It’s hard to imagine New Year’s Eve without glitter confetti falling over a packed, champagne-soaked party, but like the rest of 2020, this December 31 will be a little different.
With COVID-19 still an ever-present threat around most of the world, it’s safe to say that virtual events are here to stay. With good reason: We’ve seen tremendous success with online events at Eventbrite. In fact, one million virtual events have been hosted so far in 2020, and our event attendees and creators alike showed interest in attending and hosting online events even after social distancing guidelines have eased up. After all, even the famous Times Square ball drop celebration will be virtual for New Year’s Eve 2021.
If you’re hoping to host a virtual event of your own but aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry! After months of hosting high-performing online events, we’ve got tons of Virtual New Year’s Eve event ideas for your 2021 celebration.
Think about what your attendees want
Are your customers a loud and raucous crowd, looking for a glamorous celebration they’ll hardly remember the next day? Or are they a little more low-key, looking to learn something new while connecting with fellow revellers at midnight?
One thing’s for certain: our research shows that virtual event-goers are seeking both escapism and a sense of community this New Year’s. Keep your specific customers’ needs in mind when deciding what direction to go.
No matter what kind of event you decide to throw, be sure that your attendees feel welcome. Creators have found success in adding accessibility details to listings, including sliding scale or donation-based tickets, and more (you can get more tips on the blog). Today, diversity and inclusivity are more than just buzzwords, and a successful event reflects that.
Throw a big party
It’s not New Year’s without a flashy party. Luckily, a virtual livestream extravaganza can be as exciting as a highly-produced event. Consider investing in high quality graphics and sound, a rad itinerary, and even musical talent.
It might sound daunting, but you don’t need a ton of experience for this. One retired music teacher created an entire virtual venue during quarantine, and we’ve got tons of tips on making your livestream as seamless as possible on the blog. Not sure which platform to use? We’ve done that research for you, too.
The most successful high-energy live streams are as interactive as possible. The daytime dance party pioneers at Daybreaker are thriving after taking their nightclub-style events online, thanks in part to fun themes, curated DJs, and multiple in-event communication channels, from video sharing to live chat. It helps that they sound check for days in advance, and often send out participatory items in the mail to attendees, like paper masks and themed decor. When all those aspects come together, you get a big virtual party that really feels like, well, a big party.
For your New Year’s blowout, you could ask guests to follow a fancy dress code, hire a live DJ or three, and include separate themed (virtual) rooms for participants to check out and interact in. You might even include the cost of a bottle of bubbly in the ticket price and ship one out a week beforehand. Cheers!
Get educational and have fun
If you’re looking to go a little more low-key, think about incorporating a class or workshop into your event. Host an empowering self-improvement workshop to help your guests prep for their best year ever. Or you could host an interactive lecture on something fun and relevant, like the history of new year celebrations around the world.
New York Adventure Club’s roster of “visualectures” offer perfect examples of highly educational events that are still interactive and fun. Be sure to include a Q&A or time to socialise after your event, so attendees can feel connected while staying far apart.
Get crafty and creative
Your attendees can stretch those creative muscles (and have a few drinks, too) while socialising at a fun craft class. A mask-decorating party is perfect for a pre-masquerade celebration, while a creative journalling workshop might be ideal for attendees who want to get an early start on their resolutions.
Take it from the experts: NYC-based workshop host CraftJam has thrived since moving all of their happy-hour-style classes online, with beginner-friendly craft workshops that encourage virtual socialising.
Relax and restore
Who doesn’t need a reset after the last year? Let your attendees jumpstart their resolutions with a restorative yoga class, sound bath, or group meditation. But a wellness-themed New Year’s Eve event doesn’t have to be subdued – it can be as wild as you like.
For instance, Eventbrite creator Trap Yoga Bae combines trap DJ sets with engaging vinyasa yoga flow, while Brooklyn-based witch store Catland recently hosted a “Magic Yoga” class hosted by an intuitive healer and tarot reader. Make your event as low-key or high energy as you like, and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
Cheers to a virtual tasting
Take a hint from Murray’s Cheese in NYC, whose virtual cheese tasting classes are a solid quarantine hit. A virtual tasting class is the perfect laid-back yet engaging New Year’s event, whether they’re hosted as an earlier celebration for potential party hosts, or a full-blown snack jamboree at midnight. After all, what’s better than a champagne tasting to welcome in the new year?
Send out a list of items to purchase in advance, or better yet, include the evening’s libations with the ticket price and ship them to attendees’ doors in festive themed packaging. (Pro-tip: Add-on kits like this are proven to boost ticket sales!)
Dress up for game night
Virtual game nights can be as high-key or low-stakes as possible. Consider hosting a trivia night or scavenger hunt, both perfectly tailored to the big night with themed questions and equally festive rewards. For something more extravagant, plan a murder mystery party with costume ideas, themed props in the mail, and even an at-home appetiser menu.
Are you sensing a theme here? If there’s one thing we’ve learned during quarantine, it’s that virtual events thrive on a theme. The daytime dance party Daybreaker has found huge success during quarantine, due in part to their weekly themes that help every attendee feel included. Whether you’re hosting a game night, a virtual concert, or a meditation circle this New Year’s, adding a theme to your event helps attendees feel comfortable and get involved.