A complete guide to planning virtual events with your friends that don't suck...

For Skimmers:

  1. The Set Up: How to set up a virtual event

  2. Scheduling

  3. Setting the expectation

2. The Hangout: Things to do together

a. Free Options

b. Paid options

Let’s be real for a second - if you clicked on this article, you’ve probably been struggling. You, a social butterfly and undoubtedly the life of the party, have been confined to your tiny apartment to wait out what feels like the end of the world, and you haven’t been able to do anything fun with your people in forever. You have an amazing group of friends, but without being able to see each other in person things have gotten… well…. Kind of -

We’re guessing you’ve tried all the go to’s, like virtual happy hours that cycle from everyone talking at once to no one talking at all until everyone signs off after an appropriate amount of time, hoping no one suggests doing THAT again. You, as the unelected but understood host of many of your previous in-person gatherings are baffled by how you and your friends can get along so well when you’re all together, but add the computer, and it’s like you’re starting from ground zero. You see your friends starting to lose motivation to do virtual get togethers at all and you have to find a safe alternative that DOESN’T feel like work- FAST!

Let us put your mind at ease:

As experts in the field of virtual engagement, we have heard the same story from ALL of our customers. Virtual events - when not done properly - SUCK.

But what if we told you that there’s a way to host a virtual event that is fun and actually builds into your relationships with your friends rather than detracts from them? Spoiler alert - it’s totally possible.

So buckle up buttercup. Here are the insider’s tips, curated by our team here at LiveSounds, on how to create a bomb virtual event your friends will rave about even after the pandemic is ancient history.

The Set Up

Schedule that ish: Once you and your group have decided to get together virtually:

  1. Give them three dates and times to choose from. You can do this using an online poll or if you don’t mind the headache, confer with them one on one or nail it down through a group chat.

  2. Then send them a google calendar link. Now I know what you’re thinking! It sounds stupid formal. But here’s the deal - unless a virtual event is in people’s calendars, they’re either very likely to forget, or not make it a priority because it doesn’t require a ton of effort to show up. Getting a date scheduled in their calendar sends the message that your time together is important, and if everyone confirms, it’ll be much easier to shame them if they bail. 😉

Set the expectation:

No one likes walking into something that feels ambiguous. Yes, y’all have known each other for what feels like forever and are normally totally comfortable with each other - but Zoom is a new venue, and it can make people nervous. Relieve that pressure by introducing some structure.

  1. Include a few options of things to do in your scheduling email that your friends can vote on (we’ll give you some ideas in the next section). This will make them feel like they’re helping plan the night, which will give them ownership and the motivation to show up and be fully engaged.

  2. Bonus - Set the Scene: Want to get creative? Require a dress code! See who can best rock the onesies you all got each other for Christmas last year. Better yet, ask everyone to adjust their environments to best compliment the activity you’ll be doing - like having the lights dimmed with popcorn and their favorite drink ready for a virtual movie night. This kind of preemptive set up makes it feel like you are experiencing something TOGETHER rather than individually at the same time.

The Hangout

Despite what feels like a limited number of options, there are actually A TON of fun things to do together online - you just have to think outside the box. Here are some ideas to get you started :

Free options:

Paid options:

Though taking these few extra steps to set up your virtual hangouts might mean a little extra work for you, they will make a huge difference in the quality of your time together. This kind of structure takes your virtual hang outs from feeling like an obligation that people have to motivate themselves to attend, to genuine times of connection that all of your friends will look forward to.

Still sound like a ton of work? Have a special event that you don’t feel equipped to prepare for virtually? Let us handle it for you! Check out our website for the most engaging and interactive virtual events that your friends will love!

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