2. How to run a Restart Party.
Hosting a Restart Party is a piece of cake. Follow this simple recipe for your first party – then experiment and change as you get more confident.
2.a) Recipe for a Restart Party.
Organising a venue (including scouting for locations) – 3-5 hours.
Recruiting and publicising – 2 hours
3 hours. Remember – no new fixes during the last hour, in order to give enough time to get everything finished.
- A good venue (see below)
- Basic tools (see below)
- Extension leads (you can never have too many)
- Masking or gaffa tape to tape the extension leads down
- A waiting list (this can be a poster or a whiteboard - and will help you measure your impact, later).
- Wayfinding signs (to direct people)
- 3-4 Restarter fixers
- 2 party hosts
- Name tags or name badges
- Tea, coffee, drinks and snacks
For a good venue
- 5 large tables and chairs
- Adequate power outlets
- Decent lighting
- WiFi or mobile internet access
- Access to toilet
- Ask your fixers (and other volunteers) to arrive before you open, to get set up.
- Set up the space to help with the flow of people. You’ll need a space for waiting, and separate repair stations for each of your fixers.
- Use your signs to show people where to sign-in, find the toilets, make tea and find snack. Set up the kettle, lay out your biscuits.
- Hosts should greet people, ask them questions about their devices to work out what’s wrong, and check-in repairs on the public waiting list (which will come in handy later).
- Hosts then match each repair to a fixer with the right skills – and the fixers get working!
- Where possible, cluster repairs - for example, have all mobile repairs in one area.
- While waiting, people will snack, chat, and share their experiences. Everyone can learn and teach from everyone else.
- Remember, not every repair will be successful. Some people will probably need to go away, find a spare part, and come back to the next party. But it’s the attempt to fix things that counts.
Tools & Supplies
Restarters in London have compiled a list of suggested tools and supplies on the Restart Wiki. You don’t need to have everything on the list to conduct a successful Restart Party, but every bit helps.
Note: this is very much a work in progress: if you have additional suggestions, please get in touch.
Special offer for new groups: we’ve partnered with tools and spare parts specialists iFixit to offer all new groups a free electronics repair toolkit worth €75. Learn more and request yours here.
2.b) Finding Fixers.
If you or your group want to host a party, but don’t know how to fix things yourself, you’ll need to find some people who can. Ask at community events, hackspaces, electronic shops and schools – or just put up some posters in your community.
You’ll find fixers have all sorts of different skills. Some can help with the basics like changing plugs; some can deal with software issues; others will take on intricate repairs with a soldering iron. But as long as they’re up for taking on a challenge, and helping people learn how to do it themselves, they’re all welcome at a Restart Party!
Even if you only have a few Restarters at your first party, don’t worry – more will appear. If you host it, they will come.
For more advice, read this topic: Top tips for recruiting fixers, let's help each other grow our groups!
2.c) Promoting your party
Next stop is to get people to come. We’d recommend using as many ways as possible to get people there.
People who are active in communities still use email lists as the best way to keep in touch. Try to get your event announced on as many relevant lists as possible. Remember, it’s not just green or tech lists that can help – local residents associations and community venues can help spread the word, too.
Posters and flyers
Simple black and white posters and flyers are effective. Be sure to ask to display these in shops, libraries, and other public spaces in your local community. You can also put flyers through people’s front doors in the area around your venue.
List your event on as many websites as possible: your own, the venue’s, the Restart Project’s, and the websites of local community groups.
Social media is a cheap and easy option. Many groups advertise their events on sites such as Meetup, Facebook, or other platforms. We’d still recommend email lists and posters first though – because they take a little more effort, people will respond better.
Mainstream or local media could be helpful, you might consider sending a press release, particularly to local newspapers.
2.d) A word on names and logos
We call ourselves ‘The Restart Project’, and we want to see Restart Parties spreading far and wide. The idea is that as many organisations as possible host their own parties, and recruit volunteers from their communities to run them.
You’re welcome to use your own branding for your group and/or events. If you want to use the Restart name and logo, please do! But it’s important to note, though, that we’re not asking you to set up local chapters of the Restart Project! So if you want to use our names and logos, please bear the following in mind:
DO call your event a Restart Party! It’s a good name, and will help people to understand what you’re trying to do.
DO use the Restart Party logo on your banner or poster.
DO indicate which local organisations are hosting and sponsoring (in your posters and banners)
DO use Patua One, a free font download, if you can.
DO NOT imply your event is run by the Restart Project.
DO NOT use our logo on its own randomly, or add to it (the designers will get upset).
DO NOT squash the logo or change its colour
You will find that some people self-identify as Restarters, and that you need a pool of Restarters to power a Restart Party, or to power a local repair cafe. We provide some visual elements to recruit and motivate Restarters online and in real life.
Use these to recruit people, including on social media and online. You can also include your location…
You can pick your favorite colour and use as profile photo on social networks.
Files for download
We have gathered all the communication material you will need to run your Restart Party in a downloadable bundle (Zip file, 4.4 MB). Inside you will find the following:
- Registration sign
- Restart lounge sign
- Fixing table sign
- Wayfinding poster
- Restart Party rules
- Event promo poster