How to Host a Cocktail Party on Zoom (and have better classes, conferences and meetings, too)

In lots of gatherings, it’s important for people to be able to fluidly move in and out of small clusters. It’s not easy to do this in Zoom, but it is possible. I’ll show you how.

Misha Glouberman
Apr 10, 2020 · 13 min read

The origin: It’s my job to think about how to structure social events in ways that help people connect.

The challenge: A cocktail party is not thirty people in a grid having one conversation.

The partial solution: Zoom Breakout Rooms are great, but inflexible.

IMPORTANT UPDATE OCT 2020!!

The best way around this: Make everyone a “co-host”.

Here’s what happens when you let people move around.

These methods can also work for meetings, conferences, classes, and other gatherings

Want all the details? Read on!

The Agenda

Preparation & Invitation

Step-by-step:

3:00 — Start. People arrive. Welcome them and do tech set-up.

3:15 — Assign sub-groups to get everyone talking and meeting new people.

3:25 — Get people to identify what sort of conversations they want to have.

3:35 — Make a list of possible conversation rooms.

(Actually, my friends filled the blank spaces with smart-ass jokes, which I have deleted for the sake of clarity.)

3:45 — Let people go to rooms! Allow them to mingle, get in groups, etc.

4:15 — Invite people back into the main room to talk together.

4:30 — End of party. (People are welcome to linger after).

Some extra tips:

BONUS ADDED TIPS: Workarounds if you’re not on Zoom or can’t use the co-host trick

Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you

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Misha Glouberman

Written by

I help people run better meetings and conferences, and have more effective and authentic conversations, both online and face to face. www.mishaglouberman.com

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +787K followers.

Misha Glouberman

Written by

I help people run better meetings and conferences, and have more effective and authentic conversations, both online and face to face. www.mishaglouberman.com

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +787K followers.

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