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Get ready for your virtual xmas party

Bryan Smith
Dec 18, 2020 7:00:00 PM

Before you give up on having holiday parties – wait! Many companies, families and social groups are opting not to travel for in-person meetings, which are a much-cherished part of memory-making. This holiday season, we want to give the magic of seeing loved ones back to you.

You should consider meeting up with your friends and family over a high-quality live video call.

We’ve done everything on our end to make the process as seamless, and natural-feeling as possible, so that all can enjoy the company of loved ones. We even have some ideas to share with you to get you thinking about the possibilities of a virtual meetup this year.

But aren’t virtual meetings complicated and expensive?

Not at all! But they used to be.Modern video conference solutions can work all within a web browser, and don’t require you to install any applications at all.

This makes them very easy to use, and share around.

While most of them have common basic functions, there are a few key features that accommodate more natural-feeling group meetings, such as whiteboards, and breakout rooms.

What do you do in your holiday meet-ups?

A lot of those meet-ups that you have involve food. While no one has invented a way to email fruitcake and eggnog yet, you can enjoy the presence and company of others in a natural-feeling way over the internet.

There are really two modes for how groups of people interact. One mode is where everyone is together in one group, like blessing the food before you all eat or when you all open presents, and the other is where people break out into separate, but still connected groups with a few people moving freely between them. Most meet-ups alternate between these modes throughout the meeting.

Open gifts as if you were in person

This season you’re probably already mailing out the majority of the presents this year.

It’s a major part of the holiday gathering ritual to watch the reaction that people have when they open the gifts that they receive from others. While seeing this in person is special, everyone being together in a video call is the best and most practical alternative this year.

Play back old memories and recordings

Another thing that people do a lot of during meet-ups is share memories like recordings of years past.

Samba Live can record, share screens, switch between video sources, and even share files so that these kinds of shared experiences can be captured and replayed with ease.

Play fun party games

Plenty classic party games are compatible with online virtual meetings.

Bingo, is doable despite physical distance, and made easier with online bingo card generators – some allow you to generate and email cards out to your party players in your group.

Charades is easy to do online too. It’s the game where you have to act out a word or idea given to you by another team without saying anything and your teammates have to guess it. This lends itself very well to cameras and screens.

"20 questions" is the game where you think of something and everyone has to ask you exactly 20 questions before trying to guess what it is you’re thinking about. Somehow, magically, your close friends and family can read your mind unless you think of something really obscure. It’s probably some form of witchcraft, but witchcraft that works over the internet as well as in person!

Hangman also works on screen – especially with our built-in whiteboard feature. Basically Hangman and Wheel of Fortune are almost the same games, where statistically you have about six letter guesses before you have to attempt to decipher a word or phrase of a known given length. Unfortunately, we have not added a big spinny wheel feature to Samba Live yet, but we’ve got a white board that works!

Pictionary is another fun party game that’s been app’ed (there is a web generator for that too). Since we offer a whiteboard feature you can totally draw anything and have people yell out guesses at you while you illustrate your masterpiece. First correct guess gets to be the next round’s drawer!

Show off your horrible, ugly sweaters in HD video!

In person, people can always turn away or look somewhere else when you sport your chosen holiday-themed woolen catastrophe. But in a meeting, they CAN’T!

You literally have everybody trapped in a video conferencing call. Now is your chance to hurt their eyes with your ugliest holiday sweater. It only looks as bad as how itchy it feels!

For the truly cultured among us, we must admit that there was some point in our lives where we encountered a sweater design that was so uniquely atrocious that we plopped down actual money just to have the satisfaction of maybe bothering people with it once a year just by being in their proximity.

Don’t let this year take that power away from you. Lure your family and close friends into an emotionally obligated video call with you so you can show off the bafflingly confusing yet clearly holiday-themed designs of some madman working in the apparel industry.

Actually see your colleagues, friends and family

All jokes aside, the most important thing this year is that you do see the people who matter to you, and cherish the time spent together.

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