Tips for Back To School Party
PARTIES WITH STYLE + CHARM

Modern Party Etiquette Tips For Back To School Party

Spring is coming fast and with it all, our favorite seasonal school celebrations. Easter, Homecoming, Prom-there’s so much to look forward to! Of course, this year will be slightly different-with most students still attending online high school for the possible future; many back-to-school festivities will be conducted virtually over Zoom and other video-chatting mediums. Students have had their education affected by the global pandemic and their chances to attend once-in-a-lifetime special events with friends and family. Online celebrations not only bring a sense of normalcy but some much-needed cheer for pupils.

Navigating your first virtual orientation or online prom can be challenging, both as an attendee and a host. As virtual celebrations tend to be uncharted territory with unclear rules, it can be tough to determine the proper etiquette. For example, what’s the appropriate length of time an online event should go on? Should there be a dress code even when guests are tuning in from their bedrooms? How do you keep guests engaged and entertained through a screen? We have the answers! Here are our top etiquette tips for your virtual back-to-school parties.

Tips for Back To School Party

Plan Ahead

By now, we’ve all probably dealt with the annoyance of a Zoom session where the host has taken too long to sort out technical difficulties. Nothing takes the fun out of an online celebration more than having to stop every conversation or activity to wait for a participant to get their equipment together. Avoid these mishaps by logging on early to make sure your internet connection and mic audio are stable. This is especially important if you’re hosting the event-you don’t want to leave your guests hanging! If your celebration involves a dinner, make sure your food is ready ahead of time so you can avoid having to move around or be off-screen for long periods to cook.

Planing Ahead

Make Introductions

One of the biggest hurdles in hosting parties online is the loss of organic socializing-you can’t have guests mingle on their own and form connections naturally. With a larger gathering on Zoom, some people may inevitably feel left out in the fray. One great way to get past this is to take the time to introduce every new guest to everyone else as they log on and encourage conversations by giving prompts (An example is asking, “Does anyone have any exciting news to share?”).

Make Introductions

Timing is everything

Being late to an event is a major etiquette faux-pas, and this rule doesn’t change for an online celebration. If a time has been set for an event to begin, try to be present early. Not only does this show respect for your guests or host, but starting on schedule means fewer chances of events going over time. For students, this is especially important as some may have curfews or internet limitations in the evenings-you want to make sure you get things completed on time. It also disrupts a planned event’s flow to continuously pause activities to let latecomers log on or introduce themselves.

Time is everything

Make An Itinerary

One of the biggest challenges of any event, virtual or otherwise, is keeping your guests entertained. It’s even more challenging to do so when your attendees are teenagers, a demographic not known for their attention spans. One way to keep your event from becoming a chore is by planning out some fun activities in advance.

For example, have everyone introduce themselves individually through a haiku or utilize screen share to play a fun group game like Pictionary or watch a movie using an app like Netflix Party. Schedule time for food, speeches, and any other important activities so that all guests have any idea of the event flow. Get guests involved by communicating ahead of the event if anyone wants to conduct training and include the invites’ schedule.

Make itinerary
Let’s be honest-many of us have slipped into the t-shirt and sweatpants lifestyle throughout quarantine but dressing up is a fundamental part of getting ready for any social event. Putting some time into your outfit can get you into a festive mood and make even a virtual party seem extra special. If hosting, communicate an appropriate dress code ahead of time to all your guests. You can set a theme for a fun touch and even have guests change their virtual background to match their looks.

Dress up

Let’s be honest-many of us have slipped into the t-shirt and sweatpants lifestyle throughout quarantine but dressing up is a fundamental part of getting ready for any social event. Putting some time into your outfit can get you into a festive mood and make even a virtual party seem extra special. If hosting, communicate an appropriate dress code ahead of time to all your guests. You can set a theme for a fun touch and even have guests change their virtual background to match their looks.

Dress Up is Important

Roll With The Punches

Sometimes even the best-laid plans can go awry, and this has never been more true in the new normal of a pandemic world. Technical issues, unexpected interruptions, and burnout are all challenges that come with maintaining and building connections. Don’t be disheartened if an event doesn’t go perfectly-the important part is making happy memories during a stressful time.

Have you hosted any back-to-school parties this year? Any suggestions for virtual etiquette that we missed? Share in the comments below.

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