Indy Style

7 tips for planning a virtual party

With virtual connection options like Facetime, Google Hangouts, Zoom or Skype video chat, there’s no reason to miss out on any special moments like birthdays, anniversaries, upcoming Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and more.

Here are some tips from Kay Jay of Verizon to keep it interesting.

1. Create a theme before the call. Share an act of kindness you did that week. The kids might want to bring a favorite Lego character to the screen – while the bookworm in the group might want to create a virtual book club. Add a “remember when” call where each person recounts remembrance of a celebration you’ve all had in the past. Do a trivia game and see who can beat Google.

2. Set ‘share time’ limits so everyone gets a chance to participate – otherwise it’s not a virtual party! Suggest an amount of time for folks to talk that would be appropriate for your group size and expected call length. Someone should serve as the official timekeeper (like a tech referee/troubleshooter) to keep people on track. If you’re worried about someone’s home internet connection, then give them a boost with a jetpack.

3. Give kids the mic and flexibility. If there are young children on the call, give them time to talk (or babble a bit) no matter what it is they want to share. This could be as simple as telling their favorite story, singing a new song, or pretending to be a beloved character from a movie or cartoon. Little ones can also use their Gizmo watch to connect to specially selected family members that parents can track.

4. Remember that everyone may be in a different tech ecosystem – like Android vs. iOS. Be sure everyone has tech cheat sheet in advance of the call. You can also pick your favorite YouTube tutorial to share in advance. And remember the importance of the “mute” function – so the new puppy doesn’t take over the call.

5. Snapchat filters are available on Zoom and offer lots of different backgrounds and filters to lighten up the mood.

6. Houseparty is a video chat app that’s quickly gaining popularity. You can chat with up to 8 friends, join different chats going on and even play games virtually with friends.

7. Netflix Party is a chrome extension that allows you to watch movies with other users and chat in real time.

For more about Verizon visit their website, verizon.com.

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