Have you ever missed the baby shower of a loved one or treasured friend because you live too far away to attend? Did you feel like you were missing out on all the fun? Did you feel guilty for not being able to personally present your gift? Did you miss the “oohs” and “ahs” of the new mom-to-be as she opened her gifts?
If so, you might be interested to learn more about a new trend that is gaining momentum – a virtual baby shower. A virtual baby shower is an excellent way to make sure all of the mommy-to-be’s friends and relatives get an opportunity to show their love and excitement over the new arrival.
So how does one go about setting up a virtual shower? There is no right way, but here are some tips that should help you get the event off the ground.
Tip # 1: Identify Mom-to-Be’s Friends (MTB). If you don’t already know everyone who should be invited, you might need to clue MTB in on your little plan. Send out the invites. Just because the shower will be hosted online doesn’t mean that you have to stick with an E-vite. You can if you want to, or you can add a nice touch with a pretty invitation delivered via snail mail.
Ack. Wait what about the date and time? Hopefully, you will have a few others helping to set up the shower. If you can agree on a date and time among yourselves, and the MTB is available, don’t fret about the date and time. The beauty of a virtual shower is the flexibility. Even if all the invitees can’t stay for the entire shower, most should be able to check in for a portion – even if they have to do it from their smart phone!
Don’t worry about including all the details now. Many will misplace their invitations. You are better off following with an email as you get closer to the event date.
Tip #2: Harness technology. There are many ways to host your shower online – internet chatrooms and social networking websites are both good options. Perhaps the choice that offers the most flexibility and potential for creativity is good ‘ol Blogger.com. Why Blogger? We will explain more about this further down. If you do decide to go with Blogger.com, you should make sure all your guests understand how Blogger works and pester them to create an account before shower day arrives.
Want to connect even more with your party guests? Consider using Skype or FreeConferenceCall.com in addition to the hosted shower site.
Tip #3: Visit the MTB’s gift registry site(s). Hopefully, she will be registered at sites that offer convenient online shopping and delivery. You might consider going in together with one or more of the other attendees to purchase one of the bigger or more expensive items on the registry. This won’t prevent you from sending a smaller gift of our own.
Remember: the downside of virtual showers is you can’t hit Target or Babies R Us the night before the shower. Plan ahead. Order your gift at least two weeks before you want it to arrive to ensure you don’t have to pay expedited shipping costs.
Wait. Where do we send the gift? Again, it depends. If your MTB knows about the shower, you might consider the easiest option – directly mailing the gifts to her home with a firm admonition to not unwrap until shower day. If you want to ensure maximum surprise, you might enlist the help of MTB’s husband or a trusted neighbor to accept the gifts at an alternate address and transport the gifts to the house on shower day.
Tip #4: Send an email out to all invitees 24 hours in advance with all the details. Even if you have already given them their passwords and codes, etc. it pays to do it again so you don’t receive frantic calls as you are trying to start the shower.
Tip #5: You don’t have to forego the games. Sure, some shower games just won’t work in a virtual environment, but some are actually easier. You can create polls ahead of time on your hosting site that allow guests to weigh in with guesses on baby’s birth date and time, height and weight and any other topic up for debate…With Blogger you can also add pictures of your gifts and some music to really get the party started!
Tip #6: Have fun! What’s better than some “girl time” with those you wish you lived closer to? And from the comfort of your own home, no less!
I speak from recent experience. A few weeks ago, several of the IW contributors threw a virtual baby shower for our own dearly-loved Samantha. Everyone had an awesome time and we are hoping to be able to host another one in the near future!
How about you? Have you ever attended a virtual shower? Would you consider hosting one in the future?