How To Plan the Perfect Virtual Party in 2021

Cassy Aite
July 15, 2021
How To Plan the Perfect Virtual Party in 2021

Celebrations don’t stop just because we can’t get together in the same room. Virtual parties have become a great way to celebrate milestone moments, both personal and professional.

In this guide, we’ll take you through all things virtual party. We’ll share how to plan an impressive online get-together, plus share some of our favorite themes, games, and activity ideas.

What Is a Virtual Party?

A virtual party is exactly what it sounds like — a celebration that you host virtually or online. It’s a simple, fun way to get together with your team, friends, or family.

People and companies host virtual parties for all kinds of reasons. On the personal side, you could host a virtual birthday party, baby shower, or bridal shower. For businesses, these events are a popular choice for end-of-project celebrations, holiday parties, virtual retreat celebrations, and team birthdays.

Virtual parties have been a great option over the past year, allowing people to spend time together without worrying about social distancing. It’s a trend that’s here to stay because it means we can stay close and celebrate big and small moments — no matter where our friends, family members, or coworkers are. Virtual parties are also ideal for remote-first companies where your teams are distributed across the country or the world.

How To Plan an Amazing Virtual Party for Your Team

An older woman holds a party balloon in front of a hot pink background

We strongly believe that a virtual party is a great way to celebrate. If you’re planning a virtual party for your internal team or clients, here are some useful tips to help you get started.

Decide on Your Guest List

Before you let people know about the get-together, you first need to build your guest list. Think about the reason for your virtual event and who’d be appropriate to invite.

What’s great about an online party is that you’re not limited by venue capacity or by where your team is located. This means you can throw an epic dance party for fifty of your favorite employees and clients, or keep it small with a team birthday party.

Choose a Virtual Event Theme

Your virtual party doesn’t strictly need a theme, but it can be a fun way to level up your get-together. There are lots of different themes or types of online parties you could host. Here are some of our favorite options:

  • Game night
  • Virtual dance party
  • Book club brunch
  • Movie night
  • Virtual dinner party
  • Cocktail party
  • Virtual happy hour

The reality is you can take any offline party theme and turn it into an impressive digital version. This means you can throw an all-out costume party to celebrate Halloween or invite your guests to try mixology guided by an expert on your video hangout.

Choose Your Video Platform

While you don’t need to hire a venue or book a meeting room, you do need to decide where you’re hosting your virtual party.

Stick with your video call platform of choice, or use one of these popular virtual event platforms:

  • Zoom
  • Facetime
  • Skype
  • Google Hangouts

Each video chat platform works similarly — all your guests will need is a computer or phone and their party-ready selves. If there’s anyone on your team who's less tech savvy, or you’re inviting clients and partners too, send a simple how-to guide beforehand so they feel comfortable.

Send Your Invites

Figure out the best day and time to host your virtual celebration, then get the word out to your guest list. Skip a traditional meeting request and find a creative way to invite people with digital invitations. You can find a design to suit any kind of virtual get-together, and you can easily manage RSVPs online.

If you’re hosting a big virtual event where the public are invited, don’t forget to talk about it on social media too. Make sure you bring your event planning and event marketing teams together to spread the word.

To make sure your party guests don’t forget, send reminders a week or a few days before the get-together. Use this as an extra opportunity to get them excited about the event with some fun graphics or clues about what you’ll be doing.

Send Food, Drinks, and Gifts to Your Virtual Guests

Food, drinks, and party favors are a staple of in-person parties, but they're often overlooked at virtual parties. Give your guests the complete celebratory experience by supplying food, drinks, and company swag — because really, cake is half the reason to attend a party (and cocktails are the other half).

You may not be able to pass around a tray of appetizers at your virtual party, but you can use virtual credit cards to supply guests with food and drinks. Here's how:

Create a Program for Your Virtual Party

Virtual party credit card program to send guests food, drinks, and gifts

Set up a program that's specific to your event so you can send out virtual cards to your guests and keep track of spending. You can even brand the virtual credit cards with your company logo and colors, or with colors that match the theme of your event.

Set a Spending Limit

Virtual credit card program balance

You can choose how much each guest gets to spend on food, drinks, and swag. Look at your overall event budget, subtract any other expenses (like the cost of an MC or any other virtual entertainment), and then divide your remaining budget equally among your attendees.

Set a start and end date to create a timeframe when guests can spend their funds. If the budget is specifically for food and drinks for the party, you can have your Hoppier program end when the event does. Your company will be refunded any money your guests didn't spend during the event. Or, you can leave the timeline open as a gift and allow guests to treat themselves with any funds they didn't use up.

Choose Your Vendors

Virtual party vendors that guests can shop with using their virtual credit card

In addition to setting a budget and timeline for your virtual credit cards, you can limit the vendors where guests can spend the money. You can choose broad categories, like alcohol stores or grocery stores, or you can choose specific vendors, like DoorDash. You can also leave your program open to all vendors.

Send Invitations

Virtual party credit card invitation options

In addition to invitations to your virtual party, you'll want to send invitations to your spending program. Getting food and drink funds to your guests is as easy as uploading a CSV file with all their emails. Hoppier even has email templates you can send out to let guests know how to use their funds.

Plan Your Virtual Event

All that’s left to do now is finalize your plans for the event. Here’s where you get to think about the activities, games, and atmosphere you want to create for your guests.

Match your activities and games to the type of virtual party you’re throwing. For example, if you’re hosting a cheery get-together to celebrate Summer, throw in some virtual karaoke and challenge your guests to make a colorful drink. If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve got plenty in the section below.

Don’t forget to think about food and drinks. While you can’t cater the party directly, the easiest way to share the food love is to give your party guests their own Hoppier card. They can use this digital card to buy their favorite food and drinks from a range of local vendors. It’s a great way to say thank you and make it easier for your guests to get involved in the fun.

Our Favorite Virtual Party Ideas, Games, and Activities

A woman holds champagne, wears a party dress, and looks at her phone for a virtual party

It’s virtual party time! Here’s a collection of our favorite party games and activities that work perfectly for online gatherings. There’s an idea here for every type of virtual party — from mystery escape rooms to laid back movie nights.

1. Trivia Night

Get your guests into the party spirit with a simple trivia game. Trivia works great either as the focus of your online event or as a cozy icebreaker.

Keep it easy with a few rounds that feature trivia questions across categories like TV, movies, music, history, and pop culture. If you’re hosting a themed get-together, match your trivia rounds to your theme.

2. Watch-Along Movie Party

There’s nothing quite like watching a movie with friends. This is a fun virtual party idea if there’s a new release you’d all love to see, or you could re-watch a festive classic at your holiday party. To make your movie watch-along super easy, use the free app Teleparty (previously Netflix party).

Want to make your movie watch party even more fun? Send your guests a Hoppier card in advance so they can order popcorn and drinks for the watch party.

3. Karaoke

While you can’t always hit the karaoke bar together, you can recreate some of the enjoyment with a virtual karaoke party. This is a lively event and is ideal if your team is full of confident people who love to sing.

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s an easy to follow guide on how to throw a virtual karaoke party. You’ll need someone to act as the karaoke DJ, a playlist of hits to sing along to, and plenty of enthusiasm.

4. Costume Contest

Throw an epic costume party, and make this the main draw of your virtual party. Or, add it as a fun extra that your guests are welcome to join in on.

Set a theme and ask people to join you dressed as their most-loved superhero, or challenge them to get creative and dress to match the season. Hand out a prize for the best dressed — like a Hoppier card that your winning guest can use to order whatever they want within the spending limit and vendor options you set.

5. Scavenger Hunt

Get your virtual party guests up and moving with a hunt around their home for things on your scavenger hunt list.

This can be a good way to end your celebration, or you could make it the star of a mystery-themed online party by combining a scavenger hunt with a murder mystery game. Keep the list of items simple, or opt for categories — like something that’s gold, tiny, or retro.

6. Wine Tasting

For a sophisticated virtual party, wine tasting is the way to go. This is a great way to introduce your guests to some new varietals they might come to love. Organize a wine tasting with an expert to guide your team through the various varietals.

There are some services where you can get wine ordered to your team’s or client’s doors, but Hoppier is another great way to provide the wine. Set your guests up with their own Hoppier card, and they can buy their wine from a local vendor or pick up some snacks to enjoy alongside the wine you provide.

7. Virtual Escape Room

If your guests love all things mystery, suspense, and problem solving, a virtual escape room could be the ideal event. Your team can pull together to help find their way out before the timer ends.

Book with an escape room provider, and they’ll have everything set up for your guests — all you need to do is virtually show up. This works great as a team building activity or to celebrate someone’s birthday.

8. Virtual Games

Sometimes all you need to host a great virtual party is a selection of online games. If you don’t want to go all out with a theme or you want to keep things casual, this is a fun way to bring people together.

Play online versions of traditional favorites like Pictionary, Mad Libs, or Catan. For a more lively get-together, Jackbox Games has a huge range of hilarious options, or you can play a casual multiplayer video game like Among Us.

Throw a Virtual Party Your Team Will Actually Enjoy

Planning an impressive virtual party all starts with your goal or reason to celebrate. From there, figure out who’s coming and what kind of theme you want. Pick out activities and games, then plan a schedule that’ll help you host an amazing event.

With your event planned, you can focus on the details — like surprising your guests with an unexpected party game, or gifting them some extra funds with a Hoppier card so they can buy their favorite drinks, snacks, or a meal to enjoy while you party. To find out more, book a free demo with our team today.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Get our best content on culture management
in your inbox 2 times a week

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Get our best content on culture management
in your inbox 2 times a week

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Get our best content on culture management
in your inbox 2 times a week

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Get our best content on culture management
in your inbox 2 times a week

Easily provide lunch for all your virtual attendees

Schedule a demo

Related content

Free money start for free

Get started for free

Try out our free plan, no commitment required!

Book a demo