Want to have a party without having to leave the comfort of your own home? Are you in charge of a business and looking to boost employee morale? Or maybe it’s your sister’s graduation, but she’s at a university that’s miles away from you. Whatever your reason for wanting to party, don’t let distance ruin the fun!
The best way to have a party when some or all of the attendees are apart is to throw a virtual one! Other than bridging the distance created by life circumstances, holding a virtual party has various benefits:
- Easier to prepare (less decorating and fewer party supplies necessary, for example!).
- Less pressure on those invited.
- Less to clean up.
- It’s safe (in light of the pandemic, this is still important!).
On top of these benefits, holding virtual parties to include remote employees is great for businesses! Just as we invest in technology to make our employees’ lives easier, such as purchasing a phone system for remote workers by Dialpad, activities such as parties can also be beneficial.
Also, unlike when drawing up a marketing plan, you don’t need to stick to a strict budget when throwing a virtual party. In fact, it’s likely you won’t have to spend anything at all to throw an awesome online party.
An online party can improve employee morale and productivity, which, in the long run, can translate into better customer service and elevated CSAT scoring (customer satisfaction scoring). As we all know, a satisfied customer is also likely to be a loyal one.
So, you’ve decided to have the best online party ever thrown…where do you begin? And once you’re online and everyone else is also connected, what do you do?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll be looking at how to throw a great virtual party, including some fun activities you can do with your guests, despite the distance!
Where to start?
When it comes to throwing a physical party, one of the first things you have to decide on is the venue. Similarly, when you’re looking to host a virtual event, you should also decide where, or more specifically, using which platform.
Given the technological advancements that we have made and the ever-increasing popularity of cloud computing trends, there is a plethora of software to choose from when looking to connect with people.
Listed here are some of the best-suited software for party hosting. They all offer very similar basic features such as the audio and video services we’ve come to expect, but you still may find that one stands out to you amongst the rest.
Skype has been around for close to 20 years. In that time, it has seen tremendous growth, and for good reason. This easy-to-use platform has many features that’d help anyone to throw a great online party. Skype actually lets you connect up to 50 people in one call, which makes it more suited to small company parties or personal at-home, memorable celebrations.
It also offers clear audio and HD video, although this depends on the internet connection, amongst other things. There is a screen sharing option too, which can come in handy when planning party activities (more to come on this later).
Formerly known as Google Hangouts, Google Meets is a great option when looking to host a virtual party. Along with offering the same features as Skype, it also allows you to host a party for up to 250 guests! You can share a multitude of things with them, such as photos, videos, and GIFs, as well as play virtual games.
You can even find some fun extensions, such as the Google Meet Party Button that allows you to select various party effects to appear on your Google Meet screen. How fun!
Facebook Messenger rooms
Facebook’s rooms are another popular choice when it comes to hosting an online party. These allow up to 50 people and are easy to use. Surprisingly, you don’t even need a Facebook account to join a room. You do need to have an account to create one, however.
One thing to keep in mind is that once you do create a room, it’s open to all your friends, meaning anyone can join, even if they are not on the guest list. However, you can adjust preferences later, once all the intended guests have logged in, so that nobody else can join.
Before choosing a platform, try them out for yourself and see which you are most comfortable with. Some platforms have recurring issues that would be good to be aware of before hosting your party. For instance, people find that on Microsoft Teams, the microphone is not working on Windows 10.
Once you’ve made your choice and are ready to send your invites, don’t forget to include a link to a simple guide on how to use the platform hosting the party if some of your guests are less tech-savvy (I’ll admit, I myself have had to search up things such as how to sign a word document electronically before, so no judgment here!). This will help to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Now that you’ve chosen your virtual venue, you have to decide:
- Who’s invited;
- What the theme of the party will be;
- When the party is happening;
- What type of invites you want to send;
- If you will be providing food (all hail food delivery services); and
- What kind of activities you want to have during your party.
The point in particular might evoke feelings of anxiety and dread in even the most experienced party planners. A successful party requires a good host and great activities. This is why we’ve compiled a list of ten fun activities to do when throwing your own virtual party.
Activities for a fun celebration
Teleparty (formerly known as Netflix Party)
Some people’s idea of a great party is playing games, for others, it’s watching a film or TV show together. Teleparty is a free Chrome extension that lets you and your friends (or guests in this case) watch a chosen film or program at the same time. At the moment, this extension only works on laptops and desktop computers.
If watching something altogether is your idea of a great party, then this is for you! The great thing about this activity is that it runs itself. Once it’s on, you don’t need to worry about anything other than enjoying it.
Although this is one of the most expensive options on this list, it can also be one of the most fun. There are many online masterclasses that can be found online. For example, there are DIY craft classes, candle-making classes, and various cooking classes available for all tastes and preferences.
This option can be great for bonding while having a great time and learning something new. You even often end up with something at the end of it that people can keep as a little memento of the fun times you had.
We’ve all played a game or two of charades as kids; why not add a dash of nostalgia to your party by bringing it back? A classic game such as this one is bound to put a smile on your guests’ faces.
The great thing about this option is that it is cheap and highly customizable, especially if you choose to make your own. You can also easily find charades idea generators online if you don’t want the hassle of coming up with the ideas to make things simpler for you. We may have used an article outline generator for this piece (just kidding, we totally didn’t), so we understand the desire to live hassle-free.
Head’s up is one of those games that has become a party favorite. One of the reasons for this is that in addition to being a lot of fun, it’s easy to set up and play. All you need is a mobile phone with the Heads Up app installed, and voilà! Hours of fun!
Who doesn’t love a karaoke night? Bring your party to life with this activity. Similar to Heads Up, all you need for a successful Karaoke party is a phone. Search up websites that offer online karaoke with friends. They will then take you through the process, what you need, and how to ensure it all runs smoothly.
Holding a fun trivia trivia party is sure to get the competitive side out of your guests! As with other similar activities, you can choose to make your own questions or turn to the internet for answers. If you are making your own, we advise that you steer clear of boring and overly technical questions like “what is white label reporting?”. Unless you’re a business that wants to make sure their client reports align with their branding and imagery, in which case, have at it.
Locate the Lair
This guessing game uses Google Maps to find—you guessed it—the “villain’s” lair. If you haven’t heard about this game before now, we strongly recommend you look into it. It’s great for bonding and a lot of fun.
At their worst, talent shows can be cringy, and at best, they can reveal talents you didn’t know your friends (or guests) had! Regardless, this can be a great activity that takes the pressure to perform away from the host
Would you rather…?
Another classic game and a favorite at sleepovers. A good round of would you rather can have even the most confident second-guessing themselves. The key here is to formulate or find the best, trickiest questions.
Virtual Board games
Last but not least, virtual board games can keep you and your guests entertained for hours. The great thing about these is that there are many websites allowing you to play a range of games with friends, which means that you’re very likely to find a game to everyone’s liking!
That’s it from us! We hope to have given you everything you need to know to throw your very own virtual party. When you do, don’t forget to invite us!
Grace Lau – Director of Growth Content, Dialpad
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier Dialpad contact center AI team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Grace Lau also published articles for domains such as Virtual Vocations and WebSitePulse. Here is her LinkedIn.