The world is in quarantine, but your birthday is coming up. This might feel like a bummer especially if you’re the kind of person who celebrates your birthday from the start of the month even when it’s the second-last day of the month.. (ahem, me -- so no judgment there, obviously). Does that mean this year’s birthday has to be a total dud? Definitely not. In fact, it might actually surprise you. Think about it - before a typical birthday party, you’re worrying about every little thing.. Getting the right decorations to give off the right vibe down to the color of the napkins, food/snacks/desserts, party favors, and the list goes on. And even during the party you’re trying to make sure the food stays well stocked, the party favors are given out at the right time, etc. But hosting a party online doesn’t require any of these things. It involves you and the people you care about - all celebrating your big day. But you’ll still want to prepare so that your party really fosters meaningful connections with those that you’re most excited to celebrate with. So here’s a guide to get you started!

  1. Make a dope invitation

Yes, I mean it. Not a sloppy text message -- but an actual virtual invitation. In this wondrous age of technology, there are many websites like Canva that offer templates for virtual invitations for FREE. The best part is that you can totally customize the invitations to give off the vibe you want. It lets your friends know that you’re putting together something exciting - and they’ll feel extra special for being a part of it. Make sure to include party details like date, time, and a link to the video chat room. Now that you have that part nailed, let’s move on to party details!

  1. Use a frictionless video platform

This is important. You want your friends to be able to join your party quickly and effortlessly - without having to jump through crazy hoops involving downloading random things. Riotz is great for this as it allows the party-attendees to access the platform from any browser, quickly sign up or sign in with Facebook/Google, and enter the party room. Riotz also allows up to 10 attendees on a call, so you can have a perfect intimate virtual setting without overcrowding. And just like that, you’re ready to rock and roll!

  1. Set the mood with a curated playlist

This is one of the most fun parts of party planning. Put together a playlist of songs/music that really give off the vibe you’re going for. You can keep this playing at a low volume in the background throughout the virtual party! Easy to do, and creates major party feels.

  1. Plan ahead to play some ultra fun party games

There are so many to choose from. Some of our favorites are werewolf, murder mystery games (with themes like winter holidays, wild west, Halloween, etc.!), charades, trivia, and games like “most likely to…”  Head over to our blog post on fun party games to learn how to play!

  1. Have an X factor (the one thing that gets everyone talking!)

Our favorite for this one is a dance-off. It’s not exactly a party game, but it’s definitely a super fun activity. It is so simple yet really gets everyone moving: just play music and have your friends take turns dancing.

  1. Don’t forget the cake

Just because it’s a virtual party doesn’t mean you can’t have cake! Okay, so if you don’t want a full cake for a virtual birthday party where you’ll end up eating way too many slices, or it’s awkward to cut an entire cake with no one to feed it to (although I’ve done that more times than I care to admit), go for a cute little cupcake. Put a candle on it and now you can do the whole candle-blowing, cake-cutting tradition (go ahead and wear that party hat, we won’t judge) - all while your friends sing you happy birthday over video!

  1. Thank your guests for attending

Since you can’t really do party favors, a neat and very personal virtual party favor would be to send each friend a virtual thank you card that includes a memorable picture of you both and a sentence to appreciate your friendship/reminisce on the crazy night that picture was taken. Icing on the cake.

And there you have it… The perfect virtual birthday party with your most loved ones. Don’t forget to take some screenshots along the way and maybe even some screen records to look back on and share. Quarantine doesn’t sound so bad anymore, huh? ;)