If you haven’t noticed by now, I love event planning. It should come as no surprise that I head up the events’ committee at work. Time to talk + take a break with other employees is a huge part of our culture, so we make sure we can all decompress together with quarterly events + monthly happy hours. Since we can’t meet in person, I had to learn how to host a virtual happy hour. With four or five under my belt, I thought I should share some of this wisdom with you!
Happy hours are a great way to connect with not only coworkers but also friends + family. COVID-19 is keeping many of us away from our loved for longer than we would have ever imagined. Planning a fun get together on video is a great way to stay engaged with each other. It’s also an easy way to invest in your long-distance friendships.
How to Host a Virtual Happy Hour
- Step 1: Choose your platform.
- Step 2: Decide on a time.
- Step 3: Determine a format.
- Step 4: Pick a theme.
- Step 5: Have fun!
- Step 6: Get feedback.
Choose your platform – There are many different tools you can use to connect with your happy hour group. Choose one + let your potential attendees know in case they need to create an account. Popular platforms are Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype, or Instagram’s new “rooms” feature.
Decide on a time – Typically happy hour takes place sometime in the 4-7 PM range. My office hosts our happy hours on the last Friday of every month. The consistency helps everyone remember but also gives them something to look forward to. It happens often enough that people know to fit it into their schedule, but not so often that it becomes a chore.
Determine a format – Like any meeting, your happy hour needs an agenda. It doesn’t have to be written out, but in order to maintain the flow, the host at least needs to have an idea on how things are going to run. One of the things I’ve found works best is to choose a game to play. A few game ideas:
Pick a theme – Everything is better with a theme. Encourage your coworkers or friends to buy-in + dress/act the part. It will make the virtual connect seem a little bit more fun + natural. A few themes I’ve tried are tropical vacation, decades, and Fitness Friday.
Have fun – You now know the basics on how to host a virtual happy hour. You’ve got a platform, time, format, and theme. The most important thing is to enjoy the time connecting with your loved ones or coworkers.
Get feedback – Once you have on under your belt, ask participants how it went. What worked? What didn’t? What do they wish had been different? This will help you plan an even better event the next time around.
I hope you feel a little more informed on how to host a virtual happy hour + get planning on your first one! If you’re looking to go out for happy hour, check out this list of Memphis’ best!