FAQ’s

What is Home for the Holidays? 

It’s a one-of-a-kind event where individuals come together in homes and churches to watch a unique webcasted event of inspiration and fun, offering practical tips on incorporating Fair Trade items in your home and life with powerful artisan stories.  The holidays beckon us home. Whether we celebrate with friends, family or both, our homes can hold more than guests: they can tell stories of justice and empowerment.  Viewers will be challenged to use their purchasing power and influence to change the lives of marginalized women around the world by featured guests: Ann Voskamp, Myquillyn Smith “The Nester”, Jen Schmidt, Shaun Groves, Maureen Kaderi and Kristen Welch. The exclusive fair trade product discussed during the webcast will be available for purchasing during the webcast on November 2nd. 

When is it?

Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 7:00 PM

How can I get more involved? 

We would love for you to host a watch party in your home! It’s easy. We have 3 levels (the more you pay, the more Fair Trade product you receive). Your host fee not only supports the work of Mercy House Global, it also provides free viewership for those who don’t know about the ministry of Mercy House Global. Click here to learn more about the hosting options and get a sneak peek at the stunning hostess gifts.

I already have plans on November 2nd!? 

No worries, you can still host a watch party up to 60 days after November 2nd. Email us and we will tell you more! 

I love MHG but I don’t have the money to host a watch party.

We can help you get creative! Consider hosting with a friend and splitting the fee or selling tickets to your friends. You would be surprised who would pay $15 or $20 to support a good cause. Plus, every hosting tier comes with Fair Trade product— you can sell it, give it away or use it.

I don’t have the gift of hospitality- it’s okay. Our Founder doesn’t either!

You can host your watch party anywhere— at a friend or family members house… we don’t mind. Give your best  “hostess with the mostess” friend a call and see if they will help. We’ve had several people pay the church hosting fee for their local church!

I want to do a pop up shop at my webcast event.

Great! We love that idea. You’ll have to sign up here to “host a fair trade party” and return any product that doesn’t sell (along with your sales).

 

About the Live Event… 

Who can attend the Live Event?  

Anyone! Lifeway will be filming the live portions of the webcast content. It’s a great way to meet the guest speakers, get a jump on early shopping and get ideas for hosts who are having a watch party in their homes on Nov. 2. It is being recorded at Church Project 295 Sawdust, The Woodlands, TX 77380.

How do I get tickets? 

You can purchase tickets here. If you sign up to host a watch party here, you will receive tickets to the live event for free! Hosts also are invited to a private meet and greet with the speakers. 

What do I wear to live event?  

It’s date night or girls night out attire 

What should I bring to the live event? 

If you have books you’d like signed tuck those in your bag. Bring some shopping money. 

What’s included in the ticket price? 

You will receive dinner, access to early shopping and entrance into the taping of the webcast. If you are a host, you may also pick up the exclusive Home for the Holiday product box based on your hosting tier.

 

About the Webcast… 

How do I watch the webcast? 

Click here and create a quick login. It’s easy and free. 

Who can watch the webcast?  

Anyone. Our hosts, which are already familiar with the mission of Mercy House Global are sponsoring watch parties in their homes to make the event free to those who aren’t familiar with the ministry of Mercy House Global. 

I want to host in my home. How do I get started? 

It’s simple. Read about our hosting tiers here and sign up! You’ll receive your box of product along with emails and details for hosting as the event draws closer.

How do I download the Media Kit?

Click here. 

Can we delay the broadcast if the start time doesn’t work for our group? 

Yes. You’re free to begin your event as early as 5:00 PM or host your watch party up to 30 days after the November 2nd launch date.

Can I sell Fair Trade product at my event?  

Yes, you can sell or give away the items in your hosting box or use them. If you’d like to request more product to sell at your watch party, you can request a Fair Trade event box here. Please note: these boxes will contain different items from the Home for the Holiday Box.

 

General Tech Questions…

Can I watch on my TV? 

Yes, you can by casting with a tool like Chromecast or using a Firestick, or connecting your TV to your computer with an HDMI cable or other compatible cable.

Can I watch via Roku, Apple TV, Playstation, Wii, Xbox One, etc?  

Yes. Google how to cast from these devices.

Can I use a wireless connection for streaming my video? 

Yes, you can. However, wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi) has the potential for drops in available bandwidth on your local network. We recommend that you use a hard-wired connection whenever possible for a more reliable connection. 

Which browser do you recommend using for this event?  

We recommend a “neutral” browser, or one that doesn’t depend on the operating system of your computer. These tend to use less on-board resources and result in a higher quality video. Therefore, we recommend using Chrome or Firefox in both PC and Mac environments. Please be sure you update your browsers before the event to get the most recent versions.  

Can I watch a live stream on my Mobile device?  

Yes. LifeWay supports broadcasting to all mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile). However, some functionality within the player may be limited due to the type of device you’re using. 

What is the minimum connection speed that you recommend?  

We recommend that the minimum connection be 700kbps (1MB for good quality; 5mbps for best quality) download speed. You may test your connection speed by going to http://www.speedtest.net. If your download speed is less than the suggested minimum, then you have some options:
1) Connect at the lowest speed we broadcast with (500k) and understand that the quality of the stream may be a bit less than you’re used to;
2) Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and request a faster connection. In some cases, your current provider may offer higher rates of speed for the same rate you are already paying.  

How do I connect my HDTV to the stream?  

Streaming to your television is a good practice for both individuals and small groups due to their smaller environments. Here is how you accomplish this:  

Internet: Connect your laptop/computer to the Internet via a CAT-5 cable;  

Video Connection: Plug a 15-pin VGA cable (commonly used to connect a computer tower/laptop to an external monitor) into your computer/laptop and then into your HDTV at the PC connection;  

Audio Connection: Using a mini-audio cable, connect the audio out/headphones jack from your computer into the Audio In of your HDTV. Based on your computers settings, you may have to click on the Function 5 (F5) to see the image from your computer on your TV. 

Adjust Your Settings: Use your manufacturer’s settings to navigate to the correct source for both your TV and your computer. You may need to resolve the resolution sent from your computer to the TV by going into the Display Settings (Mac & PC) and adjust the resolution to match the best quality of your desktop image. 

Navigate to Live Stream: Once you have completed these steps, simply open a browser (Chrome or Firefox recommended), navigate to the Live Stream page within the Host Event Site, and then click on the Full Screen button on the live streaming player. The TV will now be your new monitor for the event and display the broadcast in full-screen mode. 

Depending on the type of computer/laptop you are using, there are many variables to this recommended setup, including use of HDMI connections, mirroring options as well as wireless connections. Any of these connections should work to transfer the display from your computer to an HDTV.  

Note: Just because your TV is HD, doesn’t mean the stream will be; HD live streams will be broadcast in both the minimum HD resolution (1280×720) and higher resolution (1920×1080) bit-rate (4.5mbps). 

Can I run the Support Chat and the Live stream on the same computer?  

Yes and No. If you have a computer that has enough processing horsepower, then yes, it is possible. However, we recommend connecting to your live streams on a separate computer from the one you are using for Chat Support during an event. This will give your live stream the maximum resources available during the live event and reduce the risk of buffering and/or freezing due to low processor availability. 

Can I “save” my live streaming video for later use? 

Live events are streamed, therefore, cannot be saved as a file. However, we offer a cloud-DVR for some of our live streams. The live content can be paused as well as reviewed in case you have missed something. This content is not saved on your hard drive locally, but instead is delivered from a cached version in the cloud. Finally, saving the live simulcast content would be against your Host Site Covenant and violate copyright laws.  

Can I share this event on Facebook or Twitter?  

We encourage you to share quotes and experiences of the webcast with your social networks.  

Troubleshooting…

I am buffering/freezing in my video. What do I do? 

Streaming live content requires a constant connection. The live video player automatically connects you at the highest bit-rate your current connection can maintain, but if you experience buffering it means that your bandwidth has dropped below your initial connection speed. Our player is designed to follow that bandwidth fluctuation but on occasion, you may need to refresh the player. You will simply mouse over the live player to activate the play-bar; click on the GEAR icon (the “Settings” option will appear) and choose a lower bit-rate than what you are currently connected at. A general refresh of your browser instance will also correct the buffer in most cases.  

What ports do I need to open on my network to watch the broadcast?  

Unless you have intentionally blocked your ports using your firewall software, you most likely already have them available. However, if you have disabled ports on your firewall, you will need to have the following opened up in order to watch the live stream: Port 80, Port 1935; both for HTML and Flash traffic. We do use an HTML5 player so your browser will use less local resources on your device.  

I am getting a blank screen on the Live player page. What do I do?  

This is due to the live video stream being blocked in some fashion at your location. This can be in a firewall, a router, or on your PC within a security application such as McAfee, Norton, Avast, etc. Please check with your IT department to verify that your network is allowing live streaming.  

THIS IS VERY COMMON IN A CORPORATE WORSHIP ENVIRONMENT; please check with your IT department in advance of the event you want to watch.  

My Audio or Video is freezing and/or stuttering in the middle of the broadcast. How can I fix it?

First, check your computer to ensure that no other programs are running in the background. Click on CTRL (button), ALT (button) and DELETE (button) simultaneously in order to stop the other software processes. 

Next, check your anti-virus application and confirm it is not running in the background. If it is possible to disable it, do so and then try to connect to the stream again.  

Try to minimize the traffic on your network. If there are others on the network, confirm that they are not also streaming or downloading large files. Streaming radio and video commonly cause a fluctuation in available bandwidth on a local network.  

If you have a wireless network, consider disabling it for the event as well. Smart-phones often will connect to an unsecured network as soon as they are in proximity to that network, which will cut down on your available bandwidth as well.