How to Throw the Best Virtual Party
Virtual parties have seen a major spike in popularity since the pandemic hit because of their ability to bring people together who would otherwise be apart. So, it makes sense that they have continued to exist as the world heals. They are a way for people who cannot physically meet to stay connected and have some fun. This guide tells you all the ways that you can throw the best virtual party for friends and family and have fun without being in the same room.
Pick a Time and Date that Suits all Attendees
The hardest part will undoubtedly be finding a time to host the party. Everyone runs on different schedules and everyone has varying commitments to attend to in their daily lives. If you are crossing time zones this becomes harder still. However, don’t fret because it isn’t impossible. One tip is to ask all those in potential attendance to provide two to three times that work for them. Once you have all these replies, you can pool this data and look for any consistencies.
Hopefully, this should give you a few good options to work with. If this doesn’t work, you may need to go with the majority and accept that some people just are not able to make it. You can always arrange something for those guests on another date if you so wish.
Decide on Your Video Call Platform
There are a few credible contenders when it comes to the video calling platforms currently available. Zoom is a popular choice whereas some may prefer Skype. Regardless of where you land, the choice has to be unanimous so as to not cause confusion and keep the party going harmoniously.
Help Everyone Get Set Up
Once your video platform is decided upon, as the host, it is your responsibility to ensure everyone has access to their technology devices. This is especially relevant for any older guests that may be joining you. Once you have sent the link you could do a practice run to ensure that everyone has access, knows how to use the program and that nobody is hitting any major roadblocks that may impede their attendance. This bit might be slightly painful considering that you are acting as a virtual tech support agent which is no easy job.
You may have to enlist the help of other relatives or friends in closer proximity if doing things over the phone is not working. One tip is to find a YouTube tutorial to link back to for the guest having problems, or to send visual aids which are often easier to understand than verbal or written instructions.
Choose a Party Theme
Once you have all the above ironed out, the next stage is the party components planning. The first job on your list should be to decide on a theme. Are you hosting this event with a birthday in mind? Will it be a quiz-style virtual bash? With virtual parties, it is more important than ever to have a theme to run with. The right idea serves as an ice breaker to warm people up and get them used to this alternate way of gathering. There is no getting around the fact that this type of organized fun can sometimes be a little awkward and hard to get into so if people have a collective theme to work with it is an immediate conversation starter to get things going.
Let people know what is expected of them well in advance so there are no last-minute surprises, which can lead to resentment and bad feelings. If you need someone to write questions for a game, for example, give them chance to do so. There is no sense in asking them a few days before as, were the situation reversed, you would not be best pleased either. A popular activity for virtual birthday parties is to get everyone to eat the same food or send around a cake for everyone to join in birthday wishes at the same time. This may mean organizing across state boundaries so you will have to enlist some help!
Send Out Invitations
Invitations do not have to be flash or fancy things. An invite can be a simple email message sent to all the guests, or if you are feeling a bit fancier maybe an evite style message to make it feel like a real party. You could also start group chats on any messaging platform to give important updates and help people communicate around event proceedings. All of these things help people feel more involved and make the party element of the virtual even feel more authentic.
Plan the Games
Not every virtual event has party games, but it is a popular activity and there are some benefits of having a few planned activities for everyone. Virtual party games can bring people together, create a fun environment and even be a way to keep the party going in a lull. With all those positive points in mind, take a look at these virtual party games as suggested by Greenvelope’s blog. Greenvelope is an invite and evite specialist company that powers a blog that talks about all things party related and event planning. Their list has some great options to consider integrating into your own online event to bring the fun element up.
Make an Event Itinerary
Once you have the game aspect finetuned, you are now able to make a complete agenda for your online shenanigans. With an agenda, everything is mapped out from start to finish and there is a clear path to keep everything moving and together. Some people prefer to let things happen organically, but it is a good idea to have at least the start of the party planned to help people loosen up and get used to the different event format. You can send this out in advance for people to look at or you can keep it to yourself and act as Party Grandmaster, it is all down to personal preference.
Remind People Before the Party
Remind the guests a few days before as life is unpredictable and busy, and sometimes things get lost in the madness. Try to remember that it’s nothing personal – people just forget. Sending reminders can also give you an idea of final numbers if this is important. This is also a good way to find out if you have any cancellations or unexpected additions to the mix, which are also handy to be able to plan against. There are bound to be some hiccups along the way, and with a large group of people surprises can crop up to throw a spanner in the works. For a larger gathering such as a family reunion or a milestone birthday, plan for the worst case scenario as there is a higher probability that people may not attend.
Even if everything has been planned meticulously, things can still go wrong. A part of the fun and the exploration process of virtual events means that, just like in-person affairs, surprises happen. Take some comfort in knowing you have planned for everything by following the above advice and realize that not everything is in your power to control. Virtual parties can be a lot of fun and are a great way to keep people connected across distances where a meet-up face-to-face is not a viable option.