Virtual Party Ideas: The Dos and Don’ts of Hosting

What about invitations, how do you handle start times? What details should be provided? A link?

When planning to promote your stream, you can apply a lot of the same IRL habits. Design a flyer, post on social media, and send the info out in a newsletter, text threads, etc. When deciding on what time you want your stream to start, think about the time zones of your audience as well as what other livestreams are happening at that time. And don’t forget to include the direct link to your stream!

How long do you think is appropriate? Do you expect people to be punctual?

Livestream viewership fluctuates and is unpredictable. It’s something you have to get used to. It doesn’t work like IRL events; folks will pop in and out and even come back to your stream later. Some programs last two hours, some for 24 hours. It depends on your bandwidth and the goal of the stream. For example, are you producing a fundraiser? Or just hanging with friends on camera? Do you have 10 DJs/artists ready to perform for an hour each, or is it just two of you? Sometimes the best way to determine what works for you is to just test things out!

Ok so everyone has logged on; what about opening remarks, should you welcome your guests?

Once you have an audience, whether it’s in your Zoom room or on a public platform you absolutely want to welcome everyone. Let viewers know what they’re tuning into and give them a map of the program. Remember that folks will be popping in at different times, and it’s always good to acknowledge that.

How do you recommend balancing songs with conversations? Is everyone on mute?

Livestream audiences react most when there’s someone on the mic. Especially if you’re talking directly to a chat, answering questions, commenting on the music you’re playing, etc. Think of it as a live podcast. A good host makes you feel like it’s just the two of you in the room. The audience will be muted, so most of the interaction will happen in the chat. Be open to the comments, and pay no mind to any trolls.

How do you ensure people are having a good time?

The best way to ensure your viewers will have fun is to ensure you’re having fun. Energy is contagious, and now you’re the vibe conductor. You won’t be able to see your audience, so you can always ask the chat if they’re having fun. Viewers convert into fans when they genuinely connect with you. So stay connected to yourself!

When do you know it’s time to wrap up?

Typically before you stream, you should have a rough time frame of the hours you’re going live. Especially if you’re promoting the program in advance. Also if you plan to stream consistently in order to build an online audience, you want to stream at the same time, for the same hours, each week.

After the party, do you send a thank you?

Absolutely! You always want to thank your viewers for attending, especially if you want them to come back for your next stream. Again, apply the same IRL habits for this—send a thank you via social media, newsletters, or texts. Shout out specific people that are loyal to your streams and cultivate your digital community.