Virtual Party - The New Normalcy During Covid
The COVID 19 pandemic has changed life as we know to a large extent. Social distancing is the new norm. The non-stop lock down we are facing means celebrations of all kinds has come to a stop. Cute birthday parties with your kids and his friends, get-together, dining out with friends, parties, everything has been off-limits for now. But that doesn't mean you do not have to celebrate birthdays, anymore.
Birthdays are always meant to be special. It marks the birth of someone close to you. There is no reason to skip the birthday celebration. With the world moving into the digital age, we can easily celebrate this milestone; virtually. Keeping this in mind, we put together this article that helps you throw the best birthday party in town.
Secrets to Making the Best of Your Virtual Party
Until you can get out and meet your friends, here are a few ways you can celebrate a virtual birthday party. With virtual parties, you can have fun any way you want. Be it a virtual cocktail or brunch, costume party, or even a slumber party, the sky is your limit. And do not let the fact that you are bunked down at home for weeks on end bring you down.
Here are a few secrets of hosting the hottest virtual birthdays in town.
Decide on Your App
Talking about virtual birthday parties; Your first step before sending out the invites is to choose your app. There are quite a few apps that facilitate virtual socialising. Though initially designed for professional purposes, people are using it for much more than work. Here are a few you can choose from:
- Google Meet - It is a free-to-use application similar to hangout from Google. Very easy to understand and set up; All it needs is your google account to set the meeting but not the participants. But the catch is that free accounts can only host up to 10 participants at a time. Screen share is possible.
- Zoom - Similar to google hangout, it is the hottest app in town. It is also free and can host up to 100 participants and share screens for about 40 minutes with a free account. If you wish to continue, you’d have to reconnect every 40 minutes. But, if you buy an account costing you $15, you have the option of continuing even 24 hours if you so wish. Check out their tutorials for hosting a virtual birthday party.
- Skype - Skype hasn’t lost its fan base even with the launch of new apps. It is a free-to-use app that you need to download either on your computer or mobile. You’d have to create an account if you don't have one already. The group video calling feature allows for 50 people at a time. It also allows for screen share.
- Facetime - Applicable for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users, facetime needs no account. You can chat with up to 32 users but no option of screen sharing.
- JioMeet - A desi version of zoom, from the technology giants Reliance, JioMeet can host up to 100 participants in its free version. Unlike google meet and zoom, it doesn’t have a web version. But it offers multi-device support.
Send Invites Ahead of Time
Now that you have the app ready and the meeting set, it's time to send out your invites. With apps like zoom and JioMeet offering up to 100 participants, you can invite your family and friends and not just your group. More the number of participants, more the fun. Instead of a simple text, use websites like Evite for fancy invitations, increasing the anticipation for your party.
Decorate Party Space
Just because it is a virtual party doesn't mean that your party space has to be sombre. Decorate a small portion of your home with balloons, streamers, and whatnot. Set it up for the party and bring in the mood. Otherwise, you can go for the background option in zoom and have your party virtually in your chosen location. Zoom offers plenty of backgrounds for free.
Set a Dress Code
Not that we need any chance to dress up, but dress codes always set the mood for any party. It turns an average zoom party to one for the books. You can also host a theme party. Decide on the theme of the party and have your guests dress in accordance to your theme. A beach party right from your couch. Isn’t that cosy?
Record the Birthday Song Ahead
You do not want everyone singing the birthday song together on the zoom call. Trust us; it is a chaos. Instead, have the birthday song recorded and play it for the birthday baby. That is if it’s not your birthday. Else, you would just have to deal with the chaos.
Prepare Games Or Toast
While it is fun to meet all your friends for chatter over a birthday party, what makes it memorable is the toast. Make sure you make a toast for the birthday baby. Or you could organise games, quizzes, pictionary, charades and more. The organiser can plan the games him/herself or share the responsibility with other participants.
Virtual Birthday Ideas for Kids
While your kids might not have the birthday they planned, a virtual birthday party would definitely fill in for the time being. Here are a few virtual birthday ideas beyond a simple call with a cake.
The Classic Zoom Call
Yes! There are many options when it comes to a virtual birthday party. But do not put down the classic zoom call. It might come in handy if you are short of time. Get a cake or better yet, make a homemade cake for your child and let her/him have fun chatting with friends. Zoom allows you to have different backgrounds, but you can also decorate the party space for a festive feel.
Remember the lego. The ones you enjoyed as kids and detested as adults. Why not have a Lego party? Lego party is best enjoyed if you have a small party with a few kids. You can even buy a Lego set and get it shipped to the guests for the party. Choose one among the two, LEGO The Movie 2 Emmet's Thricycle or LEGO 42102 Mini Claas Xerion. While the former is suitable for younger kids, the latter is best suited for older kids. Both of them are working models and require no battery.
Remote Movie Night
Nothing equals a movie time with friends, does it? Social distancing doesn't have to affect those fun times. Play their favourite show on your laptop and screen share it on zoom. However, this works best when you have an uninterrupted internet connection. If that is not the case, try Kast. It lets you be in a virtual living room watching a movie together.
Capture the whimsical and fun element of the costume party virtually. It is probably the best call when it comes to kids. They love to dress up in costumes, and this would cheer them up. You could set the theme or ask them to surprise you. Since purchasing or renting an ensemble is difficult due to lockdown, you could ask them to recycle stuff from home. Imagine a DIY costume party with handmade outfits made by the kids.
Kids love performing, especially when there is not much crowd but just their friends. Organise a talent show at your child’s birthday party. Tell them to prepare a little something for their 15 minutes of fame. It could be anything from singing to dancing for a number, tricks, anything entertaining. Whatever they perform, it is sure to be a fun birthday party for them.
Virtual Birthday Ideas for Teens
Satisfying your teen is not going to be easy. They love to spend time with friends, but since it is impossible, let them have the next best thing, a virtual birthday party. Here are a few virtual birthday ideas your kid is sure to love.
Birthday Game Night
Most teens are sure to be gamers and have tried at least a few multiplayer games. Since multiplayer games include communication, you have the stage set for a virtual birthday party right there. With a few snacks and drinks, it is a birthday party indeed. If the gaming system is out of the question, try Facebook Instant Games. Have you tried playing Dominion online? You might want to check it out.
In these times of uncertainty and confusion, your teens would definitely enjoy some fun and letting go. What else does it better than dancing? Dancing is known to reduce depression and anxiety. Prepare a playlist with your teen and play it through zoom call. Let them dance their hearts out. You can also make it an exercise session if you can get the kids moving to a Zumba video.
Virtual Slumber Party
Who doesn't love a good old slumber party? While it is not possible to bunker down with friends and chat the night away while painting your nails, you can have the same experience with a virtual slumber party. Have your teen and their friends plan the activities. Order a few nail polishes and face packs for the party and have it sent to them. As for games, they can play pictionary on Skribbl or purchase a live session of Drawful 2.
Virtual Birthday Ideas for Adults
Birthdays are always special, not just for children and teens, but for adults too. Do not let this pandemic bring you down! Enjoy a virtual birthday party with your friends.
Get Glammed Up Together with Youtube
When was the last time you glammed up and spent a night together with friends? Looks like another lifetime; Why not learn a new look for your birthday? Choose a new look from your favourite Youtuber and practice it with your friends. Just because you are spending your birthday at home doesn't mean you should stay in your pyjamas. Glam up, and wear your favourite dress. It is your birthday after all.
Painting can be fun and relaxing. Skip those mandalas and purchase the “Paint by Number” kits from Amazon. Starting at Rs. 1,350, the paint by numbers kit has numbered checks in a canvas accompanied by a brush and paints. Get on video conferencing and paint them together while sharing a laugh. You can share your masterpieces in the end.
Organise a Parade
While you cannot organise a parade for yourself, you can get one done for your friend. Being socially distanced doesn't mean you cannot meet your friends. Meet them at your driveway and surprise the birthday baby with a parade of cars. A birthday parade is one for the books for sure.
Virtual Restaurant Outing
Can you think of anything cosier than an intimate dinner with friends? The pandemic has put a stop to that, but we can recreate it, virtually, of course! Order food from your favourite restaurant and ask your friends to do so too. Better yet, you can treat them to one. Get online and share a laugh while you have your meal.
Virtual Happy Hour
Does anyone at least remember the happy hour? The times when you wind up the work and head to the nearest pub for a cocktail or two. You cannot recreate the same thing with the pubs and restaurants being closed, but you can recreate the same vibe. Host a virtual happy hour birthday party. Choose a beverage of your choice; you can also learn to make your cocktail with the help of YouTube videos.
Socially Distanced Gifts
The social distancing part of the pandemic has put a stop to all festivities but not gifts. Go virtual and surprise your friend with one of our gifts. Most of our choices don’t even require your friend to touch them.
Give your friend a chance to learn from the masters this year! With experts like Gordon Ramsay, Natalie Portman, Anna Wintour, Dr Jane Goodall, and more available in Master Class, you have the options to learn from the masters. Pay Rs. 1,295/month and give your friend the gift of learning from the masters.
Custom Wine and Fruit Basket
Nothing equals a material gift you could savour and enjoy. Just like this custom Fruit and Wine Basket from Drinkable Gifts. With a starting price of Rs. 745, it doesn't come cheap since you have to pay for every add on. The best part, you can add your choice of wine or champagne, fruits, chocolate, gourmet snacks, alcohol, and a romantic gift.
Make a Surprise Video
Instead of a greeting card, why not go for a video greeting. Get everyone to send in a video greeting and create a montage of messages. VidHug lets you edit it, add in music, and whatnot. While a preview of the video is free, downloading costs you $15 or Rs. 1,122.
Is there anything more classic and virtual than a gift card? A gift card can be personal and offers the sender a safer choice of gifting. It can still be confusing, and that’s why you should go for a Woohoo gift card. The recipient can convert his/her gift card to gift cards from 100+ brands either partially or fully. And it’s all done virtually on the Woohoo website or app.
Online Library Membership
Is your child/friend a book worm? Their perfect timepass would be a book and a cuppa. While you cannot do anything about the latter when everything is closed or locked up, you can do something about the former with an online library membership. DoorstepBooks and JustBooks are leading online libraries in India. Memberships for DoorstepBooks start at Rs. 1,800 and JustBooks costs Rs. 5,398 per year. The choice is yours, depending on where you live. Not all libraries cater to all the cities.
Virtual celebration, however enticing they might sound, are not as easy to arrange and execute. It takes time, collaboration, and dedication from multiple parties to make it a success. If you lack in one or all of the above, you should look at virtual party organisers. From organising the video call to planning games and activities, they make your time fun and memorable. Here are a few party organisers making life easy for you.
With an innovative virtual celebration, eVibe is trusted by many all over India. Other than the video call and an anchor to host the party, they also have quite a few add-ons including a magic show, dance party, Harry Potter show, and more. They have two packages at Rs. 999 and Rs. 2499.
With customised options for each customer, My Eventz is another party organiser that has entered the virtual screen. Sign in with them, and their expert will contact you to make arrangements and talk about pricing.
Party on My Screen
Though not on the level of the above, Party on My Screen also organises virtual parties. They coordinate with your guest list, conduct games, and make sure everyone in the party is interactive, making it a fun event.
Hold a Practice Session If You Want to Make This Event Really Perfect!
If you want the session to be great, without any hassle, you can have a little practice session, where all participants get together and understand the plan before the actual event. It is also achievable by creating a chat group of all the guests to decide some main points like time, theme, activities, etc.