How to manage a Zoom social gathering
So you’re planning a Zoom social gathering – it could be a reception for your Zoom Wedding, a family reunion, a birthday party or a work happy hour. Either way, virtual meetings are very different from in person gatherings where most socialization happens in small breakaway groups. Here are some tips on how to handle a large Zoom social gathering and make it fun for all.
Give time to gather a quorum
Not everyone is tech savvy, so plan for extra time at the beginning to make sure that everyone is able to log in. If the gathering starts at say, 5.30pm, you can play music or screen share a 5 minute countdown clock until 5.35pm to allow everyone to join in. This also prevents repetitive intros as each person trickle in.
Plan for various levels of tech know-how
Especially when you have a Zoom wedding reception or a family reunion, you’ll have a wide range of ages and experience with technology. Make sure you set your guests up for success by giving clear instructions on how to join in and what to expect.
You can screen share this handy dandy zoom cheat sheet or send it out before hand.
You need a co-host. This should be a separate person from the party special guests, for example, NOT the married couple, officiant, birthday boy/girl etc. This co-host feature allows someone to manage the administrative side of the meeting, such as managing participants or starting/stopping the recording. The host must assign a co-host. There is no limitation on the number of co-hosts you can have in a meeting or webinar.
Among other things your Zoom co-host can:
- Start live streaming
- End meeting for all participants
- Make another participant a co-host
- Start breakout rooms or move participants from one breakout room to another
- Start waiting room (co-hosts can place participants in waiting room or admit/remove participants from the waiting room)
This can provide a much smoother experience for all involved.
Just like any other party, a Zoom call needs something for people to focus on. This can be something as simple as an icebreaker game, such as name, city you live in and how you met the bride. It’s doubly important to get to know each other before you speak to the group to feel safe and give context clues given lack of in person body language.
Here’s a list of articles highlighting many zoom activities you can host and play with your Zoom guests to really get the party started.