate a conversation with you in Discord, or even ask you if you’d like to co-host a salon…!
An example of how this will appear on our channels:
“The other event last Tuesday was Daniel Golliher’s sold-out salon about whether history has ended: After Fukuyama – Optimism and Geopolitics After the Cold War. With attendees from four continents and at least seven different academic/professional disciplines, we discussed the legacy of the vague enthusiasm of the 1990s, what the Recession meant for young Millennials, and whether there can be a comprehensive mental framework for how we understand where the world is heading in the 2020s. Hannah Arendt, Naomi Klein, Jonathan Haidt and psychedelics were mentioned. Sign up for Daniel’s next salon [HERE].”
Please take a screenshot of the attendees during the first hour when all attendees are present.
Make sure names are removed. You can either:
- Exit full screen, open chat to the side, let go of mouse or touchpad, and the names will disappear after a few seconds. If this doesn’t work, go into Settings and then Video, and uncheck “Always display participant names on their video.”
- Hideout family names after the event e.g through putting small black rectangles over them in Google Slides, Photoshop, Figma, etc.
How to take screenshots:
In some edge cases, when for some reason your computer is faulty and you suddenly can’t capture the screen, use your creativity: e.g. if there is someone on the call that you’re close with, message them privately in Zoom so they can take and then send you the screenshot.
It’s completely normal for most screenshots to be terrible — they are for everyone, really. In order to get it right, the trick is simply to take many and then choose the best one.
Please save the Zoom chat by copying it into a dedicated Google Document (simply “Select All” in the Zoom chat -> copy-paste) so we can edit, remove private messages, make URLs clickable. This formatting is better than auto-saved chats for these very reasons.
See here for how to enable auto-saving chats.
If you host a workshop salon where writing, drawing, music-composing takes place, make sure the output, provided that your attendees give you permission, is logged in your Discord host channel, Resources library, and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share it with ticket holders outside the forum, and, when applies, also on Twitter.
Knowing these works are logged in a place where attendees can access and follow up on them will be a reassuring ritual.
Any further notes, readings, tweets after a salon will be welcome and retweeted. Your host channel is also a great place for this — and it’s a good way to prepare and generate interest for your next salon(s).
Hosting a salon is usually a deeply exhilarating experience and we strongly encourage you to celebrate a bit afterward!
What ii Scribes Do
Essentially, they’re fellow Interintellects who will sit in on your salon and participate as normal attendees but take non-personal notes about the conversation. These notes will help you build on the salon’s content for writing a blog post, for instance, inspire new salon topics, or just help you remember the salon in the future. Scribe notes should also be shared in your host channel.
Scribes get a free ticket to salons, even sold-out ones. There can be only one scribe per salon — hosts and scribes find one another via the #scribing_at_salons channel on Discord.
Scribes try to take some screenshots and save Zoom chats too and add these into your host channel if you have one.
Note 1: A scribe being present doesn’t mean we don’t need to receive image + text via email@example.com — we still need these for promotional reasons and to make sure they’re added to the Resources library (though the library will be interactive in the future).
Note 2: Please remember your scribe is also a human and taking good notes is challenging — don’t rely on their memory 100%.
Hosts are strongly encouraged to sit in as scribes at one another’s event — it’s an amazing way to learn about salons and co-thinking!
How often should you host an ii salon?
The best frequency in our current setup seems to be 10 days for the shortest and 30 days for the longest gap between your salons. This way you will give yourself enough time to prepare, but your audience can still develop a routine of attending your events – not to mention you gaining “pilot hours”!
⚡ Our suggestion is to always have 3-4 salon ideas lined up on the website. This way hosts are much more at ease during hosting; it won’t feel like a “one-shot” opportunity. It also somehow helps one manage their own energy and time.
More on the specifics of hosting an ii salon series here.
Salon series and salon tracks are described on the event types page. Some conditions apply if you want to host one. Read the Hosting a Series documentation for more details.
- Cancelling: We’re very proud of the fact that since the beginning of the ii, we have cancelled almost no published salon. Of course, there can be exceptional situations which may fall into two categories:
- A general upheaval (natural, political) that makes all events cancelled for that night anyway and we’re all just watching the news
- A serious personal situation where the host is unable to host their event. In this case, we ask you to a) let the ii Team know immediately and b) if you can, find or help us find your replacement
- Co-hosts: You can have up to 2 co-hosts if you feel the structure or topic of your salon calls for this setup. In this case we will split your revenue share equally between the 2 or 3 of you.
- Debut co-host / “trial”: Some debut hosts would like to host with a more seasoned ii host as a way to practice. In this case they do this pro bono and the full revenue share goes to the experienced main host.
- Exceptional attendee requests: Sometimes your attendees might ask for things – free entry, unusual formats, contact information, crossing platform boundaries – which we can’t or don’t want to do. We like to be flexible and find good compromises; please, let the ii Team know in these situations so we can help you find the best solution.
- Not wanting to get paid: A few of our hosts prefer to host salons for free. In this case, you can basically donate your revenue share back to the ii – thank you! – and we will simply not transfer your share to you.
By publishing and advertising an Interintellect salon as a host or co-host, you have agreed to the above terms and our workflow. (Should there be any changes to the terms or workflow, these will be communicated to you and a new agreement will be shared with you before the updated terms apply.)
Great to have you on board!
Anna and the ii Team
✨ As a way to empower our hosts to make a higher revenue if they choose, but also for hosts to be able to attend the events of fellow hosts for free, we are rethinking how the community and the hosts can support the ii, how hosts are paid, and how host permissions work.
This comes at a time when major series are being launched from our own new platform, and some hosts are thinking of pursuing hosting ii salons more seriously, even one day doing this work as their primary source of income.
Thank you for being part of this amazing journey!
We are currently rolling out subscriptions. These are the main categories at the moment:
Gone will be the clunky promo codes; subscribers will simply receive a Discord invite and see automatically discounted prices — 30% off on tickets, series tickets visible — upon checkout.
What the community will see and pay for:
Importantly, the monthly donations via Pico, where the majority of the Founding Community has been supporting the ii, will be closed. The average donation on Pico was $9/month, so we’ve been modeling our pricing on this.
People who are currently in the community forum — i.e. the Founding Community — will be able to pay:
Of course, you can buy the SuperSupporter Membership if you wish to support us that way — or a full-priced membership — but these discounts are at your avail.
Active hosts can access the community and events for free, with the exception of series tickets. To be an active host, you need to have an event listed 15 days or less from now. You also remain an active host for 15 days after your event.
If you’re an active host, once you’re logged in on the website, you will see a 100% discount at the checkout.
An important note/exception: as a host of an ii event, you will be able to cap how many free attendees you want to admit. So if you’re a host looking to attend events for free, some of your fellow hosts may still ask you to pay the discounted (30% off) subscriber fee for their salon (so a $10 ticket will cost you $7 + some minor fees depending on your location). This is to enable hosts to have more power over their income — which they can now track on their Dashboard — but also to be able to decide to release more free tickets if they find their current booking numbers too low. (“Come on in, fellow hosts!”, they might say on the last day before the salon…)
We’re working on a system where you are alerted when you get close to losing your active host status so that you can list your next salon if you want to.
We will have student fellows in the community who, due to their difficult situation, are unable to pay a subscription or for tickets. These cases will be evaluated on a case by case basis. When hosts cap free attendance, this will cap the student fellows’ admittance.
Hosts can, if they want to, admit a complimentary +1 to their salons (one per co-host).
Scribes always come free (one per event), even to sold-out series. Please indicate your wish to have a scribe at your salon or if you want to scribe at someone’s salon in the scribing channel in Discord.