How to Host an Amazing Zoom Party

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Digital communications are here to stay - whether we like it or not - so it's time to adapt or be left behind! Not only is Zoom here to stay, but it will continue to add more tech-driven features and innovations over time.   

Initially driven by the Global Pandemic, many schools and businesses have transitioned much of their communication to digital platforms. Recognizing the many benefits, such as financial, environmental, and productivity, many organizations continue to transition employees to full-time remote work. As we’ve become more and more comfortable with digital communications platforms like Google Meet, Slack, and Zoom at work, we’ve also started to use these tools in our personal and social lives. 

Many corporate social and cultural events are now held digitally, and beyond the workplace, extended families have started to gather virtually for holidays and celebrations, and long distance friendships are enjoying virtual happy hours through the use of Zoom parties. With this in mind, we thought that you may be interested in some advice and tips on how to host the best Zoom party out there.

Make a Guest List
The curation of a guest list is important. A guest list created for a virtual event is different from that of an in-person party! 

Limit the guest list for a virtual party to ensure that everyone can participate in the group conversations and activities. This can be difficult to do with larger groups. Create a guest list that mixes outgoing and more introverted individuals to keep the conversation flowing while keeping the party personal and intimate enough that everyone will get a chance to chat.  

For corporate parties, the flexibility a virtual party offers you is immense, enabling you to connect people from many locations, departments, etc. that may not normally have an opportunity to gather. 

Schedule and Send out Invites 
Once you’ve determined the virtual party date and time, there are a number of ways that you can make sure that your event is well organized and on your guests’ radar, including text message invites. There is nothing easier or more convenient to respond to than an invitation sent right to your phone! Virtual party invitations also serve as a direct way to communicate the details of the party. If your party has a theme, then themed invites may be the way to go!

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To accommodate larger groups, we recommend that you go one step further when you customize your digital invites - stagger the start time for each of your guests so that you have time to introduce everyone! Make sure that your digital invitations include all of the essential log-in or step-by-step access information for the Zoom call.

Consider Your Guests’ Needs and Aptitudes
It is likely that not everyone on the guest list will know how to work Zoom, or other virtual meeting platforms. Because of this, you should anticipate and be prepared to answer questions from first-time virtual attendees or those who don’t consider themselves “tech savvy”. You could do a trial run with the guests that you anticipate may have technical difficulties by scheduling a Zoom meeting with them one-on-one, before the big event.  

Last but not least, make sure that as the host of the party, you figure out any technical difficulties you may have before the actual event (such as screen-sharing if you have something to present, playing a video, or watching a movie together (is your audio share going to work?). Test these features out before the party to make sure that your event runs without a glitch! 

Pick a Theme and Plan Activities
When you have a theme it can bring people together and build a sense of space in a virtual party.  Some virtual themes that you may want to consider are:

  • Time Period: A time period theme party can be fun.  Have your guests dress up in costumes from the selected time period and choose a Zoom background to match.  

  • TV Show Characters: Have everyone dress up as a character from their favorite show and set their background as a location from the show. This is especially popular for children’s parties! 

  • Beach Party: Guests can set their background to their favorite beach, dress for the occasion, and bring a beach-inspired cocktail to the party.

  • Formal: Throw a formal virtual party where everyone dresses in their nicest clothes and sets their background to somewhere fancy!

In your invitations, include theme-based snack or beverage suggestions. As a super host, you may even coordinate delivery of snack and beverage boxes directly to your guests locations!  

Plan to Manage the Zoom Party
When you throw a virtual party you should expect that it will have some of the same aspects of an in-person party. Being the “host with the most” requires managing the tech - so make sure you understand how to use Zoom and its many functionalities in case any issues arise.  

Perhaps more importantly though is to manage the “content” of the party. You’re responsible for engaging the party-goers, so make sure that you have activities and topics of conversations at the ready! Stick to an agenda, and make sure that the activities are moving at a crowd-friendly pace that helps keep the energy up and keep your guests entertained and enjoying themselves.

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Zoom Parties For All Occasions
While some parties celebrate a specific event, others may simply be a chance to socialize or acknowledge a milestone. Here are some ideas for Zoom-based parties and celebrations: 

  • Family Reunion: Get the whole family together with a call just to check in and see how everyone’s doing. It can be as formal or informal as you want!

  • Weddings: Weddings are a big deal and it's hard to narrow down a guest list.  Even if there is an in-person element you can set up a Zoom meeting so everyone who can’t be there in person can attend!

  • Retirement Party: When it’s time for someone to kiss their work years goodbye, set up a farewell retirement digital invite for a Zoom party. This farewell gathering is a great way to get everyone together and share heartfelt best wishes. We also love the ability to record retirement group videos in advance that can be shared during the virtual meeting.  

  • Adult Birthday: Send out virtual birthday invitations to get everyone together from near and far to celebrate a loved one’s birthday.

  • Kid’s Birthday: When you hold a Zoom party for children it is important that you make sure there are activities to keep their attention. Games like “Simon Says” or “I Spy” are popular and special guests, like a Disney Princess, can also be invited to join the Zoom and entertain the guests. 

  • Happy Hour: Grab your favorite drink and hop on a Zoom call with your coworkers to decompress after a stressful workday.

  • Seasonal: Holidays are the perfect time to get together near and far. From Halloween costume parties to Christmas Ugly Sweater Parties, a Zoom party can bring you together for it all.

  • Girls’ Night!: Sometimes it’s nice to just get together and catch up with friends you haven’t seen in awhile. Maybe you’re not in the same city or on the same schedule with work, partners, children, pets, etc., so sometimes sitting on the couch with a cold beverage and clicking a Zoom link is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with your besties.

  • Baby Shower: Send out digital baby shower invites to make it a special day.  Play games over Zoom and you can even add a link to a gift registry for presents!

  • Book Club: In a virtual invite you can include the Zoom link as well as the book everyone has to read. Get together, grab some wine and snacks and discuss!
You can find digital invitations for every occasion! Virtual parties are here to stay and may even allow you to get together with the people you love more often than before!

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