Together Apart with Priya Parker | Virtual CreativeMornings New York

Yesterday was an emotional day: The New York CreativeMornings chapter hosted our first ever virtual CreativeMornings event and welcomed over 1,000 community members on Zoom and YouTube Livestream.

Who would have thought that it would take a pandemic to make me embrace a digital format and host CreativeMornings from my bedroom.

After 11.5 years of putting on IRL (in real life) events here in NYC, I felt ANXcited about the challenge of adapting our events to a digital format. What can we translate from the regular events to virtual? What needs to change? What are the opportunities here? What is at the core of the magic of CreativeMorning?

At 9am yesterday, people tuned in from around the world. We kicked everything off with a lighthearted, fun pre-show, hosted by Christina and Kyle, former CreativeMornings/Toronto hosts and now members of our HQ team.

Our amazing ASL interpreter volunteer Canara helps us keep our events accessible for our hearing impaired. (We love you Canara!)

The pre-show includes audience participation and we had planned to create a virtual ‘coffee line’ and have everyone go into breakout rooms to meet each other, but Zoom didn’t cooperate. Oh well, we improvised by engaging the audience in the chat.

You can see NYC based Sarah Goldstone perform one of her songs at around 20:10.

The pre-show ends at around 25:00 and I get introduced. (Remember to unmute, Tina!)

At around 30:25 I introduce Holley Murchison to read our manifesto. (We adapted the manifesto slightly to match the digital world.)

I thank our sponsors around 33:00 with analog hand-drawn signs. We appreciate you, Harvest, Mailchimp, and Basecamp.

At our regular events we play the “stand up if” game, but for this digital landscape we adapted it to a a”raise your mug if” at around here.

At 40:19 I introduce our theme. And at 41:07 I introduce the remarkable Priya Parker, which then unfortunately lost her internet connection the minute she was supposed to come on! We got this. We stayed calm and stretched for a minute and then she dialed back in 2 minutes later from her phone.

This is the moment where my cat jumped on my desk and spilled my giant cup of coffee all over my desk and my pants. It was dripping EVERYWHERE! This is where I own it.

One of my favorite moments of the morning was when Priya’s husband Anand walks into the room and tries to troubleshoot her wifi. Look at this! Glorious!

After Priya’s segment was over, we launched into our 30 second pitches, where we hand 3 of our audience members the mic for 30 seconds so they can pitch the room anything they want.

We danced out of the event to a Justin Timberlake song, which was an incredibly heartfelt experience, but unfortunately we can’t show this as YouTube would instantly take the video down. So, just imagine 450+ audience members dancing goodbye after our first ever CreativeMornings/NYC event.

If you are interested in attending any of the upcoming virtual CreativeMornings events around the world, check out our upcoming chapter events and our FieldTrips.

And if you’re interested in how to meaningfully gather in a world of physical distancing, suggest you follow Priya and listen to her podcast Together Apart.

And if you have experienced interesting new creative ways of gatherings, or have some interesting ideas on how it could be done, please share them here in this Twitter Thread.