viva la virtual party!
After nearly two years of living bra-less in our jogging bottoms, many of us were looking forward to the return of the party season this year and of course -the return of The Office Party. What was once a cringe-fest of bad food, too much wine, waking up regrettably and remembering those dance moves you 'slayed' with Dave in IT the night before, was fast becoming the highlight of yet another quiet, party-less year.
The return though, has not been the big bang that we were all expecting. With many companies taking a cautious approach to the workforce coming back through the office doors. Months on, and many of us are still at home and many of us are still in those joggers...
With bleak reports from the likes of The Guardian announcing that if any Christmas parties do go ahead, there will be (of course) "an emphasis upon Covid-compliant celebrations, with some bosses asking partygoers to provide evidence of a lateral flow test before entry or to undergo a temperature check at the door."
The Times are reporting that many companies are ditching the office parties altogether - with many large employers choosing to cancel this year’s parties in case they lead to Covid-related sickness and absence.
So it would seem that the return of large scale Christmas parties are a thing of the past - BUT FEAR NOT! Many employers, friends and families are choosing smaller scale parties or virtual events where party-goers can meet with loved ones, friends & colleagues for a knees up in the comfort of their own home. Trust us when we say, virtual parties have come along way since the dreaded 'Zoom pub quiz'!
After turning our business on it's head in early 2020 to meet with the demand of virtual parties, we like to think we're experts when it comes to hosting awesome virtual events - we've hosted (virtually!) everything from birthdays, hen dos, retirements, and of course many a team event! So if you're thinking of hosting your own virtual party this year, here are our top tips for making it go with a bang!
Why host a VIRTUAL PARTY?
This is not your average Zoom call! A virtual party is just as it sounds - a party online! We find people and companies have found many creative reasons to celebrate on screen together. On the personal side, we see baby showers, bridal parties, hen dos, birthdays or just an excuse for a good old catch up and a few drinks between friends and family. With businesses we've seen celebrations for the end of a project, new client wins, team celebrations, retirements and of course more recently, the team Christmas party!
With many people understandably covid-wary when it comes to large groups and parties, virtual events allow everyone to get together safely and from the comfort of their own home. We also find that many employees are still working remotely around the country - so virtual events are a really simple way to get everyone together for a good knees up even if they live at opposite ends of the country!
THINK ABOUT YOUR GUEST LIST
First things first, decide on your guest list. Remember by throwing on online party you're not limited by venue capacity or budget in most instances. However, do think about how you want your online party to flow - the more people you have on a virtual call, the harder it may be for everyone to participate. We find that team parties between 6 and 10 people are a bit of a sweet spot. It's a great number to keep the conversation flowing, but not too many that your call ends descends into chaos!
HAVE A THEME
Whilst you don't strictly need to have a theme, it's always a great conversation starter if you do. Think along the lines of cocktail hour, best party hat, Christmas fancy dress - and then watch and laugh as each member of your call logs on! If you'd rather not have a theme, consider something like a tasting session. The Little Gin & Rum Company host gin, rum and cocktail tasting sessions virtually which can add a great structure and purpose to bring your event together. These can either be hosted by an expert to talk you through the various tipples, or you can host your own tasting session. Get in touch and we can help you decide which option is best for you.
Food and drinks are a staple at any good party - just because your event is happening online, doesn't mean you can't enjoy a tipple with your friends and family! Once you've sorted your guest list, why not package up some little surprises for the event and get them sent out to your guest list? Think of Secret Santa gifts, hen do favour bags, or silly team gifts - the possibilities are endless. Sending your party a box of goodies before the event also adds to the excitement before the event, and provides structure to your virtual party.
If this all sounds like hard work - let us do it for you! We can send your guests their gin, rum or cocktail kits ahead of time - along with nibbles if you like. Your guests will also be sent downloadable 'tasting mats' to use during their tasting experience to rate their favourite tipples.
have a structure
Virtual parties do need to have a little more structure than a normal party to help them go with a bang! We suggest that an hour is usually enough for the structured element, and then those who wish to log off can do so after this section... or just stay online and party into the night! Our tasting sessions usually last for an hour but we find out that many of our online parties continue well into the night after we have logged off! So have a think about what it is you want to have as the main focus to kick off your online event and get planning.
relax & enjoy
As with any party, virtual events can take a lot of organising - so remember to relax and enjoy your hard work! Failing that, sit back and let us organise your virtual tasting event for you. We take care of every element from start to finish - leaving you with the simple task of enjoying a few large G&T's!
Planning a pre-Christmas party? We understand it's not always easy to get ALL of your friends and family together for a party at this time of year - so why not try a virtual party? Our parties last an hour, so it's much easier to fit into busy pre-Christmas calendars. We host your online party with lashings of gin, rum or cocktails! Our virtual tasting experiences can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home! Contact us today to organise your virtual tasting experience.