For obvious reasons, many events have gone virtual since March 2020. It may seem unfortunate, but the good news is that these important gatherings and rites of passage have been able to continue in some form. Graduations have been conducted virtually. Why not have a virtual graduation party?
There are also untold benefits. Unlike an in-person get-together that excludes anyone who isn’t local or has a tight schedule, a virtual affair can be much more flexible and inclusive. This, of course, is greatly advantageous for anyone who has, for example, a grandma out of state who isn’t physically able to make the trip.
Now, even if the reason we all went digital was one we wish never happened, the infrastructure, logistics, and process have all been figured out. And with high school and college graduation season just around the corner, it should be easier than ever before to host a proper celebration for the whole family online. To do it right, follow this trio of tips.
1. Be as Inclusive as Possible
One problem with in-person events is that you’re limited by physical space. At a virtual graduation party, however, the more people you can invite, the better. There are, of course, some limits on the number of people who can be part of a Zoom call, and the platform tends to get unwieldy well before you hit that threshold if too many are signed on.
Still, one great option is to do a multi-hour celebration all afternoon and have various slots with different groups. Or you can even do a brunch one day, a cocktail hour the next, and a cousin’s happy hour another. Make it a week-long affair and bring everyone into the fold!
2. Give Everyone the Information
To make your big event even more memorable, don’t forget to send out graduation announcements. Showcase your graduate’s picture and provide some additional information on the card’s back or on an insert card detailing the virtual party. That way, the call will feel more like an actual event and less like an impromptu chat.
Now, you may be tempted to just send a quick email or a text message since it will “only” be a virtual event. That’s the wrong approach, though. The graduation itself is the real, meaningful moment to celebrate. So, treat it just like you would if it were in-person by going the extra mile with a proper mailed-out invitation.
3. Don’t Draw Things Out
A typical graduation party may last all afternoon and well into the evening. Maybe you would host a dinner and then head out for drinks at a different location. By contrast, a virtual graduation party isn’t really something that demands long hours for all the invitees.
It can be — and should be! — an extended celebration on your end with the people who will be there with you in person. For those joining virtually, let them pop in for a half-hour or an hour to send their good wishes and to participate in your big moment. The goal is to say, “Congrats” and “Cheers,” so that won’t take all that long.
How to Host the Ultimate Virtual Graduation Party
Whether you’re looking forward to them or not, virtual graduation parties are on their way. They’re also here to stay. Even in the years to come, we’ll probably see hybrid affairs, given all the benefits we’re just learning about firsthand.
It pays to do it right. Find creative ways to invite as many people as possible. Be sure to provide graduation announcements with all the relevant information beforehand. And know when to say when in terms of time commitment expectations from your guests.
If you adopt the right mentality, there’s no reason why a virtual celebration should be seen as a lesser version of a typical in-person celebration. Every educational milestone is important, so embrace the era we’re living in and make sure your virtual graduation party is a smash!
Featured Photo by Mohammad Shahhosseini on Unsplash