Yeah, we know, we know. This year is unlike any other; unprecedented; blah blah blah. By now, we’ve more than resigned ourselves to the fact that New Year’s Eve won’t be rung in with a night in Times Square and a giant ball drop. (Did anyone ever really enjoy that anyway?)
Like everything else, we’re moving our New Year’s Eve celebrations online. If that sounds impossible to you, we’ve got all the tips on how to pull it off below.
The best platforms for virtual New Year’s Eve
Zoom was the number one downloaded iOS app of 2020, and for good reason. The video chat platform has taken work and social calls by storm, and with its newfound prevalence, it’s a good bet that most people you’re inviting to New Year’s Eve will know their way around the interface.
To schedule your event, launch the Zoom app and use the built-in scheduling tool. Fill out your appropriate details, fiddle with any settings you see fit, and send out that meeting link.
We were proud to be here for you during 2020 and are excited for a brighter 2021. ✨ Ring in the new year on Zoom — we will be lifting the 40-minute limit for all meetings globally from 10 a.m. ET on Dec. 30, to 6 a.m. ET on Jan. 2.! #ZoomTogether pic.twitter.com/N9UKsf4XnT
— Zoom (@zoom_us) December 14, 2020
Normally, the only caveat would be the 45-minute limit on calls hosted with free accounts, but Zoom has lifted this limit for the holiday, as they have done for days like Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Christmas Day, and the last day of Hanukkah. So, your celebrations won’t be cut short, provided you hold them between 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 30, and 6 a.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 2.
2. Google Meet
Similar to Zoom, Google Meet is well-known in the corporate world for its hosting capacities. While a little less popular than Zoom, it isn’t much less familiar to many social users. The big advantage here is if your guests somehow haven’t heard of Zoom, they’ve definitely heard of Google. Many people have Gmail accounts, so the Google platform should be a breeze. Even if they’re not Google users, your guests can log into a Google Meet with any email, as long as they’re not joining through their phones.
To set up your party on Google Meet, launch Google Calendar and block out your intended event time. Fill out your details in the pop-up, make sure you enable Google Meet video conferencing, and add in everyone’s email addresses to the guest section. This will automatically send email invitations with all the necessary information, so it’ll cut out one more step for you.
If you want a little less structure and a little more focus on virtual games, check out the Houseparty app as a potential platform. The app limits you to eight people in one “room,” so this will only work for smaller groups. But, you can have infinite rooms and float between them, so if your friends aren’t the type to want to stay on one call the entire night, this might be useful. You can choose from a host of games in each room to play together, like virtual Uno, Heads Up!, Trivia, and the word-association game Chips and Guac.
Everyone will have to download the app, and when you add each other as friends, everyone will get a notification any time someone opens the app. If you end up liking the platform, it can be used for general, unplanned video calls that your friends can pop into at will in the future.
4. Event platforms (OnZoom, Evite)
If you have a really specific activity planned out for your evening (like the classes we recommend below), consider using an event-specific platform like OnZoom or Evite. These platforms are designed for events (duh), so they’ll have features like ticketed admission, event directories, and even payouts for hosts if you choose to charge admission. Plus, it can be nice to get away from your day job’s meeting platform, even if you’re still doing your social life virtually.
OnZoom is an extension of Zoom, and has both paid and unpaid events listed in its directory. If you want your event to attract people you don’t personally know, consider listing it here. Evite also lets you have an unlimited number of guests, and comes with its own app to separate your work/life balance.
What to do during virtual New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve, of course, often centers around drinks, so we’ve got ways to keep that tradition alive, if you partake, while you’re celebrating online. Or, you can forego drinking completely for a cozier activity, too. Choose whatever you deem most fit to bid this year goodbye.
1. Jackbox Games
If you want to play games, but don’t want to be limited to Houseparty’s offerings, Jackbox is another set of iconic virtual games that you can introduce your guests to. The company is most known for Quiplash, the witty, Cards Against Humanity-style interactive game. It just launched its newest collection, The Jackbox Party Pack 7, so you can have your pick from a set of five games. The host will need to purchase the set, which costs $29.99, which will allow all attendees to access the games with a code.
2. Host or attend a mixology class
Instead of drinking a shitty vodka cranberry while stuffed into a sweaty bar this year, make your own! Or make a fancier drink that you can nurse in your living room while chatting it up with your friends.
If you’re an amateur mixologist yourself, come up with a drinks list that you want to teach your friends, send out an invite with suggested materials to gather, and tell everyone to show up on time to get drunk together under your wise leadership. If none of your gang is skilled enough, consider hiring someone for your group specifically, or browse existing public online events on event platforms that you can crash. You can always duck into your own private Zoom room afterward. You can also choose to host or attend a cooking class, a late night yoga sesh, or whatever floats your particular boat.
3. Solve a murder mystery
One of my pre-Covid social event dreams was to attend a professional murder mystery dinner. The drama! The glam! The intellectual challenge! I never got around to it, so I hosted my own for a birthday party using an at-home murder mystery kit from Red Herring. There are plenty of similar companies that design murder mystery plot lines to be acted out at home, so take a browse, find one that speaks to you, and go all out, virtually. Everyone can deliver their lines and dress up as a character just as they would in person.
Plus, murders are stressful. If NYE is about drinking for you, you can sip some wine to cope!
4. Virtual drinking games
If you’re really just here for a good time, not a long time, look no further than your classic drinking games, but online. You can still play Never Have I Ever, Truth or Shot, or King’s Cup in a virtual format. Sure, it’ll be harder to see if someone didn’t put a finger down during Never Have I Ever, but hey, that’s what the honor system is for. And you’ll probably forget a couple drinks later, anyway.
5. Pajama party and movies
Who said New Year’s Eve had to be wild? I’ve only gone out-out for NYE one year; every other year has been a night in with a good movie and my parents. If that is more your vibe, you can still have all your friends around to watch your favorite movie together using features like Zoom’s screen share, the Chrome extension Scener, or Teleparty. Queue up your favorite rom-com, sip your beverage of choice, and try not to think about 2020 too much.
Don’t get too bogged down in the tech details
There are too many technological solutions out there for you to stress out about the tech side of NYE. If one platform just doesn’t agree with your WiFi, or your friends refuse to download it, switch to a different one. Maybe do a test run or gather some public opinion before you set the details into stone, but remember, anything can be changed, even last minute.
Get equipment, if needed
This is especially important for those of you with specific activities in mind, like hosting or attending a class. If you’re hosting, get any ingredients or tools you might need, and make sure your guests are aware of anything they might need to fully participate in advance. In addition, if you really want to provide high quality instruction, consider getting nice lighting and a mic so that everyone can see and hear your whole setup.
Make a dress code
One of the best parts of holiday parties is getting all dressed up. Just because we’re not leaving our houses doesn’t mean that we can’t still show off all the outfits that went to waste this year. Tell your guests to come dressed to the nines, or according to theme, or in their weirdest outfit possible. It’ll provide some great talking points if you run out of things to say, but don’t want to hang up yet. Bonus points if you turn it into a costume contest.
Ultimately, it’s your New Year’s Eve, and it can be whatever you want it to be. Whether elaborate and planned or just a glorified Zoom happy hour, we all just want to celebrate the fact that 2020 is indeed, finally, thank god, coming to an end.
ที่มา : Mashable