No doubt to say, last year, the COVID 19 pandemic brought a critical defining moment for 2020 graduates. Now here we are, still surviving 2021 with many dilemmas and insecurities. It is tough to decide whether it is safe to plan an in-person graduation party for 2021 graduates or not since the pandemic situation is not entirely under control. Again, when you think of the safest way and call for a virtual format, you may have trouble deciding how to execute it successfully.
Keep the celebration mood on
It’s better late than never, as the virtual way is a certain option right now; start planning a virtual graduation ceremony and create a day for your students they will remember forever. Most of your students are now might in frustration as COVID shrink their graduation ceremony. So, arranging a commencement online will be a great distraction and opportunity to celebrate their success and hard work amidst this grim and lonely situation.
Turn the last day worth remembering
Be it for your high school graduates or your final year college students, all graduates deserve a celebration to celebrate the ending of their beautiful journey. But, before the official goodbye, toast a party ahead of their big day and drive their last day much memorable.
Here are some ideas you can pick to organise a “day before graduation party.”
Throw a virtual prom night
A prom is all about dressing up, dancing, sharing appreciation and creating memories together. Even amidst this pandemic, just let your graduates go with the flow virtually. However, some of the things may not work out because of technical limitations but make it a fun event as much as you can. Set the agenda and technology all ready and ask all your graduates to dress sharp and join!
Pick a prom theme
No matter it’s happening virtually, a prom theme can set the vibe to get everyone in the party mood. So decide a theme, and for that, you can create an online poll and ask your students to tell their preference. Be it a safari, cosmic, or ’90s themed, try to make it authentic and complete.
Arrange cultural programs
You can arrange a group dance or popular TikTok dance by practicing it virtually before the night. You can hire performers to give an exclusive highlight such as comedian, poet, magician, DJ/band as a guest or pick a popular song and sing-along. Even instead of hiring professionals, ask your students to perform for everyone.
Add some games
Throw some fun games to your students and make them engaged. Games such as hula hoop competition, voting and selecting prom king/queen, an award for best performer/ best dressed, virtual raffle game, and many as such can be put in your virtual prom session.
Plan a virtual dinner
It’s not an actual celebration until you add food to the party. You can arrange some customized snacks or meals from any local restaurant or caterer, send parcels to your graduate’s address, pick a food theme, and eat together via video chat.
Send custom graduation celebration/party special boxes
You can surprise your students by sending them a graduation theme special box to celebrate the night. You can put party props, backdrop material, food essentials, congratulation cards, graduation keepsake, t-shirt, graduation bouquet etc.
Day of graduation: make their moment
Some graduation rituals have been put on hold for the time being but thankfully, not all of the traditions. You still have many options open to plan a commencement online for your students.
If you are still trying to figure out how to mark the day, here are some tips.
Send digital invitation card
Being an organizer, go for digital invitation for the high school virtual graduation or online college graduation. Use customized designs for your card and make all the information’s available on your invitation card, such as the name of the event software, event joining links, dress code, special instructions.
Make your graduates wear cap and gown
You should encourage your students to hire or buy their own gown and graduation cap. Just because the ceremony is virtual doesn’t mean you don’t want your students to feel and enjoy the part.
Live steam your event
There is much professional streaming software for virtual graduation like GradPak, which will let you keep a simple setup to broadcast the commencement online. These live broadcasting will let your graduates, attendees, guests feel more real than simply recording the program for later viewing.
Involve their family and friends
What the virtual graduation program brings is that it allows the graduate’s friends and family to see it in real-time on-screen. As many graduates have friends and family around the country or abroad, you can let your graduates enjoy their big moments with those who they care about.
Bring surprise guest speakers
You can invite a commencement speaker to pass a message of motivation, inspiration and success. Be it a famous author, celebrity, influencer or successful alumni, choose any potential speaker who will turn your student’s big day more remarkable.
Make virtual announcement
End the official function and speeches by distributing and announcing the degrees virtually. Many software for virtual graduation as GradPak ensures a moment of recognition with perfect pronunciation and creates personalized graduate slides for each graduate.
End the big day celebrating your graduates
Once your students become all graduates, you can add some extra activities to have a wacky ending and make them feel more special.
Show a heartwarming reel/video message
Create a heartwarming message video for your graduates to appreciate and celebrate their accomplishments. Ask for their parents, siblings, friends, teachers, official staff, and all their near and dear ones, collect and merge every clip, and gift them the video they will treasure a lifetime.
Present a virtual yearbook
Ask your graduates to write down and share their photos, favourite memories they will miss the most, contact info to stay in touch with all their classmates, plans after graduation and gather those to make a virtual yearbook for your class of 2021 graduates.
Collect comments and signature
Ask for all your graduates, guests, and participants to write down their comments with a signature about how they enjoyed the big day and let others write a word of inspiration and advice.
Virtual campus tour
Arrange a virtual campus tour for your dear students. This will make them look back on their past days. You can reminisce and relive those good old days again.
Virtual photo booth session
Finally, end the day by creating a virtual photo booth session for all your graduates and guests. Request all to pose for the virtual group photo, or you can create a digital photo album as a keepsake for your graduate students.
Make the journey of your students from “graduand” to “graduate” much memorable. Whatever you plan, make it all about your graduates. Find all the possible alternative ways of in-person graduation program and prepare for an unforgettable virtual moment. Even though you are celebrating sitting in front of a web camera, you are still letting your students know how proud you are of their accomplishments.