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Eight Virtual Event Ideas to Keep the Party Going

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change our world and we grapple with vast uncertainty about what our ‘new normal’ will look like, friends, family and neighbors are continuing to use fun, virtual events to celebrate milestones and enjoy get-togethers. Some people have even resorted to hosting weekly hangouts in order to combat stress and anxiety, making these social connections all that more important.

We understand that quarantines are better with friends and family, so the Wellbeing Network team has compiled a list of these virtual event ideas to continue using while social distancing. Here are the top eight virtual event ideas to keep the party going:

Field Trips
With social distancing measures looking like they’re here for the foreseeable future, a field trip may not be possible. But a virtual field trip is always possible! How about taking a virtual field trip with your children to a museum or through an art exhibit like this streamed walk-through? Looking for more interesting exhibits or field trip ideas? Here are 20 virtual field trips to take your family on!

Movie Date Nights
Who said dating in the 21st Century has to be a challenge? Wear your best date clothes and go to the movies… in the comfort of your own home. One of you brings the popcorn, the other brings the candy. Wear your best date clothes and stream a film from Netflix’s Party Streaming Feature, which allows the two of you to watch a film at the same time and interact with one another through a chat box. Although movie theaters may open to the public soon, this option is always available to enjoy a movie night with family and friends.

Happy Hours
The happiest of hours are spent with friends and colleagues. With the right planning involved, virtual happy hours can be fun and outrageous. To avoid any issues, one host needs to plan ahead. If this is you, choose a platform, create a meeting time and send out invites to your peeps. Gather together with a beverage or choice of a snack. Pick a theme like “each attendee must choose a cocktail that fits their personality”, or a favorite character from a popular TV show. Choose a platform that all your friends or colleagues have access to or know how to use. House Party has become a popular platform where attendees can play games together. Get crafty with your meet-ups. Create activity challenges like inviting attendees to wear their weirdest get-up. And voila—start catching up!

Book and Brunch Clubs
Fuel your mind and your heart with some social interaction around the Book of the Month.

Most libraries have an extensive digital audiobook or book collection free for the public to use online. Put a new spin on the classic book club—Harry Potter, anyone? —by choosing a book series everyone can follow virtually. Incorporate polls, games and even brunch into the club. Bring Your Own Snacks (BYOS), coffee or mimosa to enjoy.

Concerts
Many artists and organizations have transitioned their live concerts from venues to virtual events that anyone can tune into. The success of moving from live to virtual events depends on the size of the venue. Switching a 100-person live meeting to a webinar is one thing but moving 5,000 attendees to a virtual event is another. Fortunately, these concerts can be limited to fewer than 50 individuals and can be live streamed or pre-recorded. If you’re seeking to jam with your bandmates, we suggest a live feed where everyone can jump into a live session and invite audiences to listen in. You can even add a virtual event sponsor to your concert in the captions if you are jamming on a social media platform like Instagram or Facebook.

Baby and Bridal Showers
Whatever your concerns may be, it’s normal to feel disappointment, sadness or even relief at the thought of cancelling your in-person baby or bridal shower during the pandemic. Don’t fret for too long as online baby and bridal showers have the same concept as non-virtual showers: cram a dozen or so of your close friends and relatives in the same place at the same time.

Of course, some things will be different like having to replace certain games, refreshments or mingling as you would at a typical shower; it doesn’t mean it has to be less special. You can choose to host your own baby or bridal shower or pick one of your closest friends or relative to set up and host your shower from afar. First, decide on your video chat service of choice. Then, pick a date and time to send out your digital invitations with your registry. Set the tone in your invitations. Choose an outfit or decor that best fits the theme.  

Be sure to state that your online shower is a private event (encouraging your loved ones not to share the link to your video chat to, say, a long distant cousin). Mailing physical invitations are also an option and can be an added touch to your virtual shower.

Have your guests send their gifts to you to open or have them open their gifts on the video chat in order to further engage with them. Keep the party going after; platforms like Zoom allow you to record your event, so you’ll always have documentation of your special day. You can share this digital recording with your loved ones when you email your digital Thank You cards.

Birthday Parties
This leads us into birthday celebrations. Everyone celebrates a birthday and the unfortunate scenario is that most of us are celebrating our birthdays without the rest of our friends or family at this time. Whether it’s Disney World or a hibachi restaurant, birthday celebrations at a destination of our choice is also sacrifice we’re having to make.  

Celebrating birthday parties over video conferencing has become commonplace during this global pandemic. If you’re self-quarantining by yourself or with a loved one celebrating a birthday, spend some quality time doing your favorite activity or their favorite activity like having a picnic outdoors near your home or hosting a virtual meet-up over Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts or Instagram Live, all video conferencing platforms. Create a Facebook event or send a virtual birthday invitation encouraging all your friends to bring their own beverage and food items to the meet-up.

If this is for a virtual kid birthday party, consider hosting a virtual class birthday hangout. Ask guests to share stories, jokes, favorite songs or send a birthday card! We suggest that if you have friends or family who want to celebrate your loved one’s birthday, encourage them send you a short video wishing them happy birthday. Compile these snippets of well wishes into a long video that your significant other can watch later in the day to feel loved and appreciated.

You might feel that these virtual options are not for you or your loved one. If you live in an active, friendly neighborhood, you might want to consider a birthday car parade. Invite neighbors, friends or family to join in on a birthday car parade for you or your loved one. Sit on your front lawn or on your balcony and encourage your neighborhood to drive by, honk their horns or throw miscellaneous items like toilet paper out their windows. Enjoy!

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