Rise & Shine Local Host Guide

Interested in hosting a Rise & Shine meetup in your community?


Rise & Shine is a twice-a-month meetup for entrepreneurs, makers, and innovators in Southern Virginia. 

  • On the 1st Wednesday of each month, Rise & Shine is a networking opportunity co-hosted by local partners across the region. The default format is in-person but it may be virtual occasionally. 
  • On the 3rd Wednesday of the month, Rise & Shine is a virtual meetup with a featured speaker – either an entrepreneur sharing their story or a resource provider sharing their services.

1st Wednesday Local Meetup, In-Person at Multiple Locations, 8:30am-9/9:30am

8:30am Coffee and Welcome Local Host welcomes guests as they arrive
8:40am Announcements Local Host shares upcoming events from RISE and other local entrepreneurship opportunities
8:45am Introductions Attendees introduce themselves/their businesses to the group (If it becomes a consistent group, this turns into updates versus introductions)
9:00am-9:30am Informal Networking As attendees begin to leave, Local Host asks each person to take exit survey/question ticket on way out
9:30am Adjourn Local Host adjourns event (pays coffee bill if at a coffee shop)

Virtual/Hybrid Alternative: 1st Wednesday Virtual/Hybrid Meetup, 8:30am-9:30am

8:30am Welcome Host invites all participants to check out sovarise.com and follow on social media.  Also encourages attendees to connect with RISE and each other on LinkedIn.
8:35am Introductions and Questions Host asks participants to share their name, location, and answer an icebreaker question.
8:45am Breakout Rooms and/or Small Groups Host begins Zoom breakout rooms or small group. Host leads discussion in each Zoom room or small group. Ask for a notetaker in each room. Discussion questions will be provided by RISE. A volunteer should be identified to report out to full group.
9:05am Breakout/Small Group Share Out One member of each breakout room shares highlights from the breakout room discussion.
9:15am Discussion and Action Items Based on responses, the facilitator guides a discussion. What are the next steps?  If connections were made and actions planned, who will be responsible for making it happen and by when?
9:20am Closing and Announcements Follow up again on sovarise.com and resources available. Remind participants to follow on social and connect with each other. Announce upcoming RISE events and ask if participants have announcements.
9:25am Exit Ticket Question Use chat (or note cards if in person) to end with an exit ticket question. 
9:30am Adjourn Local host adjourns event (if in-person at a coffee shop, host pays the coffee bill).


Marketing and Promotion

    • RISE Collaborative will provide marketing collateral and registration support, including event website (https://sovarise.com/riseandshine), online registration and reminder emails, event flyers, Facebook event, LinkedIn event, and a social media image(s) that can be shared across channels. 
    • Local Host will promote their event and share the marketing collateral through email, social media, and word of mouth, including outreach to individuals in the local community who may be interested in attending

Event Planning and Logistics

    • RISE Collaborative will determine the date and time (i.e. first Wednesday of each month, 8:30am-9:30am) 
    • Local Host will determine the location and coffee provider. 
    • RISE Collaborative will reimburse Local Host for coffee, up to $6 per person per event

Event Management

    • RISE Collaborative will provide Local Host with an event agenda/timeline, sign-in sheet, a list of announcements/upcoming events, and an exit survey/question.
    • Local Host will run the event, from setup to cleanup, greeting all guests, facilitating introductions, and sharing announcements/upcoming events related to RISE and other local entrepreneurship opportunities, and asking guests to participate in the exit survey/question. 
    • Local Host will provide an attendance list to RISE Collaborative by COB on the day-of the event. 

Rise & Shine Sign-In Sheet

Event Changes or Cancellations

Due to inclement weather: In the case of inclement weather in any/all of the planned locations:

      • SOVA Innovation Hub will set up a virtual event as a safe alternative
      • Local Host makes a determination whether to proceed or not with the in-person option, by 12pm on the prior day (i.e. Tuesday 12pm before the Wednesday 8:30am event)
      • RISE Collaborative will update marketing collateral and share with Local Hosts and through RISE marketing channels

Due to COVID-19 or other public health crises: 

    • The decision to present Rise & Shine virtually or in-person is at the discretion and liability of the local host. 
    • Local hosts are responsible for communicating any mask requirements and contact tracing to local participants.



    • RISE Collaborative and its organizing partners (SOVA Innovation Hub, Longwood University, Longwood SBDC, etc.) are to be held harmless in the local implementation of Rise & Shine events. If a local host chooses to offer an in-person event they are doing so at their own risk.