So, you want to throw a Firefly party in an effort to convert your friends into true blue Browncoats? Here are some ideas to get you started..
1) Throw a Theme Party
I'm not talking about a "Firefly" themed party, either. Goodness knows many of us probably have friends who would bail on us if we invited them to a Firefly party, so instead, be more covert. Pick a Firefly related theme (western, oriental, sci-fi, space, movies/tv, action, costume, etc.) and while the party will revolve primarily about that theme, it will be easy to work Firefly in. You can do this by playing the DVDs, dressing as a character from the show, decorating with Firefly images, etc. This way, rather than being obtrusive, you're showing them just enough to pique their interest. With any luck it will open up an avenue for more proactive conversion techniques.
For instance, you could throw a costume party and ask people to come as their favorite character from a book/tv show/movie. You can dress up as a Firefly character, and as an accessory you can have the DVDs playing. When people ask who you are, you can tell them briefly and direct them to the television where the DVD is playing. Once the party is in full swing, you could even gather everyone up and have them each talk briefly about who they came as and why they chose that character. This will give you yet another opportunity to talk about the Firefly character you chose, and will hopefully pique peoples' curiosity.
2) Throw a Wine and Cheese Party
If you don't think your friends will go for a costume party, just throw a plain and simple wine & cheese party. Be strategic about working Firefly into the evening. You could tack up a "Things I Learned from Firefly" poster in a conspicuous location, you could put Firefly wallpaper on your computer or laptop if it's in an obvious location, or you could even leave one of the many wonderful Firefly related web sites up. If people ask what it is, you can take the opportunity to tell them all about this show you're into. As always, though, probably the best thing you can do is play the DVDs. Depending on your friends and the size of the group, you might even be able to convince them to watch an episode. Or, if that won't work, just leave them playing on the television. Worst case scenario, put them on (with audible volume) in the bedroom and use the room as a coat check so people have to go in and catch a bit of the show. If you have a small television, you could even be REALLY bold and set it up in the bathroom (in a safe area of course) so people using the restroom will be a captive audience for some amount of time.n front of as many eyes as possible.
3) Throw a “Straight Up” Conversion Party
Depending on your friends, you may be able to just be honest, and tell them you want them to try watching an episode of Firefly. If you can offer a great party with food, drinks, and fun, your friends just might be willing to cut you some slack and give an episode a shot. Just be sure to pick an episode that you think will appeal to your friends. You may want to just go with Serenity, or you might choose another episode, in which case you must be sure to set the show up for them. For added fun, you could theme the party Firefly style, using any of the existing posters for decorations, as well as anything else that fits into the Firefly universe. You could even set up a few Firefly related parlor games (which should probably be played after watching the episode) and give away prizes, which could include a grand prize of a DVD set, if you can afford it, or a handmade "good for one admission to Serenity" ticket which they will redeem to you.
4) Throw a Companion Party (sounds kinkier than it is...)
Girls, this one's especially for you! Throw a slumber (or not) party, with a spa type focus. Some companies (such as Jaqua Girls, available at Target) make special kits for spa type parties. Top the evening off with a good Inara episode of Firefly, such as Shindig.
5) Throw an Action Hero party
This one might work well for the guys, but really could be for everyone. It's really a variation on the costume party them, but ask your friends to dress up as their favorite action hero. Dress up as your favorite BDH, and have the DVDs playing in the background.
If you're not into giving parties, you can always go the quiet route and just invite an individual friend over for a little conversion. You can be upfront about it if you think they'll bite, or you can be covert about it, maybe by having an episode playing when they arrive.
If you have a friend who lives far away, if you both have computers with decent internet connections, sound, and preferably instant messaging; Try getting on the phone with them one night and directing them to some of the amazing fan videos out there, under the guise of "you've just got to watch this, it's so incredible" or "tell me what you think about this". This is how one Browncoat successfully converted her mother. She IMd her mom the fan video links, and they clicked on them at the same time (3...2...1... click) so they were sort of watching them together. Not only did it prove to be a fun way to bond over the long distance, but the fan's mother enjoyed the fan videos so much that she ran out and purchased the DVDs the very next day!
Whatever you decide to do, be creative! Talk to other Browncoats and ask them what's worked for them. Toss ideas around, and if you live near other fans you might be able to coordinate your efforts to throw even bigger and grander conversion parties! Go crazy... it's well worth it!
Any additional ideas, please contact me.