Hosting a good Zoom Party requires just as much planning as an in-person event, albeit through different means (tip: our Zoom party checklist is helpful for planning your event). So here’s an example In House Tasting Party schedule, which you can use as a guideline to create an agenda for your own virtual event.
We’ve put in example timeframes that allow for a party ranging approximately 2-4hrs, however note that duration will vary depending on your unique plans and number of guests.
- Before your guests arrive: Get organised (15 minutes)
- Open the doors (10 minutes)
- Get the party started (5 minutes)
- Kick things off with a speech (15 minutes)
- Optional: ‘Warm up’ your party guests with an ice-breaker (15 minutes)
- Tasting time (60-90 minutes)
- Social & game time (?? minutes/hours!)
- The party ‘officially’ ends
Before your guests arrive: Get organised (15 minutes)
As host, you’ll want to be the first person on the Zoom call. But before you start, set up your own tasting kit, load the tasting video so it’s ready to share from your desktop, and select some background music to ‘audio share’ from your computer. Then grab a drink, and open the doors.
Open the doors (10 minutes)
It’s time to start admitting your attendees. As with any party, it may take some time for everyone to arrive, so it’s a good idea to leave a ten minute window before the festivities begin. Encourage everyone to get a drink and ‘mingle’ while guests are joining. This is also a good time to check in with new arrivals that audio and technology is working.
Get the party started (5 minutes)
First, formally welcome your guests, check everybody can hear and that they have a drink. Let everyone know what’s in store, when the tasting session will begin, and the time the party will come to an end.
Kick things off with a speech (15 minutes)
This could be from the host, the CEO or a ‘guest of honour’. Whatever it is, keep it short and ideally entertaining — no prolonged Powerpoint business presentations, thank you! This could also be the time to extend into ‘warm up’ territory by hosting a quick awards ceremony or voting on prizes for office superlatives.
Optional: ‘Warm up’ your party guests with an ice-breaker (15 minutes)
You’ll find lots of examples of mini-games in our ‘10 Zoom party ideas’ article, however two simple ideas are (1) ask guests to show and tell everyone what their first drink of the night is and (2) ‘give us a twirl’ — get guests to show off their outfit. If you have a theme, there could also be an award for best dressed.
Tasting time (60-90 minutes)
Have a short interlude for everyone to get their tasting kits, garnishes and glassware ready (regardless how much advance instruction, there’ll always be someone running around in a panic looking for glasses!).
Each of our sample bottles contain 50ml, allowing for a ‘tasting’ and a longer serve of each product. The bottles are screw-tops and can be kept. Remind everyone that this is a ‘tasting’ and they don’t have to drink everything in each bottle; 15-20ml is about right for tasting a spirit. When everyone is ready, start screen sharing the tasting video.
We recommend you pause the video at intervals, to give everyone a break to refresh their glasses, nip to the kitchen, or discuss drinks between each tasting! Allowing for breaks, this section will take approximately 60-90mins.
Some groups may prefer to chat between every tasting and enjoy longer serves as they go. Depending on how you wish to socialise, the tasting could be extended over an entire evening.
Social & game time (?? minutes/hours!)
Once the tasting has finished everybody should be more relaxed. Now’s the time to start coaxing people out of their shells. With each party pack (office parties, group parties etc), we provide some ‘extras’ for the host including a quiz, theme and mini-game ideas. Pick and choose as you please or come up with some of your own (here are some ideas)…whatever you do, be sure you plan in advance accordingly.
Alternatively you could allow your guests to split into Zoom breakout rooms and socialise in small groups, as they would at a real-life party.
The party ‘officially’ ends
When the party’s starting to wind down, let your guests know they are welcome to leave — it’s always a good thing to give people an excuse to go, without feeling rude, should they have other commitments to get to. Make sure to tell your guests they are welcome to stay on the call and continue to chat casually after the party ‘officially’ ends. Breakout rooms can be great for this too.
Then you can relax, having fulfilled your hosting duties. Well done!