Tips For Hosting a Virtual Big Game Day Party

For lots of families, watching football together is a big winter tradition.

Even if you’re not a die-hard football fan, these get-togethers have historically been a time to hang out with family and friends. Lots of snacks and drinks are the hallmarks of these festivities, with everyone bringing their favorites to share. 

This year, coronavirus safety precautions mean a lot of people will be enjoying these traditions at home with only members of their household. But the pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t share the fun with your friends and extended family. 

If you want to watch a game with just a couple friends, or have a guest list of 25, here are some tips to make your virtual football game party a winner. 

Pick a video platform. Whether you select Zoom, Skype or another video chat service, it likely won’t be feasible to keep the chat open for the entire time. These games can last for hours and many video chat platforms have time limits. To keep your party fresh and fun, plan to have a few short video chat windows during the game. For example, invite everyone to meet online for the opening 20 minutes of the first quarter. Then plan to watch the halftime show as a group, and close out the party by watching the end of the game together. 

Invitations. Just like an in-person party, send some football-themed invitations to get things off to a fun start. You can go with the traditional paper invites dropped in the mail, send an e-card to everyone you are inviting, or record a funny video and forward it to the participants via email or Facebook messenger.  

Keep a chat open for guests. Create an online chat group for your party guests. This allows them to share comments, photos, videos and connect with each other even when everyone is not on a video chat. One way to organize this chat is around the commercials – favorites with football fans and those who prefer the sidelines. Invite guests to share reactions to each commercial and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. At the end of the game, have them pick their favorite. 

Decorations: Just because you and your friends won’t be in the same room doesn’t mean you can’t have fun by decking out your space. If guests are a big fan of one of the two teams playing, they’ll likely want to dress up in their team’s colors, hats or jerseys. Or, guests can simply wear any football-themed gear they might have. If you will be joining the video chat from one area of your home, dress it up with any decorations. It’s a great chance to repurpose New Year’s party favors or holiday tinsel. 

Drinks and snacks. Just like every team has star players, every big game party has drinks and appetizers meant to steal the show. Give everyone a chance to show off their party snacks. The first video chat segment is a great time for everyone to take turns and let their cameras pan over their individual buffets. 

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Photo credit: Getty

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