Who says that an event has to be in person? We can still socialize online, and it’s pretty easy and low-effort to host a virtual event as you can host and have a great time from the comfort of your own home!  All you need to do is figure out what type of event you’d like to host and what video meeting platform you’d like to use. Here are some suggested platforms and events that would be a great way to stay connected with others online.

Step 1: Select a Platform for Your Virtual Event

All platforms have screensharing features with some limitations:

  1. 8×8.vc (Free) – standalone version of 8×8 Video Meetings. No limits discovered thus far.
  2. Talky.io (100% Free) – simple video chat and screen sharing for groups.  Best performance for 6 or fewer participants. Get Started
  3. Zoom.us (Free Plan) – meetings with more than 2 participants (including yourself) will be limited to 40 minutes. 

Step 2: What Kind of Event Will You Have?

There’s no time limit to how long an event may be.  Simply connecting with another person in our new, but temporary, normal is always welcome no matter what the activity:

  • Daily or weekly check-ins. Simply chatting about how everyone’s day was is a nice way to end the day and break the self-quarantine monotony.
  • Getting to Know You events: There are a number of icebreaker game suggestions for those with remote teams. It’s always fun to get to know your fellow SFRM members!
  • TV/Movie Watch Party
    • Netflix Party (Free, Google Chrome only) – watch Netflix shows and movies with friends online.
    • Kast.gg (Free) –  Share movies, TV shows, games, and whatever you want with 100+ people. Attendees have to have a Kast.gg account to join your watch party.
  • Book Club: Meet using one of the platforms above to discuss the book.
  • Virtual Happy Hour: share a beer or your favorite beverage with others online.
  • Table Talks: Select a topic to talk about online. Topics can range from heavy philosophical conversations to showing off your pet, plants, recently baked pie, etc.
  • Virtual Talent Show: Everyone’s got a talent!  Why not show it off?
  • Online game night: Got Jackbox games or Tabletop Simulator?  There are also a number of games you can play online with others like Yahtzee, Monopoly, Cards against Humanity.  There are also online versions of Codenames and Settlers of Catan
  • Virtual Trivia: Dust off your Trivial Pursuit game and host a trivia night!

Step 3: Announce the Event

Once you’ve selected your platform and have your event idea, it’s time to let people know about it! You can either put the event on the SFRM Calendar (see How to Get an Event in the Calendar? ) or post it in the SFRM Meetup group (see How to Suggest an SFRM Meetup Event? ). Other options are posting the event in SFRM News and Mensa Connect.

Finally, Stay Updated About Virtual SFRM Events

Join the SFRM Meetup group, and if you’re interested in learning more about how to plan a virtual event, I’ll be hosting “How To…” sessions in the SFRM Volunteers Meetup where topics will range from creating a Meetup and Facebook events to other techy things to help connect people.  Look forward to seeing your amazing virtual events!