How to host a virtual meet up

Yugen Explore virtual meet up
One of my favourite things about the blogging industry is the meet ups. I’ve made lots of friends through them and I’ve got to try out lots of new things. Since we’ve been in lockdown, lots of organisations have taken things online, hosting virtual meet ups so, in case you wanted to host your own, I thought I’d put together a guide on how to host a virtual meet up.

Whether you’re just getting your friends together, hosting a blogger meet up or an event for your company, here are some top tips for an online hang out.

Theme

I think it’s really important for any online meet up to have a theme. There’s no getting around the fact that video chat is pretty awkward, even for the most confident of us and so a theme gives everyone something to focus on rather than having to make conversation with people they may not have met before.

Walking

Yugen Explore hosted a meet up this weekend for people who love hiking and the outdoors which really inspired me to write this post as it was done so well and was so much fun. Everyone met on Zoom chats beforehand (I was a team leader!) and then everyone went for a two hour walk at the same time. I really enjoyed it – getting outside has been such a tonic to me at this time, and I loved making new friends who have the same interests as me.

I’m lucky to live in Derbyshire, just outside of the Peak District, so there are quite a few places just near my house where I can walk.

Quiz

You might be sick of quizzes by now, but this is a really easy one for anyone to do – it’s perfect for a group of friends and everyone loves a pub quiz in real life. You can take it in turns to host and come up with the quiz questions – extra points for any original rounds! In our weekly quiz one of my besties gave us three items that we had to fetch from the house and points for how quickly we got back.

There are also national quizzes like The Virtual Pub Quiz on a Thursday night which over 100,000 people take part in. You could get into a team with your friends and family on video chat or play against each other. My mum and dad also play this quiz and so we keep texting each other our scores.

I’m really looking forward to the Traverse Events Big Virtual Czech In quiz this week.

Afternoon tea

Hosting an afternoon tea is quite simple – you just need the participants to pop cakes, scones and little sandwiches on some pretty plates along with their choice of tea – or even a glass of bubbles! If you’re feeling extra energetic, you could bake all the cakes yourself beforehand.

You could even hand our prizes for the most imaginative afternoon tea!

Bottomless brunch

We often do a couples bottomless brunch in real life with our besties so we wanted to replicate this at home for one of our friends’ birthdays. We all bought a couple of bottles of prosecco and set bells on our phones for when we were ready for a top up!

Software for a virtual meet up

Software

To host a virtual meet up you will need to select the right software. It needs to be something that is accessible to everyone, as well as being easy to use.

Facebook Messenger

You can call people through Facebook Messenger both on desktop and mobile. I’ve used this a couple of times and it seems to work fine for small groups of people, it just looks a little bit fuzzy on my Mac.

Zoom

Zoom has been used for quite a while by businesses for meetings and I’ve used it a few times with no issues. You can have up to 100 people on a call and you can also use it for webinars. One thing that I do really like about it is that whoever is talking appears larger on the screen, so you can focus on whoever is speaking. It’s also available on desktop and mobile.

House Party

I’ve used House Party for the last couple of weeks for small gatherings with my friends. It seems to work pretty well and you can join people on there with no prior notice so if you’re feeling spontaneous you can meet your friends on there.

House Party also has built in quizzes and trivia which saves you from coming up with your own, although a lot of them are very American – there are quite a few where we’ve never heard of the things in the questions!

Virtual walk

I love this slogan t shirt that I was gifted from Femme Luxe Finery to include in this post.

Charity aspect

If you’re hosting a larger meet up, I think it’s really nice to have a charity aspect to it. At the moment lots of charities are struggling as people are cutting back and lots of them are more important than ever. If you have a lot of people attending, if each one donates a couple of pounds each it will add up to an amount which will make a big difference to a lot of charities.

Enlist the help of others

You can’t do everything yourself, especially if it’s a big ambitious event, so enlist the help of some of your friends, or members of the community to help you to get people on board and engaged.

Hope these tips help you to host your own virtual meet up. The main thing is to have lots of fun with your meet ups – this is our social life at the moment so make the most of it and enjoy it.

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25 Responses

  1. Great post, especially now lockdown is to continue for a while longer, love the idea of a bottomless bruch that could be fun

  2. What a really good idea! A themed virtual meet up! I am totally missing seeing friends right now and having a catch up. I’ve spent time on the phone with them, but it’s nothing quite like seeing someone face to face! Sim x

    • Samantha Wragg says:

      I know it’s definitely not the same is it! Hopefully a few more weeks of this and we can start to get back to normal!

  3. Thanks for these great tips! I have had a few zoom meetings of quiz and afternoon teas but not had a walking one, so that would be nice as I miss going out with walks with my friends

    • Samantha Wragg says:

      Ahh the walks are so fun, we did a call before and after and then also chatted in the group chat along the way. We did one this weekend and someone created a scavenger hunt so we had to spot lots of different things along the way!

  4. Rebecca Smith says:

    I love the idea of a bottomless brunch virtual meet up – sounds like fun! I’ve been doing a lot of quizzes online with friends.

    • Samantha Wragg says:

      I feel a bit quizzed out to be honest, think I’ve been on too many! I’m really missing proper bottomless brunches so this is the next best thing!

  5. Some excellent advice and tips here, and very practical at the moment,t ill be honest I’ve never heard of Zoom so much before the last 3 months lol.

    • Samantha Wragg says:

      Same – I’d never heard of House Party either! I must admit I am getting a bit of virtual fatigue but it’s the only way we can see people right now!

  6. Rhian Westbury says:

    An afternoon tea or a bottomless brunch sounds like a great thing to do over a video call. I’ve only done a full quizzes but they’ve been good fun x

  7. Zoom has certainly played a big part in helping keep the children connected with their friends during the lockdown

  8. I have joined a few bloggers via some to play bingo and do a weekly online quiz. So much fun! I also live in Derbyshire, and we are really lucky that there is so many places to go walking right on our doorstep.

  9. michelle twin mum says:

    Great ideas for online get-togethers. I admit I haven’t really done many so far, I find video calling quite difficult. Mich x

    • Samantha Wragg says:

      It is really awkward isn’t it? At first when I started working from home I thought I would really hate it, but after a couple of days I soon got used to it.

  10. Kristina says:

    I’ve been loving quizzes! I do 2-3 quizzes a week with different friendship groups and it’s walsy super fun 🙂

    • Samantha Wragg says:

      I’m the same – I’ve been doing 2 or 3 each week! I hate it when a question comes up which I’ve had on another quiz and I STILL get the wrong answer!

  11. Kara Guppy says:

    I love the idea of having a zoom chat before a walk. We have been doing a family zoom quiz night – lots of fun!!

    • Samantha Wragg says:

      I’ve been doing lots of quizzes too! The walking meet up was super fun – it was lovely to hear where everyone was walking and what their plans were for the day!

  12. Jenni says:

    The bottomless brunch idea sounds great. I’ve been using zoom for work meetings. I know a few people who used house party but then deleted it because there was a scam going round where their card details or PayPal had been taken?

    • Samantha Wragg says:

      Oh yes – I heard about that scam but apparently it was all fake news! The CEO of House Party was offering a huge reward for anyone who could find the person that started the rumour!

  1. June 9, 2020

    […] been on lots of virtual meet ups since lockdown started and there’s plenty of video conferencing software available to make […]

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