Self-isolation doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the special events that happen during this period. Birthdays, anniversaries, long-awaited get-togethers or regular catch-ups can all be enjoyed from the comfort of our own homes – and with a little effort and planning, can be just as memorable as if we were celebrating together in person.
Maintaining relationships and staying social while social distancing or quarantining is essential, and there’s no better way to do so than by planning and hosting a virtual party. Not sure where to start? We’ve put together these tips for hosting a virtual party.
Pick a Platform
A virtual party needs a video chat app to bring your group together. There are many cross-platform video calling apps available that support massive video chats, so you can celebrate with your friends and family members en masse and from afar. These are a few of our favourites that can be used for free so long as you’re on Wi-Fi.
Zoom is probably the most popular video chat app for groups at the moment, thanks to the size of virtual party it can accommodate. The free version allows users to have digital meetups with up to 100 guests. The one downside is that calls with more than three guests can only last up to 40 minutes, so you may have to hang up and call back if you’re in the midst of an event or intense convo. It works with almost every device that has Wi-Fi and a webcam.
Houseparty allows up to eight people to “party” at a time, but it also gives you the option to play games and quizzes. It works on desktop, iOS and Android devices.
FaceTime is built into every Apple device and can accommodate up to 32 members in one chat. The only downside is that you can’t use it to video conference with non-Apple users.
Skype allows you to video chat on computers, phones, tablets, Xbox, smartwatches, and pretty much every other gadget under the sun. You can have up to 50 people in a video chat at once.
Instagram lets you start up a DM convo with up to six people and turn it into a video chat party. It can be used on phones of all kinds, but not computers (yet).
Facebook Messenger allows you to host up to 50 people in a single chat.
Book Virtual Entertainment
Even in these times of social distancing, party hosts can hire live entertainment. Support Aussie performers and make your celebration or catch-up more memorable by hiring a musician to play some of your favourite tunes while you and your friends or family sing-along and boogy in your living room. You could hire an Elvis impersonator to do a digital performance for your parents’ anniversary, or get a clown or magician to put on a virtual show for a child or adult birthday party. Browse and get quotes from the plethora of talent available nationwide on CrowdPleaser, book and pay a deposit securely online and send the entertainer the details they’ll need to join your virtual party.
Choose a Theme
Is this a birthday party or another milestone event, or a weekly happy hour with friends? Whatever the occasion, make it more special by choosing a theme and ordering decorations from online retailers, encourage guests to wear attire befitting your theme, and incorporate themed food and drinks.
Send Digital Invites
Sites like Evite have an array of invitations for every type of virtual party. Choose the best fit for your type of event and customise it with your event details. Be sure to include the specifics of how to join virtually using the platform of your choosing.
Coordinate Food and Drinks
Select your favourite beer or wine and advise your guests in advance of your tipples of choice – this way you can all enjoy the same drinks together. Utilise pick-up or delivery options from your favorite local restaurant and encourage your guests to source similar options from eateries near them.
Share on Social
Spread the love and share the fun! Inspire others to still celebrate their special moments together and host virtual parties. Instagram or Facebook Live are ideal to share a behind-the-scenes look at your virtual party. Create a #hashtag and encourage your guests to share too! After the party do a Facebook Photo Album or Carousel Instagram post including pictures of each virtual party detail (decorations, activities, food and drinks). Don’t forget to include screenshots of virtual party guests having a blast!