I love going to hotpot at the restaurant.
How can I do it at home? What sort of equipment do I need?
You will need the following:
Just make the broth. Cook the food you like as you eat. That's it!
There are two options for Chinese hot pot. Either one large pot that everyone dips into or several small pots, one each that you cook your own food in. Both styles are popular in China. It is also common to see the large pot with a divide in the middle allowing one side to have more chilli and spice than the other.
Left: Large pot with divide. Right: Individual pots on burners.
Missing from the other answers, you need some way to heat the pot and keep it simmering. In China, people have individual electric hobs with temperature controls specially designed for the job. You can find them online http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/induction-stove.html
For the individual pots, a paraffin wax burner is used blow the pot. Similar to the heater used in a buffet restaurant to keep food warm.
Really any pot and a little gas stove would do just fine:
In pot spices
This can vary considerably depending on what region of China you are in and what you like. You could just use plain water or a light broth of chicken or fish. I've seen some that resemble cream of tomato soup. Commonly you will see wolf berries, chilli, ginger, garlic, black, white and red pepper corns, bay leaves and Chinese dates. You really could use anything you like.
Again this varies. Usually each person has a small bowl into which they mix their own dip. This may contain rice vinegar, soy sauce, peanut or sesame paste, chilli paste in oil, crushed garlic, pickled garlic, picked chilli and some other pastes of things I have yet to identify. You might be able to buy ready mixed spices for dips in you're local Chinese supermarket or online shops.
Food for cooking
Typical food for cooking includes: Thin cut beef or lamb (occasionally pork), fish of any type, shrimp, oysters and such seafood, thin sliced potato or sweet potato (yam), egg noodles, tofu (either fresh or frozen or the skin shredded), and vegetables such as cabbage, bok choy, lettuce, spinach or whatever greens you have to hand.
To add to your options, because part of the fun is the interactive/participation, cook something you like that you may not see on the menu at the sit-in place. Our house likes slices of that pinkish potato taro.