Social distancing guidelines haven't just limited our ability to go out for everyday meet-ups and hangouts, but they've also made celebrating important events really difficult. If you have a friend whose birthday is coming up, you've probably heard them complain about not being able to be around their loved ones for their big day. And while you can't give your friend the exact birthday party they were hoping for, you can still help make their day super special. By figuring out how to throw a Zoom surprise party, you can still make your friend's birthday this year one to remember.
While the idea of throwing a virtual surprise party may seem difficult to pull off, it's not impossible. All it takes is a little creativity (and this awesome how-to) and you can plan an online party that'll make your friend's day.
Check Everyone's Availability
Though many of us are probably finding ourselves with a lot more free time on our hands since social distancing was first suggested, you still need to make sure everyone you want to invite to your friend's Zoom surprise party is available. You especially want to make sure the birthday person will be free that date and time as well. If you don't want to raise any red flags for your friends, you can just say you want to make sure you get to video chat with them on their birthday. They won't suspect that you'll be inviting a bunch of other friends to join you.
Send Out Invitations
After deciding the details of "when," it's time to schedule a Zoom meeting and send out some invitations to your virtual surprise party. To do this, go to your Meetings tab within your Zoom app. On your desktop, this should be on the left side of the screen. On a smart phone app, this can be found as soon as you open up Zoom. Within the Meetings tab, you'll find the option to Schedule A Meeting. Here, you can input the date and time for the party and also add emails to send invitations to. In these emails, your "party guests" will get both a Zoom link to click on and join the meeting, or a Meeting ID they can input into their app when it's time. Just remember: Don't send an email out to the birthday person! Invite them to the meeting on the day of once you've gotten the rest of the guests situated.
Decorate Your Backdrop
Every great party needs decorations and your virtual party is no exception. While you should avoid leaving your home to go to stores for nonessential items, you can still decorate your backdrop with the help of just the Zoom app and nothing else. You can change your virtual backdrop on the app to anything you want. Encourage all the attendees to do the same. From funny pictures of the birthday person to Googled "Happy Birthday" banners, you and all your guests can find different ways to be creative with your decorations. If you don't feel like changing your Zoom background, you could always go simple with a handwritten "Happy Birthday" sign. Either way, your friend is sure to appreciate the extra thought.
Arrange For Food & Drinks
While you can't really arrange food and drinks for everyone in the virtual party, you want to make sure to at least make sure the birthday person gets a special meal on their special day. Have everyone in the party chip in to get your friend's favorite food delivered to their door. There are plenty of delivery services that allow you the option to leave the food at the door, so that your birthday friend can practice safe social distancing but still get their food.
Because you probably don't want all of your guests to awkwardly watch your friend eat their birthday meal, it might be good practice to encourage all the party attendees to prepare food and drink for themselves to have during the surprise party. You can all share a meal together while celebrating the birthday person (and no one has to stare uncomfortably at their food).
Add The Guest Of Honor
The most important aspect of the party is of course, the guest of honor. But before you can invite your friend to the party, you need to make sure everyone's in position. In true surprise-party fashion, it could be fun to have all of your friends hide outside of the frame before the birthday person signs on. Once you get all of the guests online and situated, then it's time to add your friend to the chat. When your friend joins the meeting, you and all your party guests can jump into frame and yell, "Happy birthday!" Then you can spend your time talking, eating, and celebrating your friend together.
Just because some birthdays might not be what people expect this year doesn't mean that they won't be memorable ones.