Here at The Book of Everyone, we pour our hearts and souls into creating the most wonderful feats of our imagination. This includes a lot of trial, error, and laughter along the way.
As we developed The Video of Everyone, we went down a long path of figuring out the best way to use it, and tested it relentlessly. Friends, family, pets, and colleagues all received an experimental celebration at one point or another in the last months.
Luckily, that way we discovered some of the best ways to create a celebration that will make its recipient laugh, ‘AWWW!’, and cry happy tears. Now we’ll share them with you.
Celebrate the curiously amazing in everyone
The key to creating a good TVOE celebration lies in the celebration itself: of the recipient and everything that makes them unique and wonderfully brilliant. So before you start, ask yourself: What is the particularly amazing thing about the recipient? And more importantly, how can you celebrate it in their videos?
Perhaps they have a dashing moustache that would outshine any 17th century English nobleman? Then you can ask their friends and family to record their messages with various fake moustaches on. Yarn moustaches, cat tails, bananas, sharpie moustaches. Nothing is off limits.
View this post on Instagram
Or maybe they have a glamorous hat collection that even the Queen would envy? Celebrate their quirk by asking the collaborators to wear all kinds of bizarre, hilarious, off-the-wall headpieces in their videos. Options include, but are not limited to, St. Patrick Day’s hats, lavish wigs, cats, dogs and other pets, lamps, potted plants, non-potted plants, and hats supporting their least favourite sports team.
As long as you keep the recipient at the heart of the celebration theme, they’re guaranteed to enjoy the tribute. Even if it’s to their horrid fedora collection.
Spark people’s creativity
Coming up with an original, creative, and thoughtful message is no easy feat. Especially for the special occasions when ‘Happy birthday, Dave’ or ‘Congrats, Amy!’ won’t quite cut the mustard. The solution? Give people a prompt.
For a colleague who was leaving, we created a celebration where the first person said ‘You are the most….’, leaving the next person to finish off their sentence. The second person then had to leave a cliff-hanger for the third one and so on. It’s a wonderful way of creating a video greeting card of a sort, uniting everyone around a single message, while also leaving enough freedom for each person’s messages.
Putting a little thought into the topic of the video celebration will go a long way. It doesn’t have to be absurdly elaborate or an Oscar-worthy script, as long as it’s curiously charming and celebratory to thrill the collaborators and to make the recipient smile.
Cater for the camera-shy
Not everyone likes having their face on camera. Even less so their voice. This can make the creation of a video celebration a struggle for everyone. Usually reminding the collaborators of how much the recipient will enjoy seeing their face on their special day does the trick.
Other times you have to resort to cheekier options, like offering people to take part in another way. They could create a ‘Love Actually’ inspired message, holding up posters with their message: ‘Congratulations’, ‘Happy birthday’, ‘You’re amazing’, or whatever else is on their heart.
They could record a video of their lovable pet
licking the screen greeting the recipient.
They could wear their favourite Halloween mask.
They could use one of the gazillion filters on social media apps to obscure their face as much as humanly possible before uploading the video.
They could use a hand puppet. Or their chins.
But if you run out of options, we also have a sneaky new feature allowing the collaborators to make their videos visible only to the recipient, encouraging even the most shy ones to record their greetings.
Remind people. Often.
Regardless of the theme or prompt you use, it will be for naught if the recipient’s favourite people are not there. And even the best prompt can fail when people get lost in the whirlwind of mundane responsibilities.
So to ensure that all the important people take part in the celebration, give them plenty of time to record their videos, then give them even plentier reminders to upload their messages.
A final call on the day before the occasion, we discovered, worked best with the majority of procrastinators, creative heads who needed extra time to think through their messages, and forgetful types.
Whatever you say, say it from the heart
Last, and above all, whatever you do with The Video of Everyone, it will make the recipient’s heart melt. Even if your celebration consists of 17 people saying ‘Happy birthday, Dave’, on his special day, Dave will sit down and gawk at every message of the people who thought of him and put in a little effort to be part of his digital fiesta.
Especially nowadays when people are living farther and farther away from their family and close ones, even the simplest message of loving attention will mean the world to the recipient. In fact, you don’t even need an occasion to have a marvelous celebration, as long as it’s from the heart.
The Video of Everyone helps you celebrate all those occasions, and more. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, major accomplishments, minor defeats, and everything in between.
Having a fun theme helps. So does getting tons of people to take part. But, above all, putting in a little bit of effort and a whole lot of love to surprise the most special ones in your life turns any occasion and every message into a splendid festivity. Even if it’s simply to celebrate the art of being human with a simple ‘You’re flippin’ amazing’.