The 2020 pandemic shook the globe and changed culture overnight. Masks were suddenly mainstreamed into everyday attire, and people quickly adapted to new social constraints.
While countries manage outbreaks and vaccines, citizens are adjusting to this new normal. People are finding creative ways to connect, and more digital socializing apps are taking shape.
These cultural shifts also affect the corporate world, where event planners are ditching old school conference halls for virtual meeting rooms.
Socializing and networking are integral to society. You don’t have to hide away forever. Follow this checklist to throw your own online party!
Pick a Theme
Do themed parties make you cringe?
You’re not the only one who avoids toga parties and costume balls, but why suggest a theme, you ask?
Here’s the thing: no matter how much you try, a virtual party will never be like an in-person party. Joining an online party isn’t the same as walking into a house party full of friends and high energy.
Online parties are still new, and not everyone is excited by the idea. Choosing a theme is a good way to break the ice and generate interest for an online event. Plus, plenty of creative themes suit digital platforms.
Here are several fun ideas to consider:
Virtual Party Theme Ideas
For example, you could kick off your first event with a classic costume party. Attendees can dress up in their favorite costumes, switch on the webcam, and grab a drink in front of the screen.
You could get even more creative and plan a retro, futuristic, or pirate-themed costume party. Have attendees wear costumes of their favorite book heroes.
Why not throw a digital costume party with a twist? Instead of traditional costumes, attendees can login with their favorite filters. If you’re throwing a party on Instagram or Snap Chat, partygoers can “wear” puppy faces, cat ears, nerdy glasses, and other filters.
Here are more cool themes to try:
- Outer space and galaxies
- Springtime, farmers, and animals
- Greek gods and goddesses
- Black tie events
- Prom themes
- Harry Potter
- Favorite superheroes
Since your guests can’t physically attend your party, consider their locations when choosing themes. Most of them will be seated in their rooms, home offices, or living rooms. What theme would work best for their setups?
These considerations also relate to the next item on your party checklist, decorations.
How to “Decorate” Your Virtual Party
How exactly do you decorate a virtual party? Event planners are still figuring out the answer, but it’s an excellent opportunity to get creative.
Let’s go back to your party guests’ setups. Since no one can physically attend, guests must decorate their own spaces; that’s why it’s important to consider your attendees’ locations when picking themes.
Suppose you’re throwing a galactic alien-themed party. You can ask your guests to decorate their spaces with glow-in-the-dark stars, lava lamps, string lights, and tin foil. They’ll need enough light to show clearly on camera.
What if you’re planning a farmer-themed party for little kids? Ask parents to decorate their spaces with stuffed animals, animal cut-outs, farm posters, and fresh fruit. Kids could wear overalls, straw hats, and flannel shirts.
Make Your Online Party Invitations
Since guests need time to decorate their spaces, send out invitations a month in advance; this will give guests plenty of time to RSVP, prepare, and cancel if needed.
Digital invitations are the easiest to make, but don’t hesitate to try something different. Since so many people are forced to socialize online, mail your invitations the old-fashioned way. Mailed invitations feel more personal, which is important in a post-pandemic world.
Online invitations work fine, as well. They’re also less time-consuming.
There are plenty of e-greeting websites that let you create free online party invitations. For a fee, you can add cool animations and other effects to your invitations.
You also need a contact list. If you’re hosting a few friends, a text invitation is fine. Use email invitations for larger parties. Social media also works, but not every attendee has a Facebook.
Choose Your Party Games
Remember the first point about virtual parties and themes?
Party games may not be your cup of tea for in-person parties, but they’re a necessity for virtual parties, especially for online events where no one knows each other. If you’re just throwing an online party with friends, you can cut straight to the drinking.
Virtual party games are a little different than traditional party games. For example, board games don’t work too well unless everyone is playing a digital version online.
You could plan a virtual “Vegas” party complete with online slot machines, virtual blackjack tables, and live raffles.
If you’re raising money for charity, you could hold live online bingo games and auctions. These games are ideal for virtual “black tie” events where guests login wearing suits, ties, and gowns.
Another idea is online escape rooms. These rooms have been popping up around the world in the last decade. Fortunately, you can enjoy all the fun in a virtual escape room.
Virtual escape rooms encourage guests to work together to escape a room. Think of them as one big puzzle. These games are great for team icebreakers and virtual family reunions.
Many games adapt well to virtual environments, like Dungeons and dragons, multiplayer video games, charades, and trivia.
Pick Your Platform
Another important detail is your party platform. There are several ways to host an online birthday party and corporate event.
“Zoom” has exploded in popularity. This user-friendly app is ideal for parties since everyone can see each other on the grid. Of course, the larger the party gets, the smaller the video squares get; that’s why online parties are ideal for small groups, not large frat parties.
Google Hangouts, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, Facebook Like, Skype, and WhatsApp also work as party platforms.
Get the Party Started
Are you ready to kick off your shoes and party? Grab a costume, login, and enjoy a drink with your friends!
Remember this simple checklist for your next online party, and don’t miss the latest lifestyle blog posts coming up.