We’ve collected and shared common questions and answers to help you quickly understand how to host an On the Table event.
If you’re still unclear, check out the How to Host an On the Table video for a step-by-step walkthrough or watch the Event Recap video to see what On the Table events looked like.
What is On the Table?
On the Table is an invitation from Vancouver Foundation for people, organizations, and communities across BC to come together, share some food, and have conversations about what matters most to them. All the topics that are discussed will be collected and shared—giving us an exciting snapshot of what’s on people’s minds across the province right now. It’s a fun, meaningful opportunity for people everywhere to meet, gather, and share!
Do all events have to take place in September?
Most On the Table events will take place in September so we can focus our collective energy — registration is open for the full month, so feel free to join in whenever you can make it happen!
Where should On the Table events take place?
Following BC Health Authority guidelines means you will either host your event online using a platform of your choice, or in small groups if permitted. If the latter, you can host On the Table in any place that inspires people to talk; it could be your local library or office breakroom, a neighbourhood restaurant, or a nearby park, church, or recreation centre.
How do I host safely during COVID-19?
We require all hosts to follow the BC Government’s guidelines applicable to their event day. Check out Dr. Bonnie Henry’s Good Times Guide.
How many people should I invite?
We recommend a small group size so that everyone has a chance to speak and contribute to the conversation. At this time of physical distancing, we recommend online gatherings as the safest way to connect. If you’re interested in expanding your network, online gatherings are definitely the way to go, as you can encourage your guests to share the event with others that might like to join in on the conversation as well!
Is there financial support for hosting my event?
Yes, the Vancouver Foundation will grant up to $100 to individual hosts for supporting their event needs (eg. refreshments or snacks, posters, virtual licenses, space rentals).
To be eligible, you must live in BC, agree to health authority guidelines and not use the grant for purchase of alcohol or marijuana. This grant is available to individuals and individuals within organizations.
Do I have to provide food?
Not at all! However, people usually feel more comfortable sharing conversation over food, no matter how simple it is. With COVID-19 restrictions, consider suggesting simple recipes that people can make at home, or support local restaurants with take-out options. If you’re gathering in person, consider a bring-your-own-food and drink format to ensure everyone feels safe.
What is the theme of the conversations?
As a host, you choose a topic you’re interested in sharing with others. This will help you decide who to invite to your event. Alternatively, you can choose a very general topic or ask a question and allow the conversation to flow organically from the group around the table.
What kind of information is required to register?
Registration on the On the Table website only requires the host’s name, email address, and postal code.
How can I let my guests know about my event?
Ensure your guests know about your On the Table gathering early by filling out a Save the Date card and emailing it to them. You will find a customizable card after you sign up to register.
Closer to the event, you’ll be able to create a more detailed invitation with all the information guests need to join in.
How can I share my participation and see other events?
We encourage you and your guests to share your thoughts and experiences with us before, during, and after your event using the hashtag #onthetablebc.
I'm hosting a separate event in September, can I combine On the Table with it?
You can! However, our web registration system only supports one event per email account. To host more than one On the Table event this year, you will need to register a separate account, using a different email address for each additional event that you are hosting.