10 Themes to Spice Up Your Virtual Cocktail Party

For those of us trying to change the world, social distancing can't mean the end of networking. The future depends on it. As events move online in general, so do parties and other ways of networking.The long-running favorite feature here at the Run the World is the Cocktail Party feature, which reproduces the festive atmosphere of an in-person networking event, without all the pesky downsides-- the travel headaches, the temperature which is always too hot or too cold, etc.

Themes help to create a sense of community that we all strive for and are inspired by. So, in the spirit of securing a brighter future, we have thought up ten ideas for making your next cocktail party a truly inspired event.

1. Panel it up. Start with a panel and ask everyone to share a piece of music they enjoy and perhaps to discuss an interesting fact about the music. Move it to the rounds of one-on-one video chats with a topic and discussion.

2. Break the ice. Icebreakers are, of course, a staple of parties: for good reason! Try offering an inventive themed ice breaker for your attendees. Games like desert island encourage group bonding and are just really fun, revealing a little about each personality at the event. Try making up a game that matches a 10 minute round of 1:1 video chats. Two truths and a lie is one of our favorites.

3. Name the song. Make one person the official DJ and have them send around a playlist to set the mood. Everyone can try to guess what song is playing.

4.  Show off your pets! While we don't recommend letting them sip from the cocktails, seeing a pet can be a nice way to get to know someone.

5. Pick a signature drink for the event and announce it ahead of time. Show everyone how to make a delicious artisanal drink at the beginning of the event. You know the old saying: make a person a drink and they'll have an all right time, show a person how to make a drink and they'll be ecstatic.

6. Try a photo contest. Photo contests are fun ways to introduce a splash of color to your event. Perhaps even gamify it. Points to whoever is wearing the strangest pajamas, or whoever has the best picture in the phone's gallery. You can screen grab each match in your Cocktail Party then reconvene at the end in a panel and show each other the photos.

7. Create a virtual bar. Select a quirky name and atmosphere for the bar that you'll be attending during this virtual cocktail hour.

8. Try hiring entertainment. Live entertainment is a classic way to make parties more fun. COVID-19 closures have meant that talented artists have had to cancel most of their bookings. But they can often be booked for virtual events. So, try hiring a great musician or magician for a brief virtual show. The entertainer could be in the group like everyone else, meaning one person in your group will always be virtually matched up with the roaming bard and your attendees will receive a personal show.

9.  Select a general theme. Maybe, a popular show (Tiger King, Westworld) or a decade (Prohibition, the Eighties). It creates the sense that attendees are participating in something bigger than a single event. Themes are also easy to set up virtually!

10. Try a mini virtual art gallery tour. Switch back to a panel. Share your screen and travel through the many amazing art galleries and museums that have made virtual tours possible. It is a unique and educational way to spice up a cocktail hour, just like you're meeting in a classy museum over drinks. Who wouldn't want it?

What's so special about Run The World's Cocktail Party?

We're glad you asked. The Cocktail Party is one of our most popular features. It's a great way to connect with other attendees, community members and coworkers through speed networking rounds of one-on-one video chats. You can either select random matching or group-based matching.