Family reunions are one of the things we all look forward to as soon as the holidays start approaching. It’s a chance to gather with your adoring grandparents, favorite aunts and uncles, dearest cousins, and all your relatives who live far away. Unfortunately, because of this year’s circumstances, getting everyone together in one place like we used to is not the best choice. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t still hold a family reunion this year!
The good news is we live in a tech-savvy society and there are numerous ways to reconnect with your loved ones when celebrating the holidays at home. Doing the family reunion over video call is definitely a good idea, but just like any regular party, there is a list of things you need to consider in preparation for it. Here’s the ultimate guide for hosting a virtual family reunion in 2020.
Things to Consider and Prepare For in Virtual Events
Since the participants in a virtual gathering aren’t actually going to be in the same room together, there are many factors that could pose a challenge. Consider the following if you’re thinking of hosting a reunion over video call.
- Stability of internet connections
- Schedules and time zones (For relatives abroad)
- Accessibility (Does everyone have an account on the chosen platform? Do they know how to use it? Do they have a big enough device to see everyone on screen?)
- Making meaningful connections through the screen (What do you do during the event? How do you make it feel like an actual reunion?)
The Best Platforms for a Virtual Reunion
Zoom rose in popularity due to its simple and easy-to-use video conferencing platform that has been supporting a lot of virtual office meetings and online classes during the quarantine. You don’t need an account to join unless you’re the host, and all you have to do is send out the link to all participants. It allows a maximum of 100 people to meet for 40 minutes at a time. No need to worry, you can just start another free call once your time is up.
Google Meet is another well-known video calling platform and is similar to Zoom. Unlike Zoom, though, everyone needs a Google account to be able to join the call. Personal Google accounts can set up a 60-minute meeting with 100 participants, while a G Suite Enterprise account can hold 250 participants.
Facebook Messenger Rooms
This is a great option for those who are hosting a relatively small gathering, since Messenger Rooms (a separate feature in the app, not to be confused with the regular group-chat video call) allows only up to 50 people in a group call. What makes it better than the previous two platforms is that there is no time limit, so everyone can stay in the call indefinitely. And since practically everyone has a Facebook account these days, this may get the issue of accessibility out of the way.
Fun Activities for a Virtual Family Reunion
It can be challenging to recreate the same fun atmosphere at physical gatherings in a video conference call, but we have some enjoyable games that you can play to do that!
Charades is one game where you don’t need the participants in the same room to play, so it’s an obvious choice! You all just have to watch the “it” player acting out the designated name, movie, or song while everyone tries to guess.
Make everyone send in their most unrecognizable (or embarrassing) pictures from their childhood or teens before the event, and have the others guess who’s who while you flash the photos on screen one by one.
If charades is challenging to play because of unstable internet connections, pictionary is a great alternative. Since most video call platforms have a feature that allows a participant to share their screen, the designated drawer can simply use any drawing app or website like Drawasaurus on their computer to make everyone guess the word.
Once you’re done with the games, you can also share your favorite funny and heartwarming family stories over a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. Prepare story prompts so it’s easier for everyone to jog their memory!