Beaudy Marea Gogue Camacho is the founder of Fundforte, an events agency providing custom creative event solutions. View profile
Events for the year 2020 were cut short, postponed, and even canceled completely. World event organizers spent millions on planning, advertising, preparing, and designing to create experiences that their shareholders expected and envisioned.
I remember the sadness I felt, as I pulled each little sticky note out of my planner. With them, I made a rainbow of sorts, knowing each color meant that it was a certain type of event that we would no longer help with. But I was thankful though because everyone I knew was safe, healthy, and home.
The pandemic reached the rest of the world around the end of spring, which for the global event industry, meant the busiest time of the year. The effects of cancelations sent shockwaves down to other industries such as food and beverage, travel, and tourism and flatlined the economic heartbeat of communities as lockdowns were being implemented all over the world.
Typical Spring sounds like buzzing, rain fall and baby bird chirps are usually accompanied with cheers of celebration, excitement, and laughter.
But this year, some classmates never said their “Goodbyes”, there were lesser doorbell rings, fewer party horns, ceased candle-blowing after birthday songs, dimmed airport announcements and faint wedding bells.
Exchanges of warm embraces, smiles, flirting, and hosts cheering “Welcome! So glad you can make it,” were little to nonexistent. I miss hearing my clients say, “thank you for coming,” to their guests as I assist with cleaning up after the event that I helped them with.
Now that has been replaced with comments like, “Here is an update from your local public health authority,” “You’re on mute,” and my personal favorite, “Not too sure what we’re going to do.” Because how can we really be sure celebrations will be fun or worth the energy during quarantine, lock-down or social distancing orders?
Creativity Through Crisis
Like the Coronavirus disease, creativity is contagious. It is contracted, it spreads, and it goes viral. The ideas being shared of safe celebrations all over the world have inspired everyone from leaders to newbies in the event industry to continue to be passionate about their professions, as well as families and friends just trying to put together special events for the people they love.
Innovative implementations like drive-through graduations, corporate parties and adult entertainment, to virtual birthdays, weddings and baby showers on platforms with live video chat features like Zoom, Facebook, Google Meet and Whatsapp, have inspired so many to be innovative, remain positive and enjoy life.
Live video chats are one way to stay creative, safe, social distanced and less stressed. Video conferencing has been around for a while since brands like Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, and Facetime have been serving consumers before the pandemic.
As your virtual event assistant, I will gift some tips to inspire you to plan through the pandemic. First, choose any of the platforms I mentioned, create an account, and get to know its basic features.
From there, you can set a date, time and space. Next, jot down information of your celebrant’s guests. You can coordinate this with your celebrant, or better yet, do so as a surprise by logging down the name, email, phone number and time zones of who they have been closest to or chatting with more often.
With a little research, you can get to a whole list of surprise party guests just by asking for the prior guests for recommendations or info! Try to stay within the limits of your preferred platform though, or you may have to invest in their upgrades to allow more attendees.
The Gift of Guests
Not being able to see our family, friends and coworkers has taken a social and emotional toll on many of us. Customization and attention to a celebrant’s favorite people, things and details are some of the most special elements of surprise.
Now that you have these elements gathered, create a digital invitation either on your favorite photo editor on your phone, make one on the online editor Canva, or order one on Etsy.
On the invitation you’ll need to have the design include the day of the week, the date, time, your time-zone and the period of time allotted as well as any special notes or requests. Add the event link on to the invitation and any passwords or event codes. If you might not have the resources for an invitation, the link and passcode will be just fine and guests can add the event to their calendars by converting to their time zones as well.
Going the Distance
In regard to special notes, asking the guests to wear the celebrant’s favorite colors, prints, or characters would be another way to show your celebrant that you have all gone the extra mile.
Adding a time stamped agenda or party program of things that will take place during the virtual party will build up the excitement as well. If you have the budget for it, you can go further and order your guests food, treats and giveaways from relevant product and service providers in their areas. This will show your appreciation and will make them feel extra special also.
All the tips can be applied to social distanced parties as well. You can host a themed drive-through where guests can come pick up meals, listen to music from their cars, and enjoy company while still staying apart. You can arrange a delivery service to your guest’s homes, such as a party box full of treats that says “Do Not Open Until Party Time!”
All this is possible through creativity, ideas, and innovation. We are humans of creation, celebration, and contribution, and with these tips and the inspiration you’ve gathered by reading this, I hope you’re empowered to plan through the pandemic and the upcoming holidays with these quarantine party ideas!
Congratulations on canceling your self-pity party!
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You’ve got this!