Planning parties takes on extra meaning when you get the chance to produce the 60th birthday celebration of one of your best friends. And it takes on extra challenge when said birthday takes place one year into a global pandemic (you know the one).

Our WM Events team was no stranger to working with Philip, we had planned his Free Spirit Wedding just a few years ago. That meant, we knew that his expectations for entertaining and delighting guests would be high. He brought us in to make sure his virtual birthday party felt as much like being together in person as possible.

Philip took care of the guest list and invitations and distributed the Zoom link for the party. From there, William and team managed the production. We put together a one-and-a-half-hour event, combining a live feed and pre-recorded videos, and timing everything to the minute so that guests stayed engaged from start to finish.

After a live set from DJ Mike Zarin, we kicked off the event with some how-to Zoom slides, explaining the basics for those who needed it. Then it was time to party!

WM Events Virtual Birthday Party  WM Events Virtual Birthday Party  WM Events Virtual Birthday Party

Music and Photos

Sixty years is a long time, and we wanted to honor the many decades of Philip’s life. So we started by gathering and organizing hundreds of photos from the year Philip was born through the present. We strategically placed these throughout the run of show, separating them by era. During the presentation of each photo montage, DJ Mike Zarin played music from the decades being shown.

WM Events Virtual Birthday Party   WM Events Virtual Birthday Party

Toasts and Spotlights

Combining pre-recorded and live footage makes for a seamless event with little room for error like bad WiFi or missing speakers. Our team wove together recorded video toasts from Philip’s mother and husband, with live features. Throughout the party, attendees communicated with each other and the guest of honor through the chat box. They also had the opportunity to offer a video toast. We changed the Zoom view to highlight the speaker for these live honorifics. 

Fun tip: Post-party, the host can get a digital file with all of the chat comments to read at leisure.

Mixing it Up

Another fun feature we recorded was a mixology session that offered the guests a way to engage with the event. Philip demonstrated how to make his favorite drink – a Rose Kennedy – and were able to mix along. 

WM Events Virtual Birthday Party    WM Events Virtual Birthday Party  

Boosting the Entertainment

DJ Mike Zarin stayed with us, performing various sets throughout the event. We added another entertainment element with pianist Robert Ray, who played some of Philip’s favorite tunes while the guests got the opportunity to sing and dance along.

There was more singing – “Happy Birthday,” of course – and those who were with Philip brought out a cake with more than a few candles. The celebration closed with a dance party, during which we spotlighted households on the Zoom view to make it feel more like everyone was celebrating together on the dance floor. 

Happiest of birthdays, Philip!

WM Events Virtual Birthday Party   WM Events Virtual Birthday Party



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