Congratulations on your new place! There was a time when moving would be followed by a housewarming party so your family and friends could see your new home, but you may need to resort to an online housewarming party for the foreseeable future. While it might be the smart choice from a health and safety perspective, it’s still a bit of a bummer to not get to lead your guests on their first official tour of your new place.
Since many of us made a pretty seamless transition to an all-remote workday, you can adapt that same technology for your social life (or lack thereof, these days). Whatever your technical skill level, it’s possible to host an online housewarming party. After all, if this past year has taught us anything, you don’t need to be in the same room to stay connected, and you don’t have to have company over in person to show off your new digs!
You may not be together in your new home, but with the right planning, your virtual event could be the next best thing. Two things have the ability to make or break your online housewarming party: Time and technology.
Unlike an in-person event, an online party should have a designated end time, in addition to the start time. Decide on the length of time for your virtual event and stick to it. If the party is a smash, you can always extend if your guests agree, but respect your guest’s time and wrap things up when you said you would.
Start with digital invites. Don’t call, text, or DM your guests; a digital invite will really set the stage for a great event and allow you to spell out all of the details to your guests in one beautifully-designed piece. Evite.com has an assortment of free invitation styles to choose from, and they also allow you to send out the invites, manage RSVPs, and communicate with your attendees all through their site.
Zoom is the most commonly used virtual conferencing site, but you can host virtual events through FaceTime, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams. When you decide to host a virtual party, be sure to email clear instructions to guests in advance of the event, including the conference provider’s name and how to download the app if needed.
Don’t risk a bad connection ruining your virtual event. Be sure you have reliable internet service in your new home. If needed, there are WiFi boosters you can purchase to help put your mind at ease against service disruption.
Although most conference providers offer an assortment of virtual backdrops for online events, when you are hosting a housewarming party, it makes sense to allow your new home to be the star of your background. Be sure to select a well-lit and attractive area for your stationary background, and place your computer, phone, or tablet camera slightly higher than eye level for the most flattering angle.
Your invites are sent and the day is planned. So what do you do from here? Once you’ve logged onto Zoom or the hosting platform of your choice, follow this order of events for a great housewarming that will go off without a hitch.
- Introductions: Take a moment as the host to introduce everyone at the onset of your event. It’s unlikely all your friends know one another, and this basic courtesy goes a long way.
- Raise a toast: Encourage your guests to grab a beverage so you can offer a toast to thank them for attending and for their support of this new change in your life.
- The grand tour: This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Turn your camera around and give them a full-fledged tour. As you go from room to room, point out interesting details and things that made you want to buy or rent your new place.
- This is also a great way to get your loved ones’ opinion on some of the minor changes you might not have yet made to your home. Struggling with paint color selection for your bedroom? Ask your guests what they suggest. Looking for ideas on where to get a great deal on a new sofa? Your friends might have some great tips. Make sure the tour is interactive, engaging, and fun!
- If any of your guests have sent a housewarming gift, be sure to point it out as you give your tour. If someone sent a gift card, mention what you’re planning to buy with it. People like to feel that their gift has been put to good use.
- A grateful farewell: Wrap up your online party by letting everyone know how much you can’t wait for them to see your new home in person and that you appreciate them taking the time to visit you virtually.
Hopefully, we’ll all be able to be together again soon. Until then, you can still share the excitement of your new home with the people you care about, thanks to technology and a little virtual party planning. Have fun — and from us at 21Oak, welcome to your new home!
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