The year 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered as the year that revolutionized the way people socialize. Building and maintaining relationships with other people takes time and effort and with social distancing at hand, it’s become nearly impossible to organize real-time parties and events that include a lot of people. But interacting with your friends and family is quite important and in the digital era there are many great ways to stay connected. With the holiday season coming up, it’s best to start thinking about creative ways to stay connected and safe.
That’s why we’ll discuss virtual socialization ideas and offer 5 creative ways to stay connected during these holidays.
We all know that social activities have a great number of benefits and that it’s quite important to stay socially active and engaged. Studies show that social activities help maintain good emotional health, increase cognitive function and sleep quality, but also improve physical health and boost your immune system. With the COVID-19 pandemic shaking the world, people are having a hard time balancing maintaining social activities for the sake of staying healthy and contributing to stopping the coronavirus spread.
That’s why more and more people are starting to use the internet to socialize. According to ACMA, engagement in online activities increased significantly in 2020. This seems to be a trend that’s here to stay. That’s why it’s important to get on board and start rethinking socialization and utilizing the internet to connect with our dearests.
Organizing a virtual get-together is actually not such a big problem as it may seem to some of you. All you need is a platform like Zoom or Google Meet to get connected. So, keeping in touch with friends and family is not so difficult these days, but repeating the same Zoom session again and again can get a bit boring. So, the bigger issue is how to organize a virtual social activity and make it interesting enough for all the participants.
When thinking about virtual events, just let your imagination work and turn staring into the computer screen into a memorable event for everyone included. All you need is just a bit of preparation to transform a regular call into a real fun experience. Here are 5 virtual socialization ideas that will help you stay connected with your friends and family during the holiday season.
The simplest of all - a virtual dinner party. Your connection becomes your table and the rest is up to you. We suggest a couple of things to have in mind to make the experience fun for everyone.
To start with, you’ll want the atmosphere to be as close to the real thing as possible. Think about putting some time into the lighting and the table setting. So, set the tone and the mood of the event and have clear guidelines for all the participants regarding the party theme.
The second thing you want to think about is the food. Having in mind you won’t be in the same room with your guests, you need to think about preparing the food. One possibility is making a list of ingredients and delivering it to your guests. That way, you’ll set a good frame and give people the possibility to get creative with the groceries. You can discuss how each person used the same ingredients in making different meals.
Another thing you can do is having food delivered to your guests on the day of the event. You can use apps like Uber Eats or Wolt to send food to your guests and make preparation easier. Another app that’s coming soon and will definitely make party planning simplified is Spotfood.
Spotfood allows you to make everything you need in an event manageable inside one app. So, with a couple of clicks, you can create a virtual event, get quotes from multiple vendors, send out invitations, make & share itineraries and have the vendors deliver food and gifts to all your guests. It sounds like a great solution for all your virtual events.
Make sure to remember sending out invitations with event details. Having in mind you’re holding a virtual event, include all the necessary joining information (links to the event, access codes). Our infographic on organizing events might come in handy when making initial plans. Also, if you’re planning on using a third party vendor to deliver food or ingredients, make sure to pick the right vendor.
Similar to having a dinner party, a virtual cocktail party can be an interesting way to spend quality online time with your friends.
When throwing an online cocktail party, it might be a good idea for the host to choose the menu, just like they would if they were throwing the party at home. When you decide on the cocktails to make, make sure you send the instructions and the recipes to your guests so they can get prepared. If someone doesn’t know how to make cocktails, make sure to have step-by-step guides ready for the event itself to make things more relaxed for everyone.
It would be great to have a theme to make the experience more real-life. You could choose a color or a dress-code for the participants to make things more fun.
For a dash of creativity, you can have a surprise cocktail of the evening. The way to do it is to tell all your guests to suggest an ingredient and at the event everybody should make one cocktail using the group ingredients. It’s sure to spark a few laughs.
Movie theaters around the world are closed to help slow down COVID-19. But, with many possibilities today's platforms give us, this might be the simplest solution for your virtual get-together. Simply pick a movie, have food and snacks delivered to the participants and enjoy. A platform like Teleparty or Kast makes it easy to organize this kind of an event.
Also, using Zoom might come in handy because it doesn’t require having a paid account. You can just connect and have the host share the screen to all the participants. It might be a good idea to have a couple of virtual “rooms” open so attendees can discuss the movie.
You can easily play classic party games like Pictionary or Charades without having to be in the same room. Just set up a video call and start playing. You can generate your own game cards or try some of the platforms that make it easy to play these games online, like Houseparty.
Just because you can’t be physically together, doesn’t make games less fun. To make your event more real-life, we suggest sending invites and instructions to participants in advance. And on the game night, you can surprise everyone with having food or small gifts delivered to their doorstep. It’s important to make everyone feel valued.
Virtual game nights are simple to organize and they are a great solution to stay connected with your friends, regardless of the reason stopping you to physically get together with your friends and family.
A good way to make a Zoom call a bit more funky is to put on a throwback party. Decide on a decade you want to get back to with your guests. Whether it's the 60's or 90’s, everything should be “in the tone”.
Don’t forget to think about the dress code, playlists and the menu. Everyone can participate in the organization to make everything more realistic. You, the host, can organize some vintage surprise presents to have delivered to your guests homes at the night of the party. It’s sure to get conversations started as everyone becomes a bit nostalgic.
If you want to make it extra epic, you can even book a band to perform virtually at your party.
When organizing a virtual social activity, it’s not just about taking the real-life activity and doing it online. That’s quite likely to make your event a bit boring. But, if you plan ahead and make all the necessary preparations, you won’t even know that you and your guests are not in the same room.
If you think about the small details, like the dress code, invitations, having gifts or food delivered to your guests, you can be sure it will be an event everyone will talk about. Especially if you get creative and provide experience your guests haven’t had the chance to get yet.
There’s a ton of apps that can make things quite easy to organize virtual events, but the creative part will always be left for your consideration and the little details will make a difference between a successful event and a quite boring one.
But, whatever you do, make sure to stay connected with your friends and family during the upcoming holiday season.