On Jan. 20, 2021, Joe Biden will be sworn in as our 46th president, while Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman vice president. Unfortunately, because of concerns about COVID-19 and security, people are encouraged to celebrate at home this year rather than flock to the National Mall or get glammed up for a grand Inaugural ball. You might be thinking “oh great, another ho hum, boring Zoom event to look forward to.” But hang on just a second.
You can still feel part of the celebration even though you might be miles from the Nation’s Capital. Tara Melvin, owner and principal planner for Perfect Planning Events in DC, has some creative, unexpected ideas to make a virtual Inauguration party memorable, fun–and easy to pull off.
Plan the Event and Send Out Invitations
Create a personal link to your event via Zoom, Google Hangouts, Stream Yard or Skype, then notify your attendees with a virtual invitation that can be created and customized via Paperless Post, Evite or Minted with the logistics. Establish the time and length of the celebration, keeping in mind that to have a great impact a virtual party should be a maximum of 90 minutes. Be sure to let guests know the attire and remind them they will be on video so they are prepared for their appearance. Create an agenda of activities that you want to incorporate into the event, with details just as if this was an in-person party. To manage and guide everyone through the parade, designate a guest to serve as host commentator to narrate the evening.
Create a Personalized Experience
Will you have a parade or host an inauguration gala? If you plan to host a parade, this is the time to tell your invited guest to have fun with all types of props. Guests can create exciting backdrops and balloons, bazookas or cardboard stand-ups of the president and vice president. If you are utilizing Zoom for your virtual experience, you can create a relevant background. If guests can brave the weather, ask them to stage backdrops in their front yard to create the scene of being outdoors at the inauguration on the streets.
Maybe you want to host an inauguration gala later in the evening; this provides a great opportunity for everyone to step out of the sweats and pajamas they have quickly adapted. Ask guests to get dressed up in their very best cocktail or black-tie attire and walk along a red carpet, or decorate a room in the home to have as the gala ballroom. The experience could also include a formal three-course dinner; if everyone wants to eat the same meal at the same time, coordinate with a local restaurant for dinner delivery. [Check out our list of area restaurants offering inaugural-themed food and drink for delivery or takeout.] Alternatively, create unique gift boxes with Champagne, confetti and a custom cookie of the president and vice president or the White House and mail them to your guests prior to your celebration, or keep it simple and have a Champagne or cocktail toast.
Make Memories of the Event
You are creating all this fun and want to remember this day for years to come: be sure to hit the record button with the video platform you are using. Consider a virtual version of the photo booths that are all the rage at in-person events. Contact a local deejay or photo book company, who will customize a commemorative strip with a special logo or color scheme then email you a link to send during the event. Guests can strike a pose, creating fun and exciting pictures and Boomerang videos that they’ll receive by email and you can distribute after the event.
(Photo by Ana Isabel Photography)
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