Happy hour, our favorite way to relax and unwind after a full day of work and activities. A glass of red wine with good company and nothing could be better.
Okay, back to reality. Unfortunately, in-person gatherings were hard to come by for a while and teams are so often distributed these days that the impromptu or casual work happy hour has become less common. And if you're the pessimistic type you might think that a virtual happy hour can't possibly be fun, but hear us out - happy hour is still very much alive, and a virtual happy hour can be even more inclusive, engaging, and fun.
Whether you're planning an extravagant virtual happy hour or a low key night-in with your coworkers, here are our tips for making it a successful event.
Pick a timeframe:
When you plan your virtual happy hour, select a time that works best for your team, and then set a timeframe for how long the virtual happy hour will run. An hour is usually a good length of time, as it provides enough time to incorporate a few activities, without being too much of a time commitment for attendees.
Plan a theme:
Next, we recommend planning a theme for your virtual happy hour. A theme creates a guide to follow when planning the activities, drinks, and conversation points for your virtual happy hour. If you find yourself questioning whether or not to include an activity, merely consider whether it fits into your overall theme.
Choosing a theme also adds an element of fun to your virtual happy hour, through theme inspired drinks. Simply instruct your attendees beforehand to bring a drink that fits the theme. If you want to take it up another level, encourage attendees to show up in a costume relating to the theme.
You can keep the theme simple or make it extravagant, all depending on how much time you want to invest in planning. Here are a few easy theme ideas:
- A luau
- The roaring 20's
- A dessert night
- The great outdoors
- A fiesta
Pick your platform:
After you’ve decided a theme, then choose what platform you’ll host your virtual happy hour on. When choosing your platform, keep in mind the purpose and theme of your event, as well as what you are trying to achieve. Then select the platform that will best fit your needs.
A few easy-to-use platforms include:
- Google Hangouts
Plan your conversation:
Prior to your virtual happy hour, we suggest coming up with a few conversation topics and/or questions to have readily available. You may not need them, but if the conversation starts to feel awkward, the topics and questions will help guide the conversation. Often, the main reason attendees don’t speak at a virtual event is because they feel uncomfortable. Asking questions and guiding the conversation, will help them feel at ease.
Our final suggestion for planning a virtual happy hour is to create engagement. Creating engagement is important for any event, because it makes the event worthwhile for attendees.
Here are a few easy ways to create engagement at your virtual happy hour.
If you have an audience that likes to play games, there are several games that can be played virtually. Such as the following:
- Uno (using the mobile app)
- Monopoly (using the mobile app)
- Jackbox Games
- Heads Up! (using the mobile app)
Virtual Photo Booth:
Another activity you can include at your virtual happy hour is a virtual photo booth. Snapbar’s virtual photo booth app, Snapshot, is low maintenance, easy to use, and fun for attendees to interact with. Plus, if you include a gallery link then your attendees can see all the photos taken during your virtual happy hour.
The most important thing to remember when planning your virtual happy hour is to have fun and keep it simple. The main purpose of a virtual happy hour is to create a place to relax and connect with one another. Deciding to host one, means you’re already on your way there!