COVID-19 has changed how we connect with our communities. We’ve gone from local bars and restaurants to video conferences as spaces of connectivity. Bold Culture has compiled a list of innovative ways people have stayed connected during the pandemic.
Virtual Trivia Nights
Trivia used to happen at the local pub on Tuesday nights. Now, people have taken this beloved evening activity online to continue the random knowledge competitions. Luckily, putting together a trivia night is simple. For those organizing events, it requires writing trivia questions, establishing score-keeping rules, and a reliable virtual platform. This kind of fun, competitive activity allows people to test their random knowledge and interact with their communities.
Virtual Networking Events
Networking events have always been crucial for building connections, especially for young professionals. In a time when meeting in person is impossible, many networking groups have gone online to maintain these vital connections. Through virtual happy hours and meet-and-greets, the legacy of networking is continuing in the virtual space. Successful events are well thought out and have a solid strategy – just like in person events. Successful quarantine-conscious event organizers have come up with innovative formats and goals for the participant experience. Quarantinecon is an excellent example of an event that kept people connected and engaged – and hungry for more (also, see online conferences below). Another great example of how to do it right comes from Women’s Weekend Film Challenge, an organization that hosts virtual networking opportunities for film communities around the United States. By moving networking online, attendees can stay safely social distanced and continue to build connections.
Attend an Online Conference
San Diego Comic-Con was a bit different this year, but it accomplished one important thing: staying connected with its community. As groups and businesses cancel in-person conferences, virtual conferences are becoming the soup du jour. These online conferences provide a wonderful framework for making events accessible to those unable to attend in-person events, such as people with disabilities or those restrained by finances. The experience of attending an online conference is different, but it will keep you connected to your network and community.
Park and Watch a Movie
Sometimes, we can draw great inspiration from the past. One of the best (and most common) summer experiences is going to see a movie. Many blockbuster films premiere in the summer, and luckily, movie lovers around the country have found a way to adapt. Drive-in theaters, once almost extinct, are making a comeback during the COVID-19 pandemic. These outdoor events allow movie lovers to leave the house and safely enjoy films from the comfort of their cars. Major movies are now also being released directly to streaming platforms (Trolls World Tour was the first success story of the year). And some theaters are choosing to open up with social distancing guidelines in place, like AMC Theaters.
Take a Class
Lastly, while many people found themselves with more time on their hands while sheltering in place, they’ve chosen to use that time to keep their skills sharp – or learn new ones. Luckily, countless online learning opportunities were well established before the pandemic – and many more cropped up to support the rise in demand. Eager learners flocked to yoga classes, learned how to make cocktails, and even enrolled in college courses. Mashable compiled a wonderful list of resources for those eager to keep flexing their brain power.
Though just about no one saw this pandemic coming, humans are creative beings and their hunger to stay connected during this time shows us how we truly can come together, even when we have to remain distanced physically.
Nikki Brueggeman is a writer based out of Southern California. She has been published in Yes! Magazine, Byrdie, and Upworthy. Her adventures in writing can be followed on Twitter: @warriornikki.