You’re not alone if you’re missing your friends or coworkers during the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone’s trapped inside, and those weekly happy hours that brought a little light to your week have suddenly disappeared. If you need some friend time to make your nightly drink not seem so lonely, do what many others around the world are doing now—virtual happy hour! Enjoy your friends and your favorite drink over a computer screen! Follow these tips for putting on a successful virtual happy hour, and you’ll sign off with lifted spirits.
Decide on Your Chat Platform
There are tons of different video chat platforms, so decide on which one you’ll be using before you send the invite. Zoom is the one everyone’s talking about, as it’s easy to send invites and has some nice features, but the free version only allows 40-minute meetings. Other options include Google Hangout, Facebook, House Party, Skype, and many more.
Think of a Theme
If you’re planning on making this a weekly thing, try to come up with a theme for each session. You could do something creative, such as every attendee should try to come up with a “Sex in the City”-themed beverage. Or you could have this week’s happy hour be a trivia night! There are tons of options to go with, and deciding on one will provide conversation starters and instant entertainment.
Keep It Small
Unless you’re doing a whole-office happy hour with a set plan for what to do, try to keep your virtual happy hours small. When you get into the double digits for attendees, it’ll be hard to have everyone feel included in the conversation. When you can, keep virtual happy hours small, and set an end-time so that no one feels uncomfortable when they need to leave.
Keep Your Own Drinking to a Minimum
If you’re the host, try to keep your own drinking to a minimum. Even if you’re with your girlfriends—but especially if you’re with your coworkers—you need to remember how alcohol affects your body. There’s a lot of stress going on, and that can affect how the liquor affects you. Remember that these moments are supposed to be fun, so if you get out of control, or someone else does, then harder boundaries will need to be set.
Try to Keep the Conversation Light
With all that’s going on in the world, it will be very easy for people to focus on darker times in conversation. Try to steer the conversation so that these intense and often triggering topics fall to the side. You could even send something in the invite that you’ll all agree not to talk about the coronavirus—that way, everyone knows that the happy hour will be free of the stress that’s already plaguing them.
Now, more than ever, is the time to stick by each other. Since that needs to be virtual, make the most out of it. Reach out to your friends and coworkers to see how you can make life a little easier for one another!