Get your salon idea up today!
- First timer? Create your host account for free here.
Let’s use Cameron Harwick’s debut Salon as an example. Here is a screenshot of the event listing:
Follow along by going to our submission page. We’ll cover each of the fields — feel free to jump to a specific section that you want more guidance on!
Table of Contents
1. Salon Title
Make sure to use clear language about the topic and how it will be applied. The audience should read it, and know if they fit the target demographic.
We’ve seen a particular formula have success: “Catchy Title: Longer, More Descriptive Title”. Some examples:
- Baby Steps to Beowulf: Old English For Beginners
- Intro to Polyamory: So Many Terms to Learn!
- Tarot In the Day To Day: Using the Archetypes To Inspire and Learn
If this style of title looks familiar, it should: this is how most non-fiction books are titled. It allows you to appeal to the part of the mind that appreciates brevity and wit as well as the part that actually wants to understand what will happen. Just don’t go too long.
An overly-broad title or generic title will end up attracting little interest. The best way to title a salon always includes some specifics which make the positioning of the salon clear.
(Also note the capitalization of titles in English. Please follow this guide.)
2. One-liner [aka the intro sentence]
Make this maximum two lines, clear, and bolded. This is your hook.
Two winning formulas can be:
“In this salon, [host name/link] will [action topic], and [core question being answered in this discussion].“
“Societal context/existing collective perception that this discussion is responding to. But [question that we will answer?]”
Include your name, that this is a Salon, Workshop Salon, series or not, etc. Don’t forget to make your name a hyperlink to your Twitter or website (later to your Host page…)
In his debut Interintellect Salon, Cameron Harwick will examine the mindsets of our ancestors, and whether we have anything in common with them.
3. Salon Description
In formulating a salon, we need to think about the audience for this salon — be clear how your salon is different from everything else – Netflix movies, podcasts, etc. — that it’s competing with. Be specific.
Try answering the following:
WHO is this for? Who so you want to come to your salon? What demographic? Men? Women? Working professionals? Mothers? Kids who just got out of college? World travelers? Political junkies?
WHAT will be talked about? What takeaways will participants have?
WHY does this matter right now, in our society today?
- Explain why we should be interested in this salon topic — usually there’s a greater picture of a tie in to the times we’re living in today. There’s a reason you are interested in it that has to do with modern society; don’t be shy about making that explicit, for there are others out there waiting to discuss that very thing too!
Make it obvious that your topic is specific yet relevant to others — that it’s special and niche, but also something everyone has an opinion about and should know more about! (Remember that people come to the ii to have the conversations they can’t have anywhere else, likely about something we’ve all thought about!)
What it is:
- Say what the topic is, and make it clear what the takeaway and objective of the salon will be. If it’s a different perspective, learning something new, reflecting etc. be clear!
Cameron’s main text includes the “In this [Interintellect] Salon, …” formula which further helps the attendee understand what to expect at the Salon.
In this Salon, we’ll probe some of these different stories...
Sample Discussion Questions:
Lastly, we always make sure we have examples of discussion questions that people can expect. This gives them a sense of what thoughts and reflections to have prepared. Of course, you don’t have to stick to these discussion questions as the conversation flows — but this is a great preview of the structure to abide by.
Cameron combines a sentence of his main text with his discussion questions:
“…and ask questions like:
- What are the pitfalls of telling a story like this? Can it be told without veering into declinism or triumphalism?
- Is it possible to answer the question from “within” a modern mindset? Can, or should, we try to “step outside”, and if so, how do we know when we’ve succeeded?
- Can “stepping outside” like that change the way we relate to modern moral phenomena like authenticity or individualism? By stepping outside, do we give up the ability to evaluate any particular change as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy?
- Given the staggering variety within both modern and premodern societies and minds, is it even possible to generalize this broadly?
- Is there a straightforward path from premodern thinking to modern thinking, or might contact with modern Western thinking react in different and unfamiliar ways with recently modernizing or as-yet premodern peoples?“
4. Reading list/ “Pre-Event Media”
This is a very flexible category…
But the general rule for most normal Salons is to have 4 to 7 newspaper article length readings included which the audience can be reasonably expected to read, and which will help align your attendees coming from such different backgrounds and often meeting for the first time.
Include good media outlets, well-known Substackers, your own writing or writing by your fellow Interintellects — but also TED talks or other lectures, or accessible academic papers.
Cameron’s reading list looks like this:
” Good to read pre-Salon:
- Why Are We in the West So Weird? A Theory
- Fundamentalism is Countercultural Modernism
- Reason as Memetic Immune Disorder
- Why Is Money Morally Suspect?
- The Bicameral Mind and our Constant Inner Monologue
- The Godless Delusion ”
Some Hosts also add videos – in this case we tend to say “read or watch before the Salon”, or simply “check out….”.
5. Salon Time and Date
Pick the date, start time, and end time for the Salon. Usually, Salons are scheduled for between 1.5 to 2.5 hours.
For your salon, you should pick the time zone of who you want to be awake.
- 12pm EST on a Sunday: Los Angeles, CA, all the way to European Friends in London, Lisbon, Berlin
- Weeknights (for American audience): shoot for 5pm PST
When you list the event, the time will be your timezone by default. Visitors to your event’s page will see the start time in their own time zone, so you don’t need to add the start time in other zones.
When in doubt, use World Time Buddy, where you can compare three time zones at the same time.
Here’s a quick conversion guide for our most popular time zones:
9am PST: West Coast of the USA (San Francisco, Los Angeles)
+3: 12pm EST: East Coast of the USA (New York, Toronto)
+8: 6pm GMT: London, UK
+9: 7pm CET: Paris, Berlin, Madrid
+12h 30m: 10pm IST: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore
6. Salon Image
Please choose a horizontal, rectangular image for your event’s header. The image should be less than 1 MB in size (the smaller the better, as long as it has sufficient resolution!), but also be wide enough to fill the space above the event text.
In general, the algorithms on Twitter, etc. tend to like bright, red/yellow, human face centred, figurative, non-nature, and non-pattern images. Bright and human-focused images will therefore be easier to promote and be more visible to people who may be interested.
Here are some good examples:
Some tips on where to find images:
- IMDB photos
- Film stills
- Free stock photos
- Art blogs (please indicate the artist as Image Source in the event text)
- Wikimedia Commons (no need to indicate source unless stated or indicated by the code in the description)
- History of popular music
- Online museums (indicate the museum as source)
- History of art in general
We also have a folder where we’ve collected some nice pictures that would work well. Feel free to use a picture from it! If you do, please delete it from the folder so that it’s not reused. You are also encouraged to add new pictures to it.
If you search using Google Images, we recommend searching only for high-resolution images. Go: Tools > Size > Large.
7. Salon Categories
Choose at least one category to classify your event. The most common category is the classic “Salon.” Other types include Workshop Salons, Book Clubs, etc. Refer to the ii Event Type documentation for more information.
If your event is part of a series, you can additionally pick “Series.”
This is also where you can specify that your event is a Members-Only Event. Members-Only Events work differently from regular Salons — they are free and restricted to people with an active ii subscription. We will handle the details if you pick this category.
8. Salon Tags
Tags indicate the theme of your Salon. They often correspond to the Discord channels: philosophy, science, art, design, self-growth…
To help people understand what your Salon is about, pick at least one tag — but feel free to add as many as you’d like!
9. Host Details
Pick the Salon Hosts from the list. Usually this will be yourself, possibly with an additional co-host. If you or your co-host are not in the list, just enter a name in the box to create a new Host. Note that Hosts in this context are distinct from user accounts.
10. Additional Fields – Ticket Price
This is where you specify your ticket price. Based on this information, we will create a ticket product when reviewing the submission.
Interintellect tickets start at $10 and can be set anywhere above that by the Host. We advise hosts start with $10 or $15, and over time can raise their event prices to $25.
You make a 70% cut of all sales, by the way!
Based on our experience so far, pricing tickets incentivizes attendees to show up, prepare and be a good participant.
11. Final Note
To have your salon or series published, however, three requirements must be met within 24 hours of submission. Namely, you need to set yourself up for payment, fill in and send us the W9 form (US taxpayers) or W8-BEN one (non-US taxpayers), as well as create a new Zoom account and send it to us too. Then, we will upgrade your new Zoom account to a paid version for free, and all will be ready to go.
Altogether, we encourage you to experiment: with topics, time zones, start times, formats, series vs tracks, promotion, ticket pricing… The best way to get good at hosting amazing ii Salons is to host many amazing ii Salons, and learn, iterate, refine your specific style, voice, and persona.
Best of luck, and we’ve got your back!