Take a moment to close your eyes and recall the party you think was the funniest and most fantastic. We’re guessing that no matter where you were and what you did, you were surrounded by all your loved ones, colleagues, and friends, and you were all partying together.
Now, fast-forward to 2021. You’re planning a party, be it for yours or someone else’s birthday or another celebration. And, probably all you think about is that none of the fun you had at that party you just remembered is possible. But, you’re wrong!
Sure, you may not be able to physically meet all your friends and loved ones (for everybody’s safety and health). But this doesn’t mean that they can’t be present at your party and that you can’t have fun together.
Here’s how to “Schedule a Meeting” on Zoom and make it a fun party.
Zoom isn’t the only option.
Yes, ok, it’s in the title of this article, but Zoom isn’t the only platform you can use to gather your friends for some fun. So, it’s worth mentioning that you have more video conferencing options to choose from if Zoom isn’t your thing. So, let’s discuss your options:
On Zoom, you can host meetings and share your screen with up to 100 other Internet users, all for free. Sure, the downside is the fact that after 40 minutes, the call will end, and you all have to reconnect again, but you can solve this problem by spending $15/per month for an account that will allow you to host calls that last 24 hours.
This option is free to use and allows you to create group video calls with up to 50 other Internet users with whom you can share your screen. All you have to do is ask everyone to download the app and create an account to add them to your video call.
Google Hangouts is another free option you have to organize your virtual party. The nice part with using this platform is that only you as the host need to have a Gmail or Google account. So, even those family members or friends who are still using Yahoo can join your party. But, the not so nice part is that you can only invite 10 people to your party because that’s how many the platform allows you to include in your meeting.
If all your guests are Apple users, you can simply use FaceTime to chat with your friends and loved ones. However, only 32 people can join your “party”.
Additional: Netflix Party
Netflix Party is worth mentioning as well because if you’re really planning only to have a movie night with your friends, this is the platform to choose. Netflix Party basically allows you to host a movie night (only that everyone will be watching the movie from their own laptops, from their own homes, eating their own popcorn).
So, if your idea of an online party is watching your favourite movie with your friends, choose Netflix Party. All you have to do is to pick the movie and get the link to the “party,” which you’ll then share with your friends. Everybody has to enter the link, click on the join button, and watch the movie together while also chatting in the chat window you have available.
Ask everybody to prepare something to say.
As weird as it may sound, having everyone preparing something to say isn’t actually a bad idea. In fact, it may save you from all the awkward silence you likely felt at least once since the pandemic started and meetings have moved online.
So, what you should do exactly is ask people to prepare a favourite memory or toast to say when their time comes.
The big difference between virtual and IRL gatherings is that people can’t break away to have side conversations in different corners of the room. So, in such meetings, everybody kind of has to talk when it’s their turn.
So, to avoid the awkward silence and the moment when everybody is talking simultaneously, and no one understands a word, better have such planned moments when everybody honours the celebrated person.
Prepare a background
The key to making your Zoom parties fun is to get a little bit creative. That’s because you need to make something out of the very little that is given to you: a screen. But, just because you see your loved ones over a screen doesn’t mean that you should neglect setting up the atmosphere for the party.
Now, music may be a little tricky because audio echo in meetings is really annoying. Yet, you can still have the decorations part in a way or another. What are your options?
- You can use a themed Zoom party background.
- Actually decorate your room with balloons, candles, flowers, fabric tassels, or paper stars.
- Send decorations to the guests prior to the party. You can buy bulk ribbon, balloons, and coloured paper and get creative with DIY decoration ideas. Fake an eating out night
Last but not least, there must be food and drinks at a party.
Remember those Friday nights when you and all your friends would meet at your favourite restaurant for a nice dinner? Yes, it was nice and fun. But now, restaurants in many parts of the world are closed, and it’s simply not safe to sit at the same table with so many people.
Yet, this doesn’t mean that you and your friends can’t still enjoy a nice dinner together while chatting. You can do it through a Zoom/Skype/Google Hangouts/ FaceTime meeting.
Simply ask everyone to order in or prepare their own meal (or you can order the meal and send them to their house), choose their favourite drinks and enjoy them in front of the screen. It will feel like something close to eating at the same table in a restaurant or a party.