I have been working on a new site for improving our virtual happy hour experiences. Given we’re not going to be seeing anyone anytime soon, I wanted to improve how we do happy hours.
Right now, I see a big problem.
You connect with your team in a video conferencing app, like Zoom, Teams, WebEx, etc. You get to see everyone and chat. However if there are more than 5 or 6 people, it quickly becomes impossible to actually “chat”, never mind, have a “real” conversation with someone.
I’ve been on my fair share of these “happy hours”. Sometimes they’re themed: silly hats, favorite beer, etc. That helps a little, but when there’s too many people, it becomes a quick show and tell and then we’re done.
Harken back to days long past, of going to a bar, seeing dozens of people, but having a conversation with those couple of people you wanted. What if we could do that again?
- What if we could break off into our own conversations, like a real happy hour?
- What if I could find Carly, and pull her aside, and have a conversation about her new puppy?
- What if I could see Luke, and be reminded of his trip home last weekend, and follow up with him?
- What if I could “walk” up to a group of people and introduce myself, and get to know some new people?
My new site, https://virtualhappyhour.app, is designed with this in mind: happy hours! I built it wanting to help us all foster deeper connections while continuing to expand our networks, while we’re remote.
It’s more than just a breakout room
Zoom offers a breakout room capability, which costs money, and simply puts people into rooms. In my app, people can create their own conversations and meet up with the people they want. They can see who else is in the room, and jump into other conversations if they want to.
We can have meaningful connections once again: in parties, happy hours, and large events. It’s just as easy to get trivia teams, game nights, user groups, and more running through the site.
Where do I start?
Go to https://virtualhappyhour.app, and enter in your room name. From there, share the new URL with your team and you’re off and running!
For real, all free. I wanted to just get this out and get people using it. If you like what you see, please consider a donation. It does cost real money to host this every month. You can buy me a coffee or donate on PayPal.
Feedback is welcomed and highly encouraged
The site isn’t perfect, obviously. I’m always looking for feedback and contributors. After you log in, click the heart in the top right menu to provide feedback or report a bug. Or you can click here. I only ask that you bear with me, remember, this is free ;)
I hope you enjoy it! I’m very excited to be sharing this and look forward to helping you and others continue to grow real relationships with people during COVID-19. Thank you for checking it out!