What is Chowbunga?
Chowbunga is a platform to meet new people by hosting or attending Pop-ups. The platform makes it simple for people with shared interests that have never met to chip in and throw extraordinary private parties that pop up in unique settings.
What are Pop-ups?
Pop-ups are private, curated affair among hand-picked guests that pop up in unique spaces such as private homes, offices, and storefronts like a fashion boutique or butcher shop. Chowbunga Pop-ups are always well attended because they only happen (“Pop!”) if enough guests reserve a ticket.
Why are these events private and exclusive to only people the host chooses to invite?
Keeping the parties private and exclusive is what helps differentiate these social gatherings from typical going out life. Often, these Pop-ups are in private venues owned by the hosts, like a home or storefront temporarily closed off to the public. The intimacy generated by such settings fosters sincere interaction among those in attendance, leading to a more rewarding social experience for all.
What does it mean for an event to “pop”?
A Chowbunga event only happens if it Pops. An event Pops when enough guests confirm to attend an event by reserving a ticket, with the host setting the number of needed guests. This ensures that an event will only happen when enough people want it to happen, thereby kickstarting it by popular demand. Guests who reserve a ticket to a Pop-up will only have their credit cards charged if/when enough people reserve a ticket to the same Pop-up, causing it to “tip” or “Pop.” This gives hosts assurance that they will never have to risk making preparations for a party that doesn't materialize, and guests assurance that they will never have to risk buying a ticket to a party that ends up being much smaller than expected. It’s a guaranteed party every time!
Is everyone in the room a stranger?
Not entirely. For one, you are encouraged to bring a friend with you to share in the experience and so that you feel more comfortable being surrounded by new people in non-traditional settings. Most of the people at the party will be people you have never met in the real world, but they don’t all have to be considered complete strangers. You can “meet” the other guests on Chowbunga before attending an event by checking out their profiles in the event guest section and even messaging them. Hosts are encouraged and likely to invite some of their old friends too.
How do I invite my old friends to a party I am hosting on Chowbunga?
Chowbunga is all about safely teaming up with new people to throw private parties, but naturally old friends can be mixed in too. Inviting old friends allows them to join in the experience of meeting new people and may help you to feel more comfortable hosting with them by your side. To make sure they chip in, hosts can send old friends invites directly via email. By funneling everyone through the platform, costs are shared and parties get better.
How are Chowbunga Pop-ups better than a typical night out?
When partygoers unite, going out life improves: A night out becomes a novel experience, social interactions among strangers become more genuine, ambiances become more customized, and quality improves while costs drop.
The ticket prices all seem like great deals, what’s the catch?
When you “purchase” a ticket, you are really just making a contribution to the party. Hosts step up to open their home or storefront for the sake of a good party, and guests chip in to share in the costs of the party, thereby assisting their host. Chowbunga is based on the concept of “collaborative consumption,” where a community comes together to pool resources, and in this case, yield better deals for going out life by avoiding the profit and overhead that restaurants and bars typically include in their prices.
Are these parties really all-inclusive?
Yes, Chowbunga parties are always all-inclusive, meaning that you won't have to spend any more money once at the Pop-up (except for maybe a tip to a bartender). So for example, a Popup artisan cocktail party is always an open bar, and you will get at least 3-4 drinks for around $30 total. We know, the ticket prices almost seem too good to be true, considering cocktails equivalent to the ones served at the events our members host are typically in the $12-14 range each, out at a bar! But when members pool their money to throw a party, they can do things like hire the best bartender in town to privately serve cocktails for a fraction of the cost of going out to a cocktail lounge. While the parties are all-inclusive and inexpensive, that does not mean they are all you can eat or drink events. Don’t bring an endless buffet attitude. Everyone chipped in, so everyone deserves a fair share, and if a bartender puts a tip jar out at a party and is serving you well, you should contribute to it.
Do hosts take a profit from the ticket sales?
Our community’s ethos is cost-sharing. When everyone chips in, it cultivates a sense of a shared experience and enables members to throw more lavish affairs more frequently. That said, if a host’s parties are so awesome that they can charge a premium and still pack the house, then they are free to do so and take the profits. So, it’s really up to the community.
What is Chowbunga’s transaction fee?
Chowbunga adds a 20% fee to all tickets. So a ticket listed for $20 costs $24 at checkout. The host gets $20 and Chowbunga gets $4. However, Chowbunga does not apply this transaction fee to events hosted by certified charities, nor events that hosts choose to make free to attend.
How much does it cost to post a Pop-up on Chowbunga?
It is FREE to post a Pop-up on Chowbunga. It is FREE to join Chowbunga. The only time you pay on Chowbunga is if you reserve a ticket to attend a Pop-up and the event Pops.
Who can host?
Anyone! Individuals, roommates, couples...and business and organizations too! Chowbunga experiences can Pop-up anywhere, as long as the environment is private and unique. For example, you can host a Pop-up in your one-bedroom, backyard, or rooftop, in your boss’ office or at your fashion boutique after-hours!
Why should I host?
Hosting an event puts you in charge! You get to create and customize your ideal social scene, have fun watching demand for your event build, invite only the most interesting people you wish to meet, and be the center of attention when everyone arrives. You swoop in, rescue your guests from the mundane by putting together a great experience, and get all the applause afterward, just like Clark Kent rescuing Lois Lane. And because all your guests will be chipping in to attend, it won’t cost you a thing, and you could even make a buck or two.
Why would a business or organization want to host?
Hosting a Pop-up is a hip way to build your community, generate buzz or new sales, get to know existing customers and fans, and develop new ones in a genuine and enjoyable manner. People may remember a billboard, but they’ll never forget a great party!
Why should I use Chowbunga to host my events?
Because we make it a cinch to host events and safely meet new people. Chowbunga enables you to: post your Pop-up in a jiffy; provides the necessary demand to get your event filled; allows you to handpick vetted guests; provides you the guarantee that enough people will commit to attend before you must ultimately commit to hosting; and allows you to recoup your costs and maybe even make a buck or two. And the benefits don’t just end there. Chowbunga is a social network. By using it to host your event, you’ll become part of a community that will give you access to a world of new people and new experiences.
Can I throw any type of party I want and set the price?
Brunch, dinner parties, cocktails, performances, themed events, games, cooking classes and more, a Pop-up can be anything and happen anywhere. Set a contribution or “ticket” price to cover your costs, and, if your parties are that awesome that you can charge a premium and still pack the house, keep any extra money you make.
Will Chowbunga help me throw my Pop-up so that I can more easily host an amazing party?
Instead of creating your own Pop-up from scratch, you can throw an “Insta-Pop”. It’s the easiest way to host a full-fledged Pop-up party that everyone will love, but without too much thought or effort. Just open your door and let the party come to you. Simply provide the venue (e.g. your home or storefront), select your guests, and choose which bartender or chef you want to show up and Chowbunga will do the rest. It won’t cost you a thing, and you’ll even get a split of the bartender’s tip jar! Insta-Pops are a great way to curate your perfect social setting, on your own terms, and party with people you want to meet, all without doing much more than providing a space for the party to Pop-up!
Can I use Chowbunga to spice up the everyday parties I normally have with friends?
Yes! It is a great first way to host an event through Chowbunga. We call it an “Enhance-A-Party”. Just take a party that you are already planning with old friends, like your typical Saturday bbq, and post it as an “Enhance-A-Party” on Chowbunga. You and your friends can see if anyone interesting requests an invite. If anyone does, you can then choose whom to invite to add some new faces to your usual party. Liven things up and end the day with a few new friends!
Do hosts get all the ticket revenue from their parties?
Yes! If a host sets a $30 contribution fee and 20 guests purchase a ticket, Chowbunga will send the host a check for $600. Guests pay the the transaction fee for processing the tickets; hosts do not.
How safe it is to host complete strangers in my home?
Chowbunga features member-driven trust, safety, and reputation tools that allow you to control who may attend your event. People interested in attending your event must first request an invite from you. These invite requests will give you a good deal of reliable information to enable you to choose your guests wisely. Furthermore, only those you grant an invite to, AND who also purchase a ticket to your event, will learn of your address. In other words, only the most interesting people you feel most comfortable meeting will get to attend your party.
Why do I have to Request an Invite from the host?
To make them safe and exciting, all Chowbunga Pop-Ups are open for public viewing, but private to attend. Anyone can request an invite to attend any Pop-up, but the host always has the ultimate say on whom they'd like to attend their Pop-up. Thus, the Request an Invite feature allows the host to curate the crowd and create their own ideal guest list. Only those attending learn the address of the Pop-up. In selecting their guests, your host will ensure a great mix of interesting new people to meet and things like an even girl-guy ratio, resulting in a better experience and more fun for all. Don’t take it personally if you don’t get an invite; these events are small and private, so a host can onlychoose a handful of people to invite. When you host, you’ll be able to select your own guests too!
How can I increase my odds of receiving an invite?
Here are three suggestions: 1) Safety is a primary point of interest for hosts. The more complete your profile is, the more likely you are to receive invites. Your profile becomes more trusted by having it verified via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or About.me. 2) High Fives and Pop-up Pals are a social signal to the community that you’re good people. The more you have, the more trusted you become. 3) Pay attention to the “We’d Love To Host” statements. You’re more likely to receive an invite when you fit the host’s desired demographic.
Do I have to Request an Invite to every event I want to attend?
Yes, unless the host is already your friend and sends you an invite directly.
If the host sends me an invite, am I then obligated to reserve a ticket?
No. :) After receiving an invite, you can still decide whether you want to reserve a ticket. But don’t wait too long to decide, because if the event gets filled, you won’t be able to attend even though you were invited. Keep in mind that by reserving a ticket, you are authorizing your credit card to be charged if the event Pops.
When is it confirmed that a party is actually going to happen and when is my credit card charged?
All Chowbunga Pop-ups are kickstarted. Confirmed guests will only have their credit cards charged if/when enough people have reserved a ticket to the same Pop-up. This gives both interested guests and hosts assurance that the party will only "tip" or "Pop" if enough people have confirmed to attend. Hosts set the number guests needed for a party to Pop. By Popstarting it, hosts will never have to risk making preparations for a party that doesn't materialize, and guests will never have to risk buying a ticket to a party that ends up being much smaller than expected.
Is there a cancellation or refund policy?
Only if an event is cancelled will ticket purchases be refunded.
What methods of payment can I use when reserving a ticket?
Just a credit card. We use Stripe.com for our credit card processing, which accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discovery and JCB.
When requesting an invite, what if I don’t know yet whether I am bringing a guest?
You can select “I don’t know yet” and submit your invite request. If you receive an invite, you can decide then whether you will be bringing a guest, and if so, reserve a ticket for you and your guest accordingly. If the event Pops, your credit card will be charged for a ticket for two.
When will I know whether I have been invited?
Hosts are encouraged to respond to invite requests promptly. They will review the requests they receive and decide whom to invite. If a host declines your request, an email will automatically be sent to notify you. Usually a host will send out their invites days in advance, but in some cases may wait a day or two before the event. And in other cases, a host may simply leave your request pending. If that happens, you will only be notified that the event has failed to Pop and won’t take place, or that the event has closed and is taking place without you.
What happens after I get invited?
If enough people have already reserved a ticket, then the party has popped and it’s party time! Simply purchase a ticket for yourself, or for you and your guest, and show up ready to be socially satisfied! If the party has yet to Pop, you can reserve a ticket. Once the party Pops, your credit card will be swiped and your ticket will be purchased. You can pre-party by checking out who the other guests will be on the event page and even messaging them.
What happens after the party?
The after-party! Stay in contact and interact with the people you met by becoming Chowbunga “Pop-up Pals” with them to be notified when they are hosting or attending new events, message them to stay in touch, and/or “High Five” them to signal to the rest of the community that they’re good peops.