Sunday, March 15, 2020

Guide to the Virtual Happy Hour

...Or, how to socialize during a pandemic.


This week has been tough on many of us, so I thought I would share the brilliant invention of Lianna Patch (of Punchline Copy fame): the Zoom Happy Hour (ZHH). It's the safest way to stay social when upstart viruses decide to become party poopers. Friday evening, five brave friends of TinySeed tested the first beta VHH. It was awesome. Here is our beta recipe for the perfect virtual happy hour.

First, figure out if you have friends. As my MVP revealed, a one-person Zoom meeting even bores a dog. Also, while you can technically run a solo VHH, the more pedantic nerds will challenge the virtual nature of a lonely happy hour. If you're in a room by yourself and talking to yourself, all the participants are physically present; it's no different than crying into your drink in the lobby bar of a Marriott. Don't fall prey to this common trap!

Once you have a list of friends, you'll want to invite them. I used Zoom to schedule a free 40-minute happy hour for 6 PM on Friday, and then I shared the details on Slack.

Keep in mind that the invite needs to reach those friends. Starting an empty Slack, or joining a random Slack workspace won't work. Not every Slack includes your friends, but if it does, you have my permission to use it. You could also email your friends, message them on Facebook (if you have boomer friends), DM them on Twitter, or use your postal service to deliver a "Save the Date," followed by a formal Invitation. A wax seal currently seems unnecessary on a mailed virtual happy hour invitation, but we'll keep you informed as the etiquette continues to evolve.

Once your friends accept your invitation, you will need to prepare a physical room for the event. This is where many novices stumble: your body continues to occupy physical space even while participating in a virtual meeting.

Also, the other participants will want to see your face, so take that into consideration. I added a video light to my office so I wouldn't look like a grainy creep with sunken eyeballs. You might want to hide your dirty laundry, pick the trash off your floor, and banish dust bunnies with your vacuum. 

Your physical appearance during a pandemic "work-at-home" situation could probably use improvement too. Consider grooming for once. Shave, comb your hair, take a shower. Maybe put on a shirt and brush your teeth. Your friends will ooh and ah at your effort.

A beverage remains a critical part of even virtual happy hours. Virtual drinks are less happy than real ones. Prepare your beverage before the happy hour starts, unless you intend to show off your bartending skills on the call. At a virtual happy hour, I think any concoction will do, except perhaps hemlock and other poisons. Cocktails, beer, wine, coffee, tea, Pamplemousse La Croix, Topo Chico, or even a bottle of scotch will do. Only if you've dressed for a renaissance fair is mead acceptable.

Finally, a few minutes before the scheduled time, you'll need to start your Zoom meeting. Now you await the arrival of your guests. Like any party, promptness expresses personality and ambition. Helpful people will arrive early and offer to help you hide embarrassing clutter. Shy people will show up what they hope is a few moments after the other guests. Folks who fancy themselves as leaders will show up at the end of the scheduled time and force everyone to stay late.

As guests arrive, you must administer the event itself. You can start with this simple script: "Hi ____, cheers!" Then you will hold up your drink to the camera, hold your cocktail to your lips, and take a sip. At this point, you will either naturally or unnaturally fall into conversation with your guest.

As you talk, late guests will arrive to interrupt your conversation, just like your boss showing up twelve minutes late for his own meeting and demanding a recap. At that point, you will repeat the cheers ritual, the (un)natural conversation, and the interruptions until all the guests arrive. 

Obviously, the conversation will devolve into politics or a discussion of the pandemic. In normal circumstances, you're stuck listening to the loudest person in the bar. In a virtual happy hour, you have two secret weapons: you can shout directly into the microphone or distract folks with the cool shit you have at home! The distraction technique seems to work more smoothly.

Someone will share their husband, dog, cat, or pet scorpion. Another guest will ask you to guess the purpose of a piece of secret prototype hardware. And everyone has presumably delicious drinks to show you. These distractions all provide sweet relief from the global apocalypse.

Just like any meeting, things will get out of hand. Somebody will want to show us a funny website or document. As a gracious host, you'll be expected to remain calm while the person asks everyone if we can see their screen. This should only take thirteen or fourteen minutes. Allow a full hour if this person is your boss. The wait will be worth it; the kitten is cute.

The twenty-third kitten video inevitably leads to boredom, and the alpha of the group will make an excuse to leave. "Oh, I have to go. I need to dry my home-made toilet paper." This triggers a flood of similar, but not identical excuses.

"Oops, I forgot to make sanitizer from this rum."

"Well, this Charmin' won't list itself on eBay! I better let you go."

Now your virtual happy hour is officially over. Wash your hands, and remember not to touch your face.

11 comments:

Bizop1234 said...

Wow wonderful! I like this article. Guide to the Virtual Happy Hour is truly one of those unique areas I've been looking for. Therefore, I really want to learn this concept so that I can improve my ability to manage and invest in small businesses in the near future. With this help, I can be completely confident that my business projects will go well.

JackStone said...

While in Saudia Arabia you should only order dissertation KSA-based. Although it is not a crime to get from somewhere else since you are studying at a Saudia Arabia Custom Assignment Writing should be from the same vicinity.

Thomas said...

I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
Billy Butcher The Boys Coat

Amanda Steve said...

I am commenting to let you know what a terrific experience my daughter enjoyed reading through your web page. She noticed a wide variety of pieces, with the inclusion of what it is like to have an awesome helping style to have the rest without hassle grasp some grueling matters. virtual receptionist

jossyrascon said...

As an actor, I am currently seeking the best cosmetic surgery in Dubai, and I found your story to be quite intriguing. This is a great idea! It's important to stay connected with friends and loved ones during these tough times, and a virtual happy hour is a fun and safe way to do that. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I'll definitely be trying it out with my own friends.

chrispine said...

We have read your all the information some points are good . Star Trek Picard Field Jacket

keven john said...

A Virtual Happy Hour is an online social gathering where people come together via video conferencing platforms to enjoy drinks, conversation, and recreational activities, creating a virtual version of a traditional happy hour experience.If you are searching the best software engineering in pakistan.You can easily help from google.They will give you the better answer.





jessciacarvin said...

During challenging times, innovative ideas like the Zoom Happy Hour (ZHH) by Lianna Patch are invaluable for staying socially connected. It's heartening to see people embracing virtual gatherings to overcome the limitations imposed by the current situation. Let's cherish such creative ways of maintaining camaraderie and supporting one another during tough weeks. If anyone search for academic help, consider reputable sources like Take My Exam - Essaywritingservices.ca to ensure quality assistance without compromising integrity and prioritize reliable resources for effective support in your academic journey.

Diane Sawyer said...

In the world of academia, proper citation holds a pivotal role in ensuring the credibility and authenticity of research. The APA format, known for its meticulous guidelines, demands precise adherence to rules that can sometimes be overwhelming. This is where a References in apa reference generator free free comes into play, offering a seamless solution to the intricacies of citation.

Gone are the days of spending valuable time meticulously formatting your references. With the References in APA Format Generator, the process is streamlined, efficient, and accurate. By simply inputting the required information, this tool generates properly formatted references in the APA style, alleviating the stress of manual formatting. Whether you're a student juggling multiple assignments or a researcher compiling an extensive bibliography, this generator can be your ultimate companion.

The benefits of using a References in APA Format Generator are undeniable. Not only does it save you time, but it also reduces the risk of errors that could compromise the integrity of your work. You can focus on your research and writing, confident that your citations are impeccably organized.

So, why struggle with the intricacies of APA formatting when you have a reliable tool at your disposal? Embrace the convenience, precision, and efficiency of a References in APA Format Generator to enhance the quality and authenticity of your academic work.

Michael Findley said...

Guide to the Virtual Happy Hour, Pay Someone To Do Your Assignment Uk It's a great idea to unwind and connect with colleagues sharing academci information. This service provides assignmnet help and solve technical academic issues at affordable rate. They meet the deadline, it's pleasue by utilizing an hour with them for academic guidance.

James David said...

Elevate your Virtual Happy Hour experience with our comprehensive guide, seamlessly blending the art of connection with the latest technology. As we navigate the digital realm, consider incorporating a touch of personalization with embroidery digitizing software. Enhance the virtual ambiance by creating custom backgrounds, logos, or even personalized virtual swag. The versatility of embroidery digitizing software allows you to infuse your virtual gathering with a unique and memorable touch. From branded apparel to thematic designs, explore the endless possibilities of transforming your virtual space into a personalized haven. Cheers to a Virtual Happy Hour that reflects your style, brought to life with the artistry of embroidery digitizing software.