If you’re on the fence when it comes to hosting virtual events, you’re not alone. Considering all the time we spend in remote meetings, it’s no wonder that genuinely fun online get-togethers can be few and far between. As we continue to refine the art of the virtual hangout with hundreds of clients around the world, we’ve collected a huge amount of tips and tricks that may just sway you in the direction of having a party (versus not having a party, which we’ve all likely had enough of) and bring a genuine spark of excitement and joy to your colleagues, friends, family, or any group you’d like to socialize and enjoy a new experience with.
Add a sartorial twist
Hear us out. When everyone wears cocktail attire, Hawaiian shirts, a Halloween costume, or even company swag, everyone has a better time. We had one group all wear bow-ties, which made for great screenshots. Dress up or down, but make it something everyone can think about ahead of time, and take pride in showing off your outfit on camera.
Zhush your spot
By now, everyone has likely seen the place you usually take video calls. Mix it up by rearranging what’s normally behind you, or add plants, accents, textiles, string lights, funny mementos or other decorations you have in the house. It may be a small gesture, but it can be refreshing to see your favorite faces in a different environment than their tried-and-true background.
Share with friends
Who misses sharing a bottle of wine with friends, or ordering a round of your favorite cocktails? We do! Virtual With Us ships each event’s guests the same food and drinks, so your virtual cocktail party is much more like a restaurant or bar experience than a casual BYOB hangout. Do they smell and taste the same flavor profile of the wine as you? Which of the three gin options did they like best? And isn’t this cheese fantastic? Try the olives! Pick up a conversation around what you’re sharing, and you may even forget you’re celebrating apart.
Invite a “guest”
If you’re an animal parent, you’ve probably been trying to mitigate ill-timed affection from your pets during meetings. Sure, everyone loves to see a cat’s tail stealthily pass by your screen like a shark fin, but if there was ever a time to introduce—or reintroduce—your furry pals, it’s at a virtual cocktail party. They’ll love the attention (humans and animals alike).
Win a prize
Let’s face it: motivation to do just about anything is pretty low right now. Revitalize the drive to gather with friends online by incorporating a raffle into the mix, and align it with the event’s theme. For instance, for a chocolate and wine pairing, the organizer might offer a gift certificate to the chocolatier’s online shop. A West Coast IPA tasting’s prize could be a 3-month subscription to a beer of the month club, or a set of pint glasses embossed with something meaningful to the group.
By adding thoughtful personal touches to your virtual cocktail party game plan, not only will you generate extra interest in your event, you’ll end up hosting an evening that guests will remember for years to come. Best of all, you will have cultivated and encouraged the kind of personal social interactions we all miss dearly, and that’s something to be proud of.