November 11, 2020
By Madison Layman

The “new normal” is anything but normal these days, especially in terms of the way we socialize. Whether it’s having to make reservations to sit at a makeshift outdoor space at that dive bar across the street to welcoming your computer even further into all aspects of your life, life is different. Like most of us, you may be wary around large groups or still working from the confines of your home, rarely seeing anyone aside from your spouse, roommates, or family. It’s time to reinvigorate your social life and start powering connections with virtual social events.

Virtual social event best practices

Choose your guest list carefully

Virtual social events aren’t all that different from regular social events. In both, the guest list has the ability to make or break your event. While virtual meetings can handle a large number of attendees, virtual social events rely on interaction between all those on video. Too few and there may be awkward lulls, and a stall in the event, too many and you’ll fight for a chance to speak. Give the event a fighting chance by building an attendee list that doesn’t exceed ten attendees.


The event host has all the power

An event host can often mute or control attendees. Gift this power wisely. If it’s a work function, the host should be the meeting organizer. If it’s a get together among friends, choose someone who won’t get power hungry and mute for the fun of it. Another function of the event host is just that: to be a host. There may be individuals who are more hesitant to join in and speak up. As the event host, pay attention to the screen time of each attendee to make sure everyone feels at home.

Agree to follow the rules

It’s easy in a more relaxed environment for one person to talk a lot or another to hijack the event entirely. As a group, agree upon social event etiquette to make sure that everyone has fun and gets a chance to join in.

9 Virtual social event ideas

Virtual wine tastings

Get your group of fellow oenophiles together for a virtual wine tasting. Agree on the wines ahead of time, drop off small tastings to the group, or pay for a wine tasting that sends you the wines and leads you through a tasting. A wine tasting will help you find new favorite bottles and get the group loose and chatty. Check out a few of the best  virtual wine tastings available now.

Virtual cooking classes with experts

Gather your quarantine household together and brush up on your cooking skills. Virtual cooking classes will allow you to learn knife tricks, new recipes, and more. It’s challenging to do a cooking class with a large group, but you can get a few households together to join in at the same time then see who made the dish the best.

Get a game night on the calendar

Board games have gone virtual. Not only that, there are plenty of other games online that allow you to play with friends. If you’re missing out on your monthly board game night or have attendees joining from different locations, host a game night over zoom. Check out 26 Best Online Games to Play with Friends While Social Distancing.

Start a book club

Looking for that next good read? Start a book club! This is a great option for companies looking to provide more engagement for employees. You can choose professional books or inspiring memoirs to get employees talking. Or, set up a book club with your friends and rotate who picks the next book. This way, you’ll get a chance to read books you wouldn’t normally. If choosing books is too much of a pain, follow along with Reese’s Book Club or choose from The New York Times Bestsellers list. 

Take a museum tour or do a scavenger hunt

While some museums have opened up, others are offering virtual tours. Get a group together and take a virtual tour. Even better, make a virtual scavenger hunt out of the experience. Have participants look for certain paintings or answer riddles to find a certain exhibition and race to see who can virtually get there first.

Throw a virtual dance party

Anyone else miss going out and dancing? Make it your next social event. A virtual dance party can connect you with friends, family, and community and allow you to let loose. Find a DJ, get the music pumping, and dance the night away with your friends. Find out how to host your next virtual dance party.

Host a virtual trivia night

Bring back trivia night! One of the easiest virtual events to host, all you really need is a quizmaster and a stack of old Trivial Pursuit questions. Depending on the group of attendees, whether this is a work function or a gathering of friends, set a theme for the trivia night.

If it’s a company social event, make the questions relate to the company. Have attendees hold up answers on paper or fill out documents that get emailed to the quizmaster at the end of each round. Of course, coming up with a stack of questions can be challenging.

If no one wants to take on the job of cultivating questions, then pay a company that specializes in trivia nights.

Paint and sip party

Get your friends together for a night of artistic endeavors. Unless you have an artist in the group, you’ll need to outsource to a company that does it all. There are a few places that will send you a paint kit with everything you need, then walk you through your lesson on video.  

Take a coffee break

A great option to facilitate team bonding is hosting a coffee break or morning homeroom once a week. Attendees can bring their coffee and catch-up like they used to do at the office. While chatting around the water cooler is on hold, these recurring meetings can keep your team engaged and keep the company culture alive. Consider sending out gift cards for coffee delivery to the team for an added something special.

Keep connections alive with virtual social events

It’s not easy to get together with friends these days but shift your thinking and take your hangouts online. Now more than ever we need to foster friendships, stay in touch with family, and build relationships with coworkers. Plan virtual social events using virtual event tech solutions that will leave you laughing, talking, and engaging even at a distance. 

Get inspired by more virtual event ideas and examples. 

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Madison Layman

A graduate of the College of William and Mary, my passion for writing began before I could read, with a nightly verbal diary dictation transcribed by my obliging parents.

When I'm not writing, you can find me binge-watching TV shows, baking elaborate desserts, and memorizing pop culture facts.

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