For some parties – a wedding, for example – there is no substitute for being right there in the pews, or on the beach, or in the field as the couple says “I do.” A video conference can’t carry the same mix of romance and excitement.
But these aren’t normal times, and many of us are realizing that right now any party is better than no party.
Enter Your Next Virtual Party!
Several online platforms are letting it be known that in addition to hosting classrooms, meetings, webinars and other useful but less-than-thrilling activities, you can also pour yourself a glass of wine, meet someone new and relax for awhile – all without leaving your home office.
It’s a way to chase away the blues and test out party themes and ideas while we wait out the Coronavirus outbreak and prepare for face-to-face meetings and celebrations.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning your next virtual cocktail party!
EVERY PARTY NEEDS A HOST:
for both virtual and face-to-face parties, the host is often exhausted at the end and may have little recollection of what happened. In both cases, the host is in charge of keeping things moving, ensuring that everyone is engaged, and interrupting the conversations about politics and religion.
Just as with a party in your home, you as the virtual host may take time to quiet the crowd and make a few announcements, but generally a good party involves chatting among small groups of people, with lots of movement between groups to gossip and exchange other types of information.
CHOOSE A PLATFORM:
These days the easiest way to do this virtually is on Zoom, which became very popular when stay-at-home orders took effect because nearly anyone can make it work. Ideally, one of the people invited to the party will have a paid account, because the free version allows only 40 minutes before shutting down. Depending on the crowd, that may or may not be enough time.
ASSIGN A CO-HOST:
To make your virtual Zoom party work more like a touchable party, the host should set up several breakout rooms within the platform. To allow everyone to move from room to room, do this: When a visitor shows up, hover over their image, click on the three dots and choose Make Co-Host. Only co-hosts may move from room to room. So the alternative is a crowd of dozens or more, all trying to talk at once. You have experienced this in business meetings you have attended, and you know it doesn’t work.
SEND PERSONAL INVITES:
Our advice is to give co-host privileges only to people you know or who were invited to the party. It is also a good idea to personally invite all guests to your Zoom party. Don’t post the invitation on Facebook, for example, and invite the world. If you haven’t heard already, the latest trend among jerks is to Zoombomb online gatherings by taking over the event while plastering porn or other disturbing images on everyone’s screen. You can avoid this by sending personal invitations.
In-person parties will always have advantages over virtual get-togethers. You can turn up the music loud. You can touch the person you are dancing with. You can stage light shows and other decorations. You can eat food someone else cooked.
Virtual parties are good for certain things, too. You don’t have to worry about being chosen as the designated driver. Clean-up should be a lot easier. You have a mute button.
Let’s admit it, however: It is almost always more fun and more memorable to join a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. Until those crowds are safe, however, we can practice with virtual parties and events – and plan for the days of normal fun and socializing.
Want more ideas for your next party? We have plenty. Talk with a GoDJ party planner about your next event. Call (413) 391-4635 or email firstname.lastname@example.org