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May 30, 2020

7 Tips for the Most Successful Online Birthday Parties

Has online living made your life more stressful, tiring, and fraught with unexpected challenges?   I have been a full time family entertainer since 1980; have performed hundreds of live, online, birthday parties; and, I can help you relax and enjoy the moments at your next family Birthday event.

Let’s get started:

  1. Personalize things to help celebrate the guest of honor.
  2. Become a Zoom Wizard (or whatever platform you choose).  It’s easier than you think.
  3. Togetherness is the key.
  4. Have a party plan (just hanging out doesn’t really work with large groups online, so plan a few activities to take the awkwardness out of it).
  5. Timing is important.
  6. Hire a professional (that way, you can sit back and relax).
  7. Don’t forget to have fun yourself!

Personalize your online birthday party to celebrate the guest of honor.  

Isn’t the whole point of a birthday party to celebrate the birthday person? Please don’t get caught up in getting the perfect (matching) decorations or having the most exciting and up-to-date-themes.  These are a nice addition to the event, but none of that stuff celebrates our special loved one. Instead, make them a personalized cake.  Make a big sign to hang high above you in the background that will show up on everyone’s screen (suggest that idea to all your friends too…it makes for great pictures). Create a personalized quiz about the guest of honor, and have that be one of the games you all play.  In other words, have elements in the party that are all about the celebrant.  They will remember those touches more, and so will everyone else (especially because that will be reinforced with the pictures).

Become a Zoom Wizard, it’s easier than you think.   

When first starting out planning online get-togethers, you will find out that some of the most irritation parts of this kind of gathering are the audio issues.  People are always talking to each other in the background (or their pets); children are making all kinds of noises; and if anyone joins with multiple devices at the same time…FEEDBACK.  After reading this article. you can click on the link above and that will take you to the Zoom tutorials (or search whatever platform you are using).  It only takes a few minutes, but figuring out how to handle the mute button is the main key to a successful online birthday party.

Togetherness is the key.

Have your guests come early and stay late after the designated party times.  I’ve often said, “The most heartwarming thing about my first online shows was the time before and after the show…when the families were just hanging out together.”  In other words, don’t plan every minute.  Give your guests time to celebrate the guest-of-honor in their own way: and also to have some free time with family and friends. Parties are a simple reason for us all to make time to be together.

Have a Party Plan.

Have a few planned activities, but keep it simple and fun.  A dance break is easy, and you can even share your I-tunes, Spotify, or personal collection of music through most platforms.  Plan a few participation games, and utilize the mute option when explaining the rules (instead of trying to talk over everyone).  Also, Singing Happy Birthday is amazingly hard with these online hosted events (because of the audio overlap); so when I’m doing my online birthday parties, I play a recorded version of the song, and have the guests sing along.   Finally, plan about 4 or 5 activities, and then make time for open chit-chat in between the organized games.   Visit my blog for additional online party activities.

Timing is important.

We used to plan our parties on weekends and evenings.  Now we can do them any time, however, if you want maximum attendance…stick with the tried and true times.  However, for children, we can now do events on their actual birthdays, and everyone is at home right now…so play with that.  After-dinner is a great time for a party, and early morning is also a great time for children.  Also, keep the planned activities to only 30-45 minutes max, and let the rest of the time be for open sharing.  If you keep it short and fun…then that’s what everyone will remember.

Hire a professional.

I’be been a full-time entertainer since 1980, and I run parties all of the time.  Everything I do is tried and true…however, even so, everything I am doing right now is a little bit different online.   I’ve had to learn how to manage all aspects of the party, and have learned what activities translate well to the online platform.   Every single routine that I do is just a little bit different.  However, having the experience of a live entertainer as a part of your online birthday party is without parallel.   My goal is to have my guests walk away with an experience of joy, laughter, wonder, and togetherness; and I am very good at what I do.  Click here to learn more about the shows, and prices.

Don’t forget to have fun yourself!

In the end…whatever happens…have fun with it.  Take the exact moment of the party to relax and enjoy whatever is happening.   If too few guests arrive, then have fun with the ones who are there. If you have technical difficulties, then remember that everyone else is experiencing the same things in their lives (and they will cut you a lot of slack). If something doesn’t work out as planned, then let it go and try something different. Everything is okay! Also, have a friend take a lot of pictures.  Just like with a traditional party, half of the fun is reliving that experience through pictures.

Take that moment (every moment) and enjoy it to the fullest.  We’ll never be at this same point of experience,  ever again.  

You can also read a wonderful tales of joy, laughter, love, and silliness in Dune’s latest book, The Timing of Chicken Feathers; Priceless tales from 35 years as a purveyor of Joy.

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