Graduation day is a significant milestone as it acknowledges a student’s hard work and success. The ceremony is a celebration and an ending. As one journey finishes and another begins, full of opportunity and adventure!
The graduation ceremony symbolizes every graduate’s dedication, effort, and sacrifice, giving them each their moment to shine as they claim their degree in front of a supportive crowd filled with proud family and loved ones.
A big shout-out to the class of 2020
In the previous year, we all experienced the effects of the global pandemic, especially students who were thrown into an online learning environment and unable to gather and celebrate milestones such as graduations, formals, and first days. However, the class of 2020 still found a way to celebrate through live-streaming, at-home photoshoots, and using social media to connect and share achievements.
Looking at how we hosted COVID-friendly graduation celebrations
COVID helped us realize that even in being apart, we are still together – connected through social media, live streams and teleconferencing platforms.
While a big congratulatory bash may have been off the table, there were still ways to celebrate. Many graduates opted for small parties amongst families, roommates and social distancing bubbles. Many others used technology, setting up virtual hangouts for fellow grads and long-distance loved ones to share in the celebrations. Even though things felt different, there were still many ways to create a graduation ceremony and after-party that adapted to social-distancing requirements.
Virtual graduation ceremony
While it may seem tough to make a virtual event run smoothly, we rose to the challenge. Last year, we saw serval high schools and colleges use virtual ceremonies to congratulate the class of 2020 safely. With software like Zoom and EventBookings, students and love ones can fire up a webcam from anywhere and share it in their memory.
Here are our tips on how to host your own virtual graduation event.
Choose your platform:
Venue selection is essential for any event, so when choosing a platform to host your virtual event, make sure the features line up with the vision you have in mind. For example, Zoom offers a presentation-only mode to minimise interruptions, while EventBookings offers Youtube video streaming and live streaming to social media. Other software might lack screen sharing options or other engaging tools necessary for a virtual event, so it’s always wise to research upfront before committing to a venue.
Bring everyone together:
While there might be restrictions for in-person events, feel free to put everyone on the guest list when it comes to the event. Use a virtual event to connect family and friends, regardless of distance and capacity.
In the age of the Facebook e-vite, to make the event feel extra special, why not send a digital ticket or virtual card? Get creative as there are tons of event ticketing software to help make the occasion more official or even design an invite to share with loved ones.
Just because you’re not going out to attend a ceremony in person doesn’t mean you can’t dress up. Treat the virtual event as you would the in-person event. You can still dress up in the traditional cap and gown. You have earned the right to wear them.
Don’t forget the decorations:
Use banners, balloons, flowers, a photo backdrop, and pictures to make your background really stand out. You can use virtual backgrounds to create a festive ambience. You don’t have to go big. Simple additions will spruce up your video call and show your guests how excited you are to share in the celebration.
Prepare a commemorative video:
Get in touch with family members, friends, and teachers of the newly graduated class and ask them to share some good wishes and advice to the camera. Edit all the wisdom and best wishes into one touching tribute. You can also make a slideshow of the past years to help reminisce on all the moments that got your grad here.
Finish the graduation with a bang:
No matter where you’re celebrating from, end the ceremony with a symbolic passing of the diploma and a cap toss. Encourage everyone to then join in with a celebratory drink to toast the new graduates.
In-person graduation celebration
If you’re able to host an in-person celebration, here are the key things to consider to ensure everyone has a safe but enjoyable graduation party!
How many guests can attend?
While a virtual event allows us the flexibility to invite all, in-person events might have regulations and capacity limits. You’ll need to think carefully about how many people can attend an in-person event. Many schools had to limit in-person attendees but still were able to invite virtual guests to join in and watch speeches and slideshows.
Must have picture station:
People enjoy sharing their moments on social media. Create backdrops designed for graduates to take selfies. Create your specific hashtag for guests to use when uploading. You can curate them, and share them on your school’s social media site.
And, of course, remember the precautions:
Have hand sanitizer on hand. Ensure those handling food or drinks for others are masked up. Most importantly, make sure everyone knows not to turn up if they’re feeling unwell.
These are only some of our suggestions when it comes to celebrating the big day! With proper precautions, we can still enjoy and share our achievements. Again, it’s hard ever to know what the future holds, but we’ve proven that we’ll still find a way to celebrate the special moments no matter what is thrown at us.