The COVID-19 pandemic has put many industries in a difficult position. One such industry is the event planning industry. Hosts, performers, caterers, and venues for wedding receptions, parties, and large gatherings have struggled to make ends meet. As the virus continues to abound, it’s unlikely we’ll be returning to having in-person parties like the good old days anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun anymore, especially with your kids and their parties. The safest way to proceed, of course, would be to host a virtual party. Here’s a list of tips and ideas for hosting your best virtual party.
Like an on-site celebration, a virtual party will need a lot of planning. If this is your first time to host a virtual party, it’s best to start with a short guest list. Go easy on yourself. If you want a virtual party to be fun despite the medium’s limitations, you’ll have to plan it well, and that will be harder to do the longer your guest list is.
Set up a festive backdrop for the Zoom party
One of the advantages of a virtual party is that you won’t have to spend as much time or money decorating an entire venue, but you can still set up a beautiful backdrop for the video call! This will depend on the occasion and the agreed-upon theme, but there’s a lot of room for you to get creative here.
For birthdays, you can set up a backdrop with letter balloons spelling out the celebrant’s name, fairy lights, streamers, and other decorations. You can even set up a screen next to the celebrant to show slides indicating the program flow.
Virtualize the entertainment
You can still hire a professional host and discuss the party program with them, or you and your child can host the party yourselves.
You can also book the other entertainment and stream them. Princess companies such as The Princess Party Company offer one-on-one video calls with your child’s favorite princesses. Your child can sing with them, play games with them, and tell them stories!
Deliver the goods
Don’t let the physical distance stop you from giving your guests their party treats. They can still have their goody bags if you pack them and mail it over to them. These will contain all their party goods – party hats, candy, and other materials they might need for the celebration.
Since you won’t be meeting in person, you can send them the birthday cake too – sort of. This arrangement won’t let you share a traditional birthday cake with your guests, so you can opt for birthday cupcakes instead. If you’ve got a smaller guest list, you can bake the cupcakes yourself – to be safe, be sure to wash your hands well before you start, and wear a mask throughout the baking process. You can also opt to avail of cupcake party packages from companies like Wicked Good Cupcakes that offer packs of 12, 16, 24, and 32 cupcakes that you can order and then ship to your guests.
Virtual arts and crafts
Arts and crafts are a staple at traditional on-site parties, but there’s no reason you can’t have them at your virtual one! Just make sure that your guests are equipped with the necessary materials. Order craft kits from companies like Party City and ship them to your guests as part of their goody bags. They offer quantities for party packages starting at eight guests.
Related: How to Host a Virtual Craft Party
Another party staple that won’t be put down by virtualization is costume contests. Have a theme and inform your guests to dress according to it when you send them the invitations. You can even challenge them to step it up and create an appropriate backdrop for their costumes and have them do an in-character runway walk! Announce the winners at the end of the party and send them their prizes at a later date.
Virtual party games
Thankfully there are a lot of games that can still be played on a virtual platform. You can host virtual versions of freeze dance, bring me, charades, Pictionary, Mario Kart Tour, and more! Make sure to keep track of the winners so you can send them their prizes later on.
Performances or talent show segment
Do you have a lineup of eager and talented guests? Let them shine and dedicate their performances to the birthday celebrant. Indicate in your invitations that they can perform. Set a deadline for them to inform you on whether they’ll be performing and what they’ll be doing so you can create a program flow for this segment. The celebrant can also do his or her own performance for the guests to watch.
COVID-19 may have taken away on-site gatherings in the meantime, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had with virtual celebrations. Remember to start with a short guest list if it’s your first time to host one and plan them well. Most importantly, have fun!