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While there is nothing like gathering to celebrate life’s special moments, there are times when that is just not possible. During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans are living far from their family and friends. They are looking for meaningful ways to connect, and hosting a virtual party is becoming the new norm. We have been inspired by adventurous hosts who are experimenting with virtual events, carving out time for game nights and dinner parties. Here are our tips for hosting a fabulous virtual party.
CREATE A GUEST LIST
Creating a guest list is the first step. Unlike an in-person party, a virtual party uses an online platform, and having multiple conversations can be difficult to understand. A group of six tends to be great for online conversation. Larger groups are better when you want a chaotic-in-the-best-way hangout. After you have a guest list, you can designate tasks and responsibilities. For example, if you are hosting a game night, designate a “game leader” who will establish the game rules and lead the games.
SELECT A THEME
Selecting a theme can make your virtual party truly special. A themed party is an art of gathering that sets the tone for the event. A theme does not need to be complicated. We attended a party named “Happy Hour for Worker Bees” and its rule was if you talk about your work, you have to take a shot. The six friends all RSVP’d within the hour on a Wednesday afternoon. They turned a boring workday into an exciting opportunity to connect and relax.
SET A LOCATION
Before you start hosting a virtual party, you will need to set a virtual location. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime, and Houseparty are becoming household names. Our top pick is Zoom because of its convenience, reliability, and widespread use. A free Zoom account will allow you to invite up to 100 people for 40 minutes of hangout time, while a paid account will give you unlimited time. Google Hangouts is another great tool for video chatting on desktop or mobile with up to 25 guests. For smaller gatherings with iOS users, we recommend using FaceTime, a free built-in iPhone software.
PLAN THE ACTIVITIES
A fabulous virtual party goes beyond conversations. Your guests may be interested in playing online games, making cocktails, or cooking dinners together. Host a happy hour with light snacks and some booze to lighten up the mood. Watch your favorite shows and movies using Netflix Party. Have a show and tell about your impressive antique collection. Play a band concert and sing a few songs. Do a book club about your favorite authors. How about having a date night with your significant other? Get creative, and the list of activities is endless.
SEND A REMINDER
With everything going on right now, it is easy for people to get distracted and miss a party. You will want to get your guests excited and keep them that way. Send them a reminder either a day or a few hours before the event. Your guests will be thankful that you are thinking of them. A reminder also tells them they have something fun to look forward to.
Hosting a virtual party may seem daunting at first, but there are ways to make the experience incredibly fun for everyone involved. With our helpful tips, and our party packages specifically curated for your virtual event, we know you are going to have a blast. Whether you are hosting a virtual birthday bash or cocktail happy hour, take time to truly enjoy the moment. The best day to celebrate is today!