'Something is better than nothing': Wisconsin BBB offers tips for holding virtual holiday parties

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin is offering advice for those planning on hosting or attending virtual holiday parties.

The BBB says whether it is a family or company party, one of the most important things is to make it easy to attend by using a video application most guests are familiar with.

“We all know this isn’t the same as having an in-person party,” BBB Wisconsin President and CEO Jim Temmer said. “You have to have expectations that something is better than nothing.”

Temmer said it is also important to schedule the party at a convenient time and not invite too many people.

“Keep the number of people to a minimum because if you get 40 people all on the screen, people trying to talk at the same time, you don’t hear anything, it isn’t very good,” he said.

The BBB says it is also smart to set an end-time to prevent screen fatigue. When it comes to security, hosts should make sure it’s a private meeting where guests need a link and password to join.

“The odds of someone crashing your Zoom party are pretty low, but it could happen,” Temmer said. “We’ve seen this happen in schools, in business settings, so if you want to make perfectly clear, go into those settings come up with a password, send those out to the people you only want invited and you should have nothing to worry about.”

For company parties, employers could send gift cards or have food delivered to employees.

Most importantly, people are encouraged to understand it may not be perfect.

“In the spirit of the holidays, we make the best with what we have,” Temmer said.

More information and advice can be found on the BBB website.

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