Q: What are salons?
A: An Interintellect salon is an evening-length conversation (typically one to three hours) around a specific topic, carrying the atmosphere of a cozy, living room gathering.
Our signature salon format is an in-depth, open-ended conversation on a specific topic, but events also come in the form of creative workshops, art performances, interviews with special guests, Q&A sessions and more (check out Event Types).
Q: What can I expect if I host a salon?
A: You can expect in-depth, thoughtful conversation from salon attendees. Everyone who comes is ready to discuss what intrigues them and your topic, bringing their own, unique perspective.
Hosting a salon will let you facilitate this dynamic discussion. Anyone who seeks to have deep, inclusive conversations about their areas of interest and research with a thoughtful audience makes for a great Interintellect host.
Hosting is also a great way to promote your podcast, newsletter, or video channel; brainstorm your next book or article; develop your conversational and public speaking skills; make friends with people passionate about similar topics; explore something completely new; and make an income.
Q: Is this like a formal TED Talk or presentation?
A: We emphasize that Interintellect hosts don’t have to be experts or content creators. While experts do thrive on our platform, someone who is genuinely interested in a topic and wants to learn more alongside salon attendees can also be a successful host. Non-expert hosts create live, engaging, exploratory events where the audience is just as much a part of the experience as the host.
As opposed to being seen as a “presenter,” a host can be seen as the catalyst for the salon conversation, keeping engagement up and making sure the discussion flows smoothly. A host will do things like ask thoughtful questions and share personal reflections to make for an interactive event experience.
Q: Who comes to salons?
A: Most of our salons are open to the general public — anyone who purchases your event ticket. Your attendees might be established experts in your chosen topic, passionate students and practitioners, or curious hobbyists with backgrounds in other disciplines. Usually, it’s a mix of all of the above.
Many of your attendees will also be paying members of the Interintellect community.
We promote salons among our public audience and Interintellect community members through our social media, the Interintellect Weekly Newsletter, and word of mouth—we strongly encourage the hosts to do the same.
Q: Is this similar to voice apps like Clubhouse?
A: Not at all! Unlike Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces, our online salons are closed rooms that require a ticket purchase (or, for free events, limited RSVPs) to join.
Because our rooms are capped at 40 guests (this can be increased/decreased upon special request), attendees have the intimate opportunity to address one another directly without a sense of hierarchy. With more intimate, personal engagement between host and attendees, the conversation feels more like a virtual living-room gathering of friends.
Unlike Twitter Spaces, Interintellect salon attendees participate as if they were in the home of the host (for example, they do not typically “walk in and out” unannounced).
Unlike voice apps, our salons are long-form conversations, running between one to three hours in length, and often have suggested readings or questions for attendees to ponder before the event. Interintellect also has the pleasure of partnering with other organizations, special guests, and star hosts to facilitate in-person salons (Interintellect IRL events) for our Interintellect community members, setting us apart from virtual-only discussion spaces.
Q: If I join as a host, how many salons am I required to do in total?
A: There are no minimum or maximum salons required to be an Interintellect host. However, we do suggest individuals new to host more frequently in order to learn and grow through repetition.
In addition, a new host may want to start with a topic that they are more familiar/comfortable with and experiment moving forward.
Q: What are the expectations to join as a host?
A: All we ask is for you to observe Interintellect’s hosting ethos, to express enthusiasm about sharing your upcoming salon events, and be willing to engage with people who are excited for your events!
We are always here to help (and so are our Interintellect community members) so always feel free to pitch your ideas to an Interintellect team member.
Q: What is the procedure for becoming a host?
You can click here to make a host account. Then, we recommend joining the Interintellect Discord so that you can engage with fellow hosts and our Interintellect community members.
After that, you can list your first salon or series.
For more help, you can check out our salon examples and templates page.
In addition to the above, you’ll also receive a “Welcome Package” in your inbox with all the info you’ll need to get started as an Interintellect host.
Q: Who pays for this? How much does it cost?
A: Your audience pays to attend your salon. As the host, you set the price and earn money on every ticket sold.
Interintellect hosts receive 70% of the listed price for all paid tickets. The remaining 30% is the Interintellect platform fee (for non-members) OR the 30% discount on all salons that our Interintellect members benefit from (thus, hosts receive 70% of revenue regardless of attendee member status). You also have the option of offering free ticket code spaces for your salon (in this case, neither Interintellect nor the host receives a cut).
Interintellect is a platform for your salon and will provide marketing help via our social media and newsletter (we also have the option to be interviewed for the Interintellect blog and podcast, email to inquire). The rest is up to you!
Preparing to Host
Q: How do I know if my idea will make a good salon topic?
A: Almost every idea can become a great salon topic, and your success depends in a large part on framing. To prepare, ask yourself questions like: What are the most pressing questions, the ones that get at the topic’s core? What different points of view should be balanced and considered?
The best salon listings contain questions or observations that provoke curiosity or reveal a paradox that intrigue potential attendees (who will want to come to your event to further explore!).
Need help with finalizing your topic? Our excellent Host Experience Lead Crystal Duan has listing parties on Tuesdays and Thursdays where you can get help brainstorming topics or understanding how to frame your listing. You can sign up for a slot here.
If you’re in our Interintellect Discord, this is a great place to ask the Interintellect community for feedback and interest. You can also post a question on Twitter and tag @interintellect_ – we’ll retweet you and get you the answers you need.
Q: How do you craft an appealing event description? How much detail should I include?
A: First, introduce yourself (we’ll link to your Twitter handle or personal website). Write a paragraph (or two) describing the topic and why you’re interested in exploring it, add a few questions that you want to explore in your salon, and add some suggested readings or other links (if you have them). You can find examples of great event listings and salon templates here.
Q: How do you find brainstorming buddies / co-hosts?
A: Our Discord is a great place to find people. Otherwise, do you have any friends or colleagues who could bring a different perspective to the subject? Anyone you love interacting with on Twitter? These are all great people to ask.
Crystal can also help you!
Q: When promoting, how do you cut through the noise of social media?
A: We’ll be helping with some promotional efforts, but salon success is always improved by an engaged host. Reach out to people over email; send DMs to your Twitter friends; post to the corresponding channels in the Discord community forum; recruit your IRL friends; submit an essay for our blog. There are many ways you can get the word out!
Q: How do you prepare for different size salons? Large vs. Small?
A: There are many small changes to consider as your salon size increases from small to large, but one thing in particular to consider is the “Introduction” portion of your event. For larger salons, you may only have time for a very brief introduction : What is your name, location, what did you find interesting in the readings? For smaller salons, it could be possible to start with an extended activity to facilitate introductions and connection, such as sharing individual reflections on the readings.
Q: If a conversation goes off track or a few attendees dominate, how do you steer it back?
A: A good way to guide the conversation in this instance is to call on other attendees who haven’t spoken up to see if they have anything to contribute to the conversation.
Q: What are good ways to create an engaging conversation?
A: The great thing about Interintellect conversations is that they attract people from all over the world, with many different cultural backgrounds. The best conversations include many different perspectives, so use this to your advantage to view the different angles of the subject at hand.
Hosting a Series
Q: How often should I run the salons?
A: Many series salons occur monthly with the same time & day each month (e.g. first Thursday of the month, 8pm EU time zone), but hosts have submitted series that occur bi-weekly or even weekly. Series have lasted all the way from a few weeks to a year; some hosts even opt to run series indefinitely.
Q: How far in advance should I list my series?
A: Interintellect series should be listed at least one month before kickoff, with each single salon episode released three weeks beforehand (see this example).
Q: How much do series tickets cost for community members vs. non-community members?
A: As always, the host ultimately determines their own ticket price. Series tickets are part of our member benefits, so only members may purchase a series ticket. This being the case, if a non-member wishes to purchase a series ticket, they will be prompted to become an Interintellect member upon checkout.
E.g., If a host prices a series ticket at $150 for a year-long series, member will pay $150 while non-members will pay $284.99 ($150 + $134.99 yearly Interintellect membership).
Q: How many tickets are sold?
A: Our standard upper limit is 40; however, if you want to decrease or increase the limit, we can work with you. For IRL salons, our current COVID protocol is to cap the number of tickets at 15 (this is in flux, inquire for more information).
Q: Can people buy tickets for individual salons within the series?
A: This is up to the host. Some hosts choose to offer both series tickets and individual episode tickets, while some hosts opt to restrict to one or the other (you can make note of your wishes in your series submission).
Hosting a SuperSalon
Q: What is the difference between a salon and a SuperSalon?
SuperSalons are events that feature a special guest, often a well-known expert of their respective field. Oftentimes more time is extended to the SuperSalon guest up front, while still allowing room for questions and group participation. These discussions are usually recorded and made available on the Inteirntellect YouTube (unless host or guest has requested otherwise).
Q: How are payments handled for SuperSalons?
A: Our platform sees both hosts and guests as event leaders, who receive an equal share of the ticket proceeds (please contact us if you have agreed on a different arrangement). (You can read more about payouts here.)
Hosting an In-Person Event (IRL)
Q: What can I charge for an offline event? How do I manage attendance?
Currently, we only run offline events as free, members-only events. Members RSVP online (and can rescind their RSVP if they can no longer attend).
Q: I am hosting an IRL meetup. When do I need to know the details of where to meet?
A: Hosts for IRL events must send us the physical location—plus other details (e.g., bring blankets, refreshments, etc.)—at least three days before the salon. We will notify those who RSVP’d three days before the in-person salon, and will also send an additional reminder day-of. If we do not have this information at least three days in advance of the scheduled salon, the event will be cancelled.
Q: Do I need to give an exact location, or can it be approximate?
You must give a precise address or landmark (in the case of park meetings, for example), such that someone who only sees the email on the day of the event could easily and reliably find you at the scheduled time. While you cannot always guarantee a precise location (e.g., “We will be under this tree for all three hours”), it is your responsibility to have some sort of understandable means of locating you. If you need to change your meeting spot, make sure to share this new location with your participants as soon as possible, making it clear where your salon will be moved to.
Where can I learn even more?
To guide you through your hosting journey, we have compiled all the resources you need in the Host Hub.
Here are some recommended links:
- Host agreement
- Series agreement
- Host Greenroom: an exclusive “backstage” channel in our Community Forum where hosts give each other mutual support
- Community Forum Guide (ii Discord)
- Salon Code of Conduct
- The Five Rules of Gathering: the fundamentals of Interintellect’s ethos in running our events
- The Four Rules of Hosting: our guiding principles for Interintellect hosts