Each year, Halloween marks a welcome shift to the holiday season. Doorstep Jack O’ Lanterns become leafy, autumnal arrangements, which turn into ribboned wreaths and illuminated, inflatable lawn decor. As the weather turns colder, we turn more and more to our friends and family for community, connection and celebration. This year, like most things, the holidays a little different, but it doesn’t mean we have to skip the soirees altogether. Below you will find a step by step guide to host the ultimate 420 Halloween Party.

1. Select Your Service

Choose which video chat app you’re going to use. There are benefits and drawbacks to each service. You can easily turn any group text message into a Facetime conference call- but Facetime is generally less table than Zoom. Zoom has a 40 minute limit and allows up to 25 to join a video call at once, but everyone needs to download the app. Google Hangouts is incredibly easy to use- but the host must have a Google account to initiate. If you’re not technology savvy and don’t have time to research, go with the option that you already use to connect with your friends and family regularly.

2. Curate the Guest List

This is not just ANY Halloween party. This is a cannabis-infused Halloween Party, so different rules apply. Some of your guests may be 420-friendly already and open about their usage- while others may be new to the scene and a little nervous about consuming cannabis with strangers. Our suggestion is to start with your A-Listers- the friends you really, really want to be there, who will go all-in on their costumes, unreservedly enjoy their cannabis, and help set the vibe high. Check their interest and availability and build your list from there. Be mindful of personalities that might clash and politics that might polarize. Cannabis is an excellent social lubricant but it can’t smooth over everything. Like any party, you want an interesting mix of diverse people. Want to really live on the edge? Invite a Wild Card: someone you've never gotten high with before. Who should you really leave off the list? Energy Vampires who dominate conversations- there’s no excusing yourself from them at this party!

3. Invite Time

Once you’ve chosen the date and time based on availability, send out a Calendar invite to the email addresses of all your intended guests. This ensures the time is blocked out on their schedule- and it may also give them an automatic notification beforehand. Make the invite short and sweet, but be sure to include a few notes about what’s expected (costumes, cannabis) and what’s not (the invite forwarded to friends of friends of friends). This is also a great time to tell them that their costumes will mostly be seen from the torso up- which will save them a lot of time getting ready!

4. Friendly Reminder

Reach out a week before the event to remind friends to get their costumes together and their cannabis delivered or picked up. If they’re going to be consuming edibles, you can send them to www.kivaconfections.com/find-us to find the closest Kiva-carrying dispensaries and delivery services. For edibles newbies who are unfamiliar with edibles longer and stronger effects, make sure to give them a quick rundown. Kiva’s top tips? Start with 5MG THC or less and remember that it may take up to two hours for the full effects to be felt. So for those guests who want to be flying high on their broomsticks when the party starts, they’ll need to consume their edibles well in advance.

5. Set the Mood

If you’re using Zoom, you can download a festive background or create a DIY Halloween scene around you with cotton ball spider webs, or homemade hanging ghosts. Sign into the app a little early to troubleshoot any issues with audio, video or wifi, and make sure you have everything you need. Smoking joints? Have the lighter and ashtray ready to go. Want to pre-game the gathering? Have non-infused snacks an arm’s reach away for when the munchies hit.

6. Go Time

Don’t expect a flood of people joining exactly at the start time- guests will likely trickle in for the first ten or fifteen minutes. Rather than awkwardly waiting for all to arrive, we suggest an easy, on-theme icebreaker for your cannabis-loving crowd. Ask everyone to share about their first, or most memorable, experience using cannabis. You should kick off the shares and make it a goal to help your guests feel comfortable sharing their own stories. Sharing these stories will put everyone on the same page- and will undoubtedly bring a few laughs.

7. Don’t Just Sit There

Don’t expect a memorable virtual hang to just happen- prepare for the fact you may have to coax it along at times. A costume contest is an easy filler. Give everyone a chance to vote in the chat text box, and consider providing a cannabis prize to the winner. When pauses abound and awkwardness sets in, turn to this trusty backup for many a party host: play games. From Jackbox Party Packs to Apples to Apples to trivia, the options for digital play abound. At the same time, if conversation is flowing and everyone seems to be having a great time, don’t feel the need to micromanage the hang.

8. Know When To Pull The Plug

Like in-person festivities, knowing exactly when to shut it down can be tricky. Unlike house parties where you can drop progressively less-subtle hints or start turning on bright lights, virtual events take less effort- but require more conviction. As the host, when you exit the video chat app, the chat may shut down altogether. Your best bet is to read the room- chances are it’s time to call it quits when a few guests have bowed out already.

We hope the guide above leaves you feeling confident and excited about the possibilities of your virtual 420 Halloween party. If any of you ghouls and gals do take the plunge, we invite you to take a picture of your screen (with your guests' permission of course) and tag @MadeByKiva on Instagram for your chance to be featured on our Stories.