Everything You Need to Know to Host a Virtual Party

Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate! In this post, we give you step-by-step instructions AND free Zoom backgrounds so you can plan and host a virtual party to stay connected with friends and family and enjoy life’s greatest moments.

1. Guest List

Once you’ve picked the date and time for your virtual event, you’ll want to build your guest list. If you’re working from an event you had already planned but had to reschedule, you’re ahead of the game! If not, no worries – just grab a pen and paper and start jotting down guests. (You’ll also want to gather home and/or email addresses if you can for the next step.) If you’re using the increasingly popular Zoom, even the free version allows for 100 attendees per session, so don’t worry about limiting the fun!

2. Invitations

Next comes the invitation, and you have lots of options:

Be sure to provide video dial-in instructions for any attendees who might be new to the virtual party game.

3. Picking a Theme

Just because your guests won’t be in the same room doesn’t mean you can’t have an Instagram-worthy event. Whether you’re hosting a virtual birthday party, a virtual baby shower, a virtual bridal shower or just a virtual happy hour, a theme makes any event feel special!

To pick the perfect theme, think about your guest(s) of honor – even if that’s you! – and ask yourself:

Once you’ve answered those questions, it’s time to get inspired. Our Party Ideas page has tons of themed celebrations to get you started. Your theme can show up throughout your event in many ways:

And, of course, decorations!


4. Decorations (a.k.a. FREE Zoom Backgrounds!)

There is no better way to make an event feel special than with themed decorations! Virtual parties might not require that you fill an entire room with décor, but you’ll at least want to have a great backdrop. And no décor lifts spirits like balloons!

If you have a Balloon Time Helium Tank at home, even a few balloons behind you will bring a smile to the people on the other side of the screen. Don’t worry – if you are all out of helium, we’ve still got a solution!
Download any of our Free Zoom backgrounds to use during your virtual celebration.

Here’s how:

Visit our Virtual Gathering Backgrounds page and pick from one of the fun, balloon-filled designs. We’ve got options for birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers and everyday events!

  1. Once you’ve identified the image you want to use, simply right click and save the image to your computer. Simply upload this image to your video conferencing platform, and party on!
  2.  To use the background on Zoom, log in to your account and go to “Settings.”
  3. Scroll down to the “In Meeting (Advanced)” section and turn on the “Virtual background” setting.
  4. Next, log in to your Zoom app and click the “Settings” icon.

  5. Select “Virtual Background” and make sure your video is evenly lit so your background shows up properly.
  6. Add your Balloon Time background by clicking the “+” button next to “Choose Your Background” and selecting the image from wherever you saved it on your computer.

5. Games & Activities

Now that you’ve got an Instagram-worthy background and all your friends and family gathered, it’s time to party! Many of the games or activities you would plan for an in-person party can be adapted for your virtual celebration. For example:

Show off your party!

Don’t forget to take photos of your celebration and all the creative elements you’ve included! During this crazy time, a gridlock-style collage of faces on a screen is a beautiful reminder that we’re all in this together, even if together means virtually.

Share your photos and this instructional guide, on social media to help your friends and family find more reasons to celebrate!

Balloon Time is not affiliated with Zoom or any other brands mentioned/linked in this post, nor did any other brand have any part in this post or the Balloon Time virtual backgrounds.