Is it possible to make a virtual party a success?
A child’s birthday party is often the highlight of their year, with many children’s excitement building over months and months. But with the rule of six and varying tiers of lockdown putting restrictions on our social gatherings, how on earth can you make a 2020 birthday one of the best?
Have a virtual party, of course!
But, is it really possible to make a virtual party a success? I spoke to Hannah Conway, one of our most experienced virtual party leaders to find out.
LQ: The parent feedback from your virtual parties has been amazing. How do you do it?
HC: Thank you! It’s been fantastic and I’m so pleased that I was able to bring a little bit of added sparkle to these difficult times. The virtual parties are so much fun and the children absolutely love them. The first few moments on screen are absolutely key. You’ve got to get them laughing right from the beginning. I suppose being a little bit bonkers helps!
LQ: So, you’ve got to play the comic?
HC: Yes, I think so. And you’ve got to commit to your character and adventure. In every Perform Party we assume a character and whisk the children off on an amazing adventure. Virtual parties are no different. In fact, bringing the theme to life is even more important in a virtual party, I’d say. You have to get the children’s imaginations running wild and encourage them to make use of whatever space they have at home. Obviously, I’m not physically in front of them and they have very few props but it doesn’t mean the adventure and games can’t be as interactive and fun as always.
LQ: How do you make it different from every other Zoom call or online class?
HC: I think it’s about breaking the mould a little bit. You’ve still got to make it feel like a birthday party, just as magic and fun as always. Children are used to online learning now, following lockdown, but many of their school classes follow a set format and structure. I mix this up straight away, they don’t know what to expect next. That certainly helps to keep them engaged.
LQ: The parties are an hour long. How do you keep the children engaged and entertained on screen?
HC: It’s all about making them all feel involved and included. It goes without saying that the birthday child is the centre of attention but I do make sure that every guest gets their moment to shine too. When anybody has a turn at a game, I make use of the spotlight feature on Zoom to put them up on the big screen. They love seeing each other and making each other laugh. We also switch between speaker view (me) and gallery view (everyone) so they get a chance to interact with one another. In fact, some parents have mentioned that children who might not always join in with conventional parties have been more engaged and confident when in their own safe space.
Have you had a virtual party at home? Do you have any tips and tricks for making sure that the children feel as involved in the birthday party as normal.
If you’d like to book a Perform At Home party do call us on 0207 255 9120 and visit our website to find out more information.