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A Guide To Virtual Happy Hour

Looking for the perfect way to stay connected to your friends or co-workers while practicing social distancing? Try a virtual happy hour!
Yep, it’s just like meeting up with your friends after work for a drink, but you know, online. As we spend time apart physically, it’s more important now than ever to make sure we maintain social interactions with others.
Virtual happy hours are a fun way to get the whole crew together and lift everyone’s spirits during tough times. The best part is that it’s super easy to organize, basically free, and there’s never a line at the door to get in.
Check out our guide to hosting a virtual happy hour below.

Step 1: Pick a Place

There are tons of digital platforms out there that you can use as a “meet up” spot for you and your friends. Each one offers different features, so choose the video conferencing platform that works best for your friend group.
Some good options include:
Skype​: Free and up to 10 people.
Google Hangouts:​ Free and up to 10 people.
OOVOO:​ Free and up to 12 people.
AnyMeeting:​ Free up to 4 people.
Zoom:​ Free for 40 mins if your video call is over 3 people.

Step 2: Choose the Guestlist

Keep the group you invite to your virtual happy hour relatively small and intimate. That way, everyone will feel included and keep the conversation flowing. If you have a big crew and want to invite everyone, pick someone to host the happy hour and mediate the conversation.

Step 3: Set The Menu

No happy hour is complete without a drink. So, you’ll want to make a happy hour menu with “drink specials” for the event. You can pick a general theme like wine, or more specifically Rosé. Or, get creative by crafting a cocktail recipe for your guests to make at home.
Pro Tip: Take your sips to the next level by pairing them with some of your favorite quarantine snacks.

Step 4: Send A Formal Invite To Your Virtual Happy Hour

Treat your virtual happy hour like a real party by sending your friends an official e-vite. Be sure to include the time, a link to the platform, and important details like themes, dress codes or drink menus. Also include the end time of your virtual happy hour. We recommend limiting it to an hour so the conversation stays strong and people want to come back for your next online event.

Step 5: Dress Up

Make your virtual happy hour feel more official by ditching the WFH PJ’s you’ve been wearing since yesterday for something you’d actually wear to a real happy hour outing with friends. Dressing up will make you feel good. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to wear that cute outfit you bought right before social distancing started.

Step 6:Set The Mood

Before you meet up with your friends online, scope out your home for the perfect spot. You’ll want to pick a comfy place with a strong wifi connection, good lighting so everyone can see you, and minimal background noise. If you’re sharing a space with others that’s kinda noisy, make sure you mute your microphone when your friends are speaking.

Step 7:Plan The Conversation

If you’re not used to video chatting with groups of people on the reg, the initial meet up might feel a bit strange. Luckily, you can avoid any initial awkwardness by guiding the conversation and preparing topics ahead of time.
So, what should you talk about? I think it’s safe to say we can all use a break from COVID-19 discussions and negative news reports. Instead, keep the convo positive with a fun, light topic that everyone in the group can participate in.
If you need a little inspo, here are some fun topics:
● Where are you planning to go for your next vacation?! It’s going to happen!!!
● How are you staying healthy? Have you discovered any amazing at-home workouts?
● Are you spicing up your meals with any new recipes?
● What are you currently watching on TV? Do you have any new book recommendations?
● How are you bringing joy into your day?

Step 8: Have Fun

The whole point of a virtual happy hour is to stay connected and spend some quality time catching up with your friends. So, have fun, kick back, and enjoy each other’s company. End your meet up on a high note by making plans for your next virtual happy hour. That way, everyone will have something to look forward to!

Bonus: Drink For A Good Cause

Make your virtual happy hour even more meaningful by using your sips to support something good. Unfortunately, a lot of people in the hospitality and entertainment industries are out of work right now. Consider hiring a bartender to teach a virtual cocktail class or a fitness instructor to guide a wine and yoga session. You can even support a local restaurant by having everyone order delivery. The options are endless. *Virtual Cheers!*

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