The holidays are right around the corner and it seems like 2020 has everyone in the holiday spirit a little bit earlier than usual, so it’s never too early (or late) to start thinking about throwing a virtual holiday party. If you’re unsure of how to start, follow this list to help you plan a virtual party in five easy steps!

Step One: Pick your virtual platform

There are tons of different virtual platforms to choose from, so this step can be overwhelming. It is important to think about how you would like your guests to interact during the holiday party. Is face to face interaction important? Try Zoom or Google Hangouts. If you’ll be streaming entertainment and won’t require much face-to-face interaction but want to encourage interaction through a chat function, try a webinar service like GoToWebinar or BigMarker. Make sure to do your research!

Step Two: Pick a festive theme

Even though quarantine has robbed us of our regular, in-person celebrations, it doesn’t mean your virtual party will be any less cheerful. Just as you would with an in-person holiday party, have a fun theme attached to your virtual event — it’s an easy and cute way to get everyone excited and in the holiday spirit. Since we will all be celebrating from the comforts of our homes, encourage everyone to dress up, either in their ugliest sweater or coziest pajama set for a pajama party theme.

Step Three: Pick A virtual activity

Every party planner knows that entertainment during a party is key, whether it’s a game, like virtual trivia, or entertainment that ties into your theme like casino games for a virtual casino night, or an experience you can all share like a virtual cooking or wine tasting class. Having something to engage and create a unique experience will make sure no one will want to miss out. You can even consider some VIP holiday interactive experiences like a real-life Rockette giving a dance tutorial or holiday sing-alongs with Broadway stars. 

Step Four: Send an unexpected delivery

While your party is virtual, your guests may appreciate getting something physical to enjoy during your party as well. Sending them an “unexpected delivery” or a surprise a day or two before is a sure-fire way to generate excitement. Look into working with a local restaurant to send food or drink kits, or a local winery/brewery to send some beverages to enjoy! You can even parlay this into an activity by doing a holiday food and wine pairing that everyone can enjoy and experience together. 

Step Five: Invite your guests

Most importantly, send out your invites! Create a festive invite for your virtual party to send to your guests — everyone loves getting a formal invite, even for a virtual event. Don’t forget to include the date, time, theme (if any), and link to join! Just because your event is virtual doesn’t mean you should skip this step. By creating a formal invite, you’ll be sure to tempt your guests into not missing out on any of the virtual fun!

Keep these things in mind

Be sure to focus on engagement and not just have everyone stare at a screen. By keeping your holiday party interactive and engaging, your guests will be sure to forget about 2020 as the year of quarantine, and instead remember it as “that year we did that really cool virtual holiday party!”

For more tips, check out these blog posts on virtual events:

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