How to Host a Killer Walking Dead Viewing Party
Since its creation, Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead has become a household name from people religiously reading the graphic novels to anticipating every new episode of the AMC drama. While not every fan of the television show reads the graphic novels nor vice versa, all members of this fandom have one thing in common - they love watching Rick Grimes and his crew fight zombies... and other people. With all this zombie fever, just imagine the benefits one could reap if they put the two mediums together for the ultimate Walking Dead Junkie to feast on?
Bookstores and libraries are often seen as the center of community and conversation, making them the perfect venue for patrons to come together to enjoy their favorite media past-times. With the AMC The Walking Dead drama's mid-season premier coming out February 12, now is the perfect time to plan out your Walking Dead Viewing Party.
As overwhelming as it may seem to some, hosting a successful viewing party is simple. Aside from the obvious technical needs involved in a viewing party, bringing people together is part of what makes bookstores and libraries unique in their fields. Check out our tips for hosting a successful The Walking Dead viewing party:
Let the World Know About Your Viewing Party
It does no good to host a viewing party if people don't know to come. Make sure you have window clings and flyers in your bookstore or library advertising the important details such as: start time, episode air time, where (if in a different room than the main), short activities description.
Begin Advertising At Least Two Weeks in Advance
These days, everyone is on a schedule - even when it comes to their favorite television show. Make sure you are giving your patrons an ample amount of time to make sure they put your viewing party information into their busy schedules. And be sure to highlight the event whenever possible whether it is in passing conversation with someone talking about the zombie genre or by putting flyers in the shopping bags of people who bought walking dead items.
Put Up Decorations Before the Event
Everyone loves good decorations, so make sure you spruce up your store or library with walking dead decorations prior to the event to get people excited. Not only are decorations appealing, they serve as a conversation starter and a reminder to all of your patrons about the upcoming event.
Have Decorations During the Event
As important as the decorations are prior to the viewing party, a great party is nothing without decorations to set the mood.
- Consider playing volume one or two of The Walking Dead soundtrack, and have them available for patrons to purchase or check out.
- Candles also serve as a great way to set the mood for zombie watching. There is no electricity during the apocalypse after all! (Then again, having a few lights on wouldn't hurt either).
- If you have public restrooms, hang up DON'T OPEN DEAD INSIDE signs on the outside.
- Separate your store/library into the different factions seen in The Walking Dead (Alexandria, The Hilltop, The Saviors, The Kingdom, and The Walkers). Each faction can have their own set of games and merchandise related to the community they represent.
Merchandise Your Shelves Appropriately
Once you get those patrons through the door, make sure they are surrounded by their favorite The Walking Dead merchandise whether that is graphic novels, apparel, merchandise or the soundtrack. Introduce long-time viewers of the series to the graphic novel line, so they can get the best of both the television universe and the print universe, or get these fans decked out in The Walking Dead apparel so they are ready to join the cosplay event at your next viewing party. See below for recommended titles and merchandise.
One of the biggest set-backs to hosting a viewing party is the fact that people can watch their favorite shows in the comfort of their own home, why should they come to your business to do that? Having special contests or giveaways prior to the airing of the show are great ways to interest patrons in your viewing party.
- Cosplay Contest: Encourage patrons to dress up as their favorite Walking Dead character (or as a zombie) and have guests at the viewing party choose a winner after the show.
- Bingo: Bingo boards are easy to create and even easier to find on the internet, and everyone loves screaming BINGO!
- Trivia: Challenge your patrons to show off their walking dead knowledge with a trivia game.
- Prizes: No contest is complete without some kind of prize for the winner. Our prize suggestions include:  The Walking Dead graphic novel,  piece of The Walking Dead merchandise or apparel, discount coupons on the winner's next purchase, or everyone's favorite - the "I Survived ... and All I Got Was This T-Shirt" shirt with your business name and the name of your viewing party event.
Feed the Zombies
Having food at a viewing party is not always necessary, especially when you take advantage of any (or all) of the other great tips mentioned above. But everyone loves food, and there are a ton of great receipes and food ideas for zombie lovers on the world wide web. However, if you choose to have food at your viewing party, make sure you are appropriately staffed to handle the clean up afterwards!
|The Walking Dead Book 1
|The Walking Dead Volumes 1-4 Bundle Pack
|The Walking Dead: Rick Grimes Adult Coloring Book
|The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor Deluxe Slipcase
|The Walking Dead Volume 25: No Turning Back
|The Walking Dead Volume 26: Call to Arms
|Walking Dead This is Lucille Black T-Shirt
UPC: Varies by Size
|The Walking Dead 2017 Calendar
|Mopeez Walking Dead 12pc Plush Figure Display
For more information on graphic novels or merchandise, please contact your sales representative.
Did you host an awesome The Walking Dead viewing party? Want us to give a shout out to an upcoming viewing party? Let us know by emailing Ashley Kronsberg about your past or future viewing party!