Losing the opportunity to gather friends for a dinner party or drinks at your favorite watering hole can be a difficult change for natural entertainers and extroverts.
Yet social contact does not have to be an unimaginable task when you’re distancing yourself from society. Seeing your friends face to face, though you are physically far away, has never been simpler, thanks to applications such as FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom.
Sure, an impromptu text here, a short video call there, you can keep in touch casually, but why not make the occasion feel a little more like a special occasion? Hosting a virtual happy hour is a perfect way to stay in contact with friends and family while giving them the high quality of entertainment they demand from you. All you need to schedule an evening to remember are a few small, thoughtful choices.
Ready to host a virtual happy hour of your own? These tips will help make it a night that your party is never going to forget.
Send a Formal Invitation
As much as the next digital native, I love a well-shared calendar invite, but a well-designed digital invitation from a place like Paperless Post will make the event feel extra unique. Only craft an invite that appeals to you and give it to each of your guests by email. To open it and RSVP directly, they’ll be able to click on the envelope. Psst, they can also quickly add it to their phone schedule, which just increases the experience.
Suggest a Special Cocktail
Obviously, your guests may have a cocktail, a wine, a beer, or a non-alcoholic drink of their preference, but submitting a recipe to your favorite signature cocktail helps the event feel a little more “hosted.” Just make sure you pick anything reasonably simple that needs a few ingredients to keep it available.
Serve Your Drink Out of an Elegant Cup
If you’re anything like me, you have a set of beautiful barware that you barely ever use. Now is the ideal time to reach into your stash and serve your own cocktail with something a little cooler than your usual glass of wine (without the fear that your guests will break it). I have a collection of crystal coupes that I’m going to use for my next virtual happy hour.
Actually Get Dressed
I know, I know, one of the best aspects of working from home is being able to do so in your most comfortable loungewear, but getting at least a little dressed up is the best way to make a virtual happy hour feel like an actual case. You don’t have to go down the gown and the red lipstick path, but something as easy as swapping your leggings for jeans will make you feel more official together.
Add Some Ambiance
Yes, your mates are really just going to be able to see your face and immediate history from their phones, but you can still give yourself a nice vignette. To make your own home feel a little more bar-like, light your favorite candle, and set up a nice snack for yourself.
Don’t Forget the Mute Button
All right, this one isn’t quite as fun, but after years of virtual conference calls, when someone else is talking, I can’t really overstate the value of mutating when someone else is talking. Yeah, you can chime in anytime you want, but when someone else tells a story, remaining on mute means that the background noise from your home will not disturb something.
Most of All, Enjoy the Time With Your Loved Ones
Not being able to see your friends and family—heck, also acquaintances—whenever you like, it can be hard to adapt. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make good use of your hosting skills and throw a virtual happy hour to share your love for each other. Cheers on that one.
There’s no better way, or, no other way to safely share cocktails with your loved ones than by gathering for this not-yet time-honored tradition of firing up apps and raising a glass. These tips will surely help you to have a virtual happy hour. Don’t miss them. Besides, if you have any great other virtual happy hour tips, why not share them with us?