Throwing a virtual party? Here’s how to be the hostess with the most-est

2020 has been full of surprises so far, and we’re only in April! Who would’ve thought four months ago that we’d all go full digital in such a short space of time? It truly is the 21st century; work meetings in your PJs, yoga classes at lunchtime with a teacher halfway around the world, and more Instagram and Facebook lives from your favourite celebrities than you can shake a stick at.

Naturally, we’re all finding new and innovative ways to stay in touch with our friends and loved ones, and one of the trendiest right now is to throw a Virtual Party. You may not physically be in the same room, city, or even continent as your guests, but it’s still possible to have a jolly good time – and there’s less washing up to do afterwards.

If you’re thinking of hosting your own virtual party, here’s everything you need to know in order to be the virtual hostess with the most-est.

Choosing a platform

The first thing you need to do is decide what platform you’re going to use to host your virtual party. Sure, you can just stick with Skype if you want to keep things really simple, but if you fancy being a bit more adventurous there are plenty of platforms and video conferencing software available.

Zoom is the word on everyone’s lips right now. The daddy of all video conferencing platforms, it’s simple to use, and the checkerboard feature means that everyone can see everyone. You can also use its background feature to add a sort of Virtual Reality twist, which is perfect if you’re planning to set a theme for your party.

If you’re all Zoom’d out from your business meetings, there are a few cooler options available.

House Party, as the name suggests, is a perfect choice for hosting intimate parties (video chat rooms have a max of eight attendees). It’s available as both a phone and desktop app too, so it should be accessible to pretty much everyone with an internet connection.

FaceTime can also host up to 32 attendees in a video conference call, but that’s dependent on everyone at the party having a device with the most current iOS. Even Google Hangouts would be more than adequate if it’s an informal Netflix and Chill-style get-together.

Set some ground rules

Even though you’ll all be hanging out virtually, just like any other party a virtual party needs to have some sort of etiquette. It’s best to treat it like a dinner party, set a maximum amount of attendees, fix a start and end time (you’d be amazed how quickly time can pass online), and encourage the conversation to flow between the whole group – side conversations can be really alienating.

Keep things organised by sending out iCal invites, paperless post, or posting links to your virtual chat room in WhatsApp/Messenger groups. Some platforms allow you to password protect your “room”, so make sure to inform your guests if you’ll be using that feature, and if you’re going for a theme for your party remember to tell people in your invites.

Party games

Even if you haven’t chosen a specific theme for your party – except for “any hour’s happy hour!” – some well chosen party games can keep the laughter flowing and the atmosphere buzzing. The always epic Cards Against Humanity is now available to play via a mobile app, good ol’ Scrabble and Yahtzee are available online, and it’s even possible to compete in online poker tournaments without having to bet a single penny thanks to play money games.

Food and drink ideas

Up until this point it’s best to keep things as organised as possible, but when it comes to food and drink it’s more about what people actually have to hand rather than creating some impressive dishes.

If you’re planning a party for a more formal occasion, such as a birthday, wedding anniversary, or any other major life event then encourage everyone to eat simple food that won’t get in the way of precious chat time. For more chilled hangouts, nibbles like Pringles and Celebrations are absolutely fine. And if you’re planning Champagne Tuesdays (or Sundays, Fridays, Every Days) be sure to let your guests know when you send out their virtual invitations.

Why every party needs a selfie frame corner

Are you looking for fun party entertainment that can keep all guests entertained for hours? If you’re after something fun and cheap that your party-goers will have a laugh with all night long, why not get in on the selfie frame trend?

With funny props to use and customising options available, selfie frames are an on-trend option for your next event. Everyone seems to have a good time with these party pieces. But why is the selfie frame such a fast-rising trend?

Let everyone know about your party

You’ve probably already seen lots of selfie frame images on your social media accounts. That’s because these are usually the first images people upload during or after a party! The selfie was born on social media, so it only makes sense that the selfie frame looks equally incredible on this platform.

Although we obviously want our guests to enjoy our event, we also would like them to tell everyone else what a good time they’re having too! Luckily, the selfie frames’ popularity as a social media image means that your guests quickly share their good times with everyone on their friends list — letting everyone who wasn’t there know what a success it was.

Mark a special event
One of the best things about selfie frames is how you can customise your template to make it special to your party. Since you can choose from a range of designs and then customise your choice, the selfie frame is a bespoke party piece that you can use to put a personal stamp on any life event.

From Facebook to weddings, there are lots of selfie frame themes to go for to make the selfie frame a truly personal party accessory. With all the pics your guests are sure to take with this party prop, you’ll be checking out photos from your special night for ages after!

Keep the entertainment flowing
Entertainment can make or break your party — so getting the right kind is sometimes stressful. Selfie frames can fit and enhance any event — from weddings to Christenings. For example, at a wedding, you can keep people entertained for ages — which is tricky considering wedding receptions can last several hours — simply by setting up a few frames and a camera in one section of your venue. What’s more, posing for a photo can help bring family members and friends who haven’t seen each other in a long time back together. Or, help break the ice of people in your life that have never met before!

Keep your guests amused and take the pressure off having to constantly check that everyone is socialising with a selfie frame corner!

Cut costs!

Parties aren’t cheap, so you should try to cut costs where you can — another reason that selfie frames are worth considering! With low online prices and the chance for free customisation and delivery, selfie frames are a great alternative to hiring a singer or DJ. You might also be considering a photo booth for your next party, however, it’s worth bearing in mind that these can cost anything between £200-£400!

Never scrimp on entertainment factor — opt for a selfie frame or two and set up a booth in the corner of your venue.

No matter the party, a selfie frame can slot easily into any theme as a source of entertainment. If you want something quirky to add excitement for your guests, these are fast becoming a must-have item — so take a look at what’s out there!

What makes the best parties so great?

There is nothing like a good party. A combination of great people, food, drinks and music, the best parties have a little something more, something to make them memorable and much talked about.  Whether the party is small and intimate, a large rowdy gathering, something that has been organised by events management companies the best parties will remain in the mind long after the debris has been cleared away.

Here are a few of the best parties that I have attended, and what made them just so wonderful.

Harvey Nichols 10th Birthday in Birmingham

Why: This is the party that had it all, a free flowing bar, lots of celebs in attendance mingling with the party goers, photo booths, dressing up opportunities, a coconut shy where you could win a pair of Louboutins, a fashion catwalk show – need I go on? Truly one of the best parties I have ever attended, and definitely one that gave me an enormous hangover the next day.

Candy Floss!

Nelly.com launch Aqua London

Why: One word. Shoes. Free shoes. The launch of Nelly.com, referred to as a Scandi ASOS, was fabulous, and one of the main reasons for this was the fact that guests could chose a pair of shoes that would be sent for free. As a gimmick, it takes a lot of beating. Still have my fabulous shoes too.

Boohoo Christmas Party

Why: The venue made this party very special. A trip to drink potent vodka at IceBar London was an experience not to be missed, very cool, very cold and very different. This party is proof that you don’t actually need to be wearing a super slinky frock to enjoy a party, 20 minutes in an IceBar may just be the perfect night.

Style Birmingham 50

Why: This time it was all about the cocktails, which had been specially created for the evening. These were totally lush and ensured I had a really terrible hangover on a school night yet again.

The Lobby on Hill Street Launch Party

Why: This music at this one was incredible, a total classic funk soul explosion with a celebrity DJ in the form of Craig Charles. This was one night when I didn’t want to get off the dance floor, even wearing heels.

Spot Craig Charles in the background

What made your fave parties so special?