Hosting a virtual New Year’s Eve party is something we never thought we’d do. But this year, we’re being safe and conscious about our health and paving the way for new holiday traditions. During a time of self-reflection and new beginnings, it’s natural to want to spend New Year’s Eve with our loved ones, even if it means not physically being next to them.
We don’t need to go out and have glitter confetti all over us to have a good time. A virtual holiday party is just as fun in the comfort of your own home—we never liked driving back home after a party anyway. Here’s how to plan an impressive virtual celebration to end the year with a bang.
Easy Steps For Planning A New Year’s Eve Celebration You’ll Remember Forever
1. Choose A Video Chat Platform
First things first—know where everyone’s meeting. Do a little research on which video chat platform works best for your guests. Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and Facebook Rooms are all great options. If your international friends are also joining, keep in mind some of these platforms don’t work in certain countries, so you’ll need to make sure that all your guests can attend the virtual New Year’s Eve party.
Another thing to take into consideration is the Internet connection. You wouldn’t want anyone’s video to freeze halfway through the party. Figure out what you can do to improve the video connection to avoid lagging, and inform your guests to do the same.
2. Pick a Theme
Just because you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party online doesn’t mean you’re having a basic party. Choose a theme to get into the holiday spirit and allow your creativity to run wild. If you haven’t put up your California-inspired holiday decorations, now’s the time. (Then again, you can easily add a virtual background to save time and energy.)
Create a holiday setting with fireworks or a California white Christmas background. A simple and warm fireplace is a good option if you’re not a fan of over-the-top backgrounds. Although it’s probably a long shot, tell your guests beforehand what background you’re picking for the virtual holiday party to avoid repetition.
3. Dress Up For The Occasion
Now that you’ve decided on your theme, it’s time to dress up—no one should wear PJs (unless you’re having a pajama party). Even though a virtual New Year’s party is more or less informal, having a dress code makes it feel slightly more festive and it’ll help your guests feel like they’re actually going to a party.
Don your favorite outfit from your fall and winter capsule wardrobe or—better yet—get everyone to wear themed costumes. Whether it’s a TV character or even a holiday pun, your guests are going to love getting creative. You can even make a game out of it and give a prize to the best dressed or most creative costume.
4. Make Invitations
Remember handing out birthday party invitations at elementary school? We’re doing that online for our NYE party. Sending out text messages to meet is so 2019—we’re going to create invitations with all of the information our guests need along with the link to the virtual party.
Find a template that matches your theme and get to work. Your e-card should include the date and time of the New Year’s celebration, the dress code, a brief description of the activities, the length of the event, and (naturally) the link to the party. Send the digital invitations at least two weeks before the event to help ensure that all of your friends make it.
5. Prepare A New Year’s Eve Party Playlist
Every party needs a bomb playlist, especially a New Year’s Eve celebration. It’s always fun with music around. Compile your favorite feel-good California songs and create the ultimate playlist that everyone will love. Include background music to add to the vibe; just make sure the volume is low enough so people can hear each other.
It’s not a New Year’s Eve party without a little bit of dancing. Your holiday playlist should also include groovy songs so your friends can dance the night away. Share the playlist with the attendees beforehand—they might want to add a few of their top choices.
6. Organize A List Of Activities
There’s a variety of virtual ways to enjoy the NYE party. One thing we can all agree on is activities and games. From online New Year’s Eve bingo to This or That questions, your options are plentiful. Start off with icebreaker questions to get your guests acquainted. Once everyone feels more comfortable, let the fun begin.
Trivia games, karaoke, and Would You Rather questions are always entertaining. If your friends have special skills or talents they’d like to show off, make them a part of the program and let them entertain the guests. There are also many activities for a family New Year’s Eve party: charades, Two Truths and a Lie, and even a spelling bee for the little ones.
The main event of your virtual party is when the clock strikes 12. Create a customized countdown clock to help build suspense and anticipation.
7. Create DIY Photo Props
If you were throwing an offline New Year’s Eve party, chances are you would purchase photo props. Learn to make the props yourself and turn the process into a group activity. You can make them during the virtual holiday party or organize it a few days before the event. You’re going to need masks, hats, noisemakers, balloons, and partyware. Share tips and tricks with your friends to make the best DIY photo props for your NYE party.
8. Do Screenshots Instead Of Photoshoots
The DIY photo props aren’t just for show—we’re taking screenshots instead of photos this year. The best part about taking screenshots on a video chat platform is that everyone will fit in the photo frame. No one has to uncomfortably squat or stand on a chair. With everyone all dressed up for the New Year’s Eve celebration, your screenshots will turn out fantastically. After the event, print the screenshots, frame them, and mail them to each of your attendees as virtual holiday party favors.
9. Share New Year’s Eve Party Recipes
A great New Year’s Eve party always involves food. Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean we’re going to eat snacks all night. Share healthy holiday recipes with your guests prior to the event so everyone can savor the same food. Do the same with festive drinks so you can toast to the past, present, future, and a happy New Year.
10. Prepare A Slideshow Of The Year In Review
Having spent most of the year in quarantine, many might think they haven’t accomplished much. But there’s no denying that each of us grew and flourished in different ways at different paces. It’s important to celebrate our successes and accomplishments—big or small—with our loved ones.
Have each of your virtual New Year’s Eve party guests prepare a slideshow of everything they’ve achieved throughout the year, even if it’s just one thing. Start off the year feeling loved and appreciated by all your loved ones.
11. Share New Year’s Resolutions
Alternatively, you can share your New Year’s resolutions. As 2020 has shown us, we can’t predict what’s going to happen next, but we can try to make an impact on our lives—step by step. Don’t hesitate to offer tips and resources to help your friends fulfill their New Year’s resolutions.
Another option is to make it into a game—Guess the Resolution—and see if your guests can figure out who wrote which resolution. Your virtual New Year’s Eve party is definitely going to be a hit.
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