Photo by Fábio Alves on UnsplashCan you smell summer yet? It’s right there in reach, time to dust off the grill. If you’re lucky enough to have access to outdoor space while in quarantine, catching some rays and feeling the breeze can do a lot for your wellbeing

But it also makes us nostalgic for a time when Corona was just a Mexican beer best served chilled. A time when hot weather was the only excuse necessary to congregate all your friends and family for a BBQ.

We’re taking a momentary step back from SEO and eCommerce talk to share our tips on hosting an online BBQ party!

1. Check the weather  

Nobody wants a soggy bun. Find a day that’s likely to be sunny in all of your guests’ locations.

2. Write a guest list

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the more people you invite to a video-call, the harder it is to hold a natural conversation.

Two people start speaking at the same time, one person has a dodgy connection, another has background noise… you know the score. It’s best to keep your guest list to a minimum to maintain chill BBQ vibes. 6 guests or fewer is ideal.

We know, we know. We can hear the gasps of extroverts reading this. “6 people or fewer?! That’s not a party!” We hear you

If you want to invite more people, go right ahead. You can prepare questions to structure the conversation and avoid people talking over one another.

3. Where?

Zoom might be the go-to virtual meeting room for businesses, but unless you’re willing to pay for a monthly subscription, party time will be limited to just 40 minutes. That’s barely enough time to make a cocktail and flip a burger!

Google Meet is now free for everyone and doesn’t have any time restrictions. We recommend using your laptop, as their app for tablets doesn’t yet allow you to see everyone at the same time.

Facebook has recently updated its Messenger Rooms to allow up to 50 people. Like Google Meet it’s free and there are no time limits. You don’t even need a Facebook account to use it.

4. Time to announce that you are hosting a BBQ party!

Now you’ve decided on the essential information, it’s time to send an invitation out to your chosen fam.

Evite has some free invitation templates specifically for virtual events.

Information to include:

  • Name of the event
  • Date and time
  • Link to the event and (if necessary) instructions for the technically compromised!
  • Further information on what they’ll be required to do (e.g. buy and cook food)
  • Finish by explaining that you’ll be in touch with more information

5. Share recipe ideas

Once guests have confirmed, get them hyped up by sending drool-worthy BBQ recipes. Don’t forget drinks! What BBQ would be complete without a tall cocktail? Keep it classic with a mojito, or find something new to try out and some mocktails for those who don’t drink alcohol.

6. Shop

A couple of days before the event, remind everyone to fill their ice trays and head to the grocery store. Offer to buy and deliver ingredients for more vulnerable party guests.

7. Turn up the music

Let’s be real here, a party isn’t a party without great music. But background noise is the sworn enemy of virtual meetings.

Make a playlist of songs for people to listen to while they’re cooking and away from their computers.

You can have dance intervals! Pause the conversation to listen to a song together.

8. Find a shady spot

Set up your laptop somewhere you can see the screen well, away from your noisy grill, and within range of your wifi.

Check your microphone and speakers.

Do as much food prep as possible beforehand to avoid being away from the screen for too long.

9. Connect and party!

Your hard work has paid off. Sit back with your ice-cold cocktail or mocktail and enjoy the company of the friends you miss the most.

Congratulate yourself for making it happen. You can now add hosting an online BBQ party to your list of accomplishments.