How to Host a Virtual Baby Shower People Will Actually Want to Attend
Baby showers are a fantastic way for mothers-to-be to connect with their loved ones, enjoy some pampering, and collect sage advice from other women who have been in their shoes. Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means that in-person baby showers are still not a great idea. In order to ensure the safety of your loved ones, virtual showers are the way to go. At this point, everyone and their mother has been to some sort of virtual event that was….less than stellar. If you want to avoid a baby shower that has people checking their phones off-screen and awkwardly talking over one another, employ some of these strategies. Trust us, you will wind up hosting an e-shower that no one will forget!
Step 1: Get the tech right
The video platform you choose can really make or break a virtual event. Nothing is worse than having half of the attendees on video and half displaying their own phone number since they opted to dial in on their phone. If you want your event to go off without a hitch, follow these simple guidelines:
- Limit the number of attendees to roughly a dozen. Just because technology affords an unlimited audience does not mean that inviting everyone you have ever known is a good idea. You are going to want everyone’s video to fit on one screen, and you are going to want the conversation flow. In order to do that, you are going to have to get ruthless with the invite list.
- Make “video on” the default setting. Coaching someone through the tech set up can completely derail an event. The best way to avoid this is to get your settings right before anyone is even asked to dial in.
- Send a reminder email the day before or the morning of an event. No one likes digging through their email inbox for an old invite. Make things easy for your attendees by getting your join link to the top of their inbox.
- Set up a digital registry that is easy to access. This will save your attendees from the stress of finding appropriate baby items on Amazon.
- Invite your loved ones who didn’t make the final invite list to send you their own well-wishes in a pre-recorded video. That way, they can feel involved without the event itself getting too overwhelming for you.
Some products that might help:
- Zoom. It’s famous for a reason. Hosting a Zoom meeting is probably the easiest way to go.
- HouseParty. A less formal video conferencing platform. It includes games, and is easier to access from a smartphone.
- BabyList. This is a great way to build a registry remotely.
- Tribute. By far the easiest way for your loved ones to record video messages for you.
Step 2: Set the stage
Have you ever FaceTimed with the bottom of someone’s chin? It isn’t pretty. Instead of simply turning on your camera the morning of the event, mark the occasion by actually setting up a little party space! It will immediately get your audience in the baby-shower mood and it will help you to mentally separate your own shower from the other virtual meetings you have been a part of. Here are some easy ways to set up your space:
- Order a backdrop. Most people out there are bored of their own homes by now, so spruce yours up a bit with a festive backdrop!
- Doll yourself up. Haven’t worn makeup in months? Now is the time. Thinking about buying a ring light? Time to order one. You deserve to feel like a glowing mother-to-be at your shower, so make it happen for yourself!
- Choose a great top. Remember, no one is going to see your lap so as long as you are feeling confident from the waist up, feel free to don your favorite pair of sweatpants on the bottom!
Some products that might help:
- A “Hello Baby” decorating set that is bound to take everyone’s breath away.
- A clip-on ring light that works with a phone or computer.
- A vibrant maternity blouse that will look great on camera.
Step 3: Be the hostess with the mostess
Whether you want to host your own shower or trust a friend or family member to fill those shoes for you, just remember that a virtual baby shower requires a slightly different plan. In order to keep your audience engaged and having a good time, consider including the following activities:
- Meet & Greet. Invite everyone on the call to introduce themselves with their name, how they know the mama-to-be, and something fun or funny about babies. Tell them that they are welcome to share a joke, a fun memory of a baby, or simply something they love about children.
- Virtual Games. A great baby shower game that doesn’t involve any paper print outs or playing pieces is “don’t say baby”. Challenge everyone at the beginning of the shower to come up with synonyms for your little one, and have a close friend track anyone who says the forbidden B word. The last person left standing who hasn’t uttered “baby” is the winner!
- A baby bump contest. Challenge your participants to create a realistic baby-bump with whatever household items they have access to. Have each participant strut in front of the camera and have the mother-to-be declare a winner!
Remember, just because times are tough does not mean that you have to sacrifice a lovely afternoon celebrating your upcoming motherhood. Virtual baby showers are a fantastic option, and require a lot less clean-up than an in-person event! So sit back, turn your camera on and enjoy an afternoon with loved ones.