On and off over three decades, I’ve invited friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day by sharing their favorite thoughts on love. This year, I’d like to extend the invitation to anyone worldwide who’d like to explore how we can use social media to create a “Virtual Love Fest.” The format we’ve used offline in the past has been a big hit and content — words, images, and video — can easily be replicated online (as demonstrated five years ago). Guests are invited to:
1. Cut a heart out of paper and decorate it if they like;
2. Inscribe the words of their favorite quote on love, favorite love song, love poem, etc. on the heart; and
3. Pin the artwork on their heart or literally “wear their heart on their sleave.”
Throughout the party, guests mingle and read each other’s hearts, literally and metaphorically. Interesting, soulful conversation flows easily, as does laughter and flirtation. At some point later in the evening, guests are invited to read their quotes (optional) and explain why the words are significant to them. Others are free to comment and there are often collective sighs of appreciation!
In the past, the heartfelt sharing has been balanced by lots of laughter and merry-making around outdoor activities — snow tubing and broomstick ice hockey being the most memorable. One couple who met on the ice got engaged about a year later.
Guests, some of whom arrive without quotes, have also enjoyed the opportunity to create Valentine’s at the party with art supplies and collage materials. A small library of books on love and relationships is available, and guests are invited to flip through the books for ideas and inspiration.
I’d love to correspond with anyone, in the real estate industry or beyond, to (1) learn from Valentine’s Day themes or events you’ve hosted or attended in the past, (2) hear what you are planning for 2010, and (3) explore how we can collaborate using social media to extend this party format, online and off, to other parts of the country if not the world.
Inspired by the map on HopeForHaitiNow.org, my hope is that some techies will volunteer to help us create a live Twitter map which reflects, moment by moment, the universal experience and expression of love. Offline, I’d love to invite people to cohost local make your own Valentine’s Day parties in the three weeks before VDay2010; and hope local faith communities and campus ministries will get involved in this grassroots, community-building experiment.
February can be cold, bleak and sometimes lonely time; done right, Valentine’s Day parties can help friends, old and new, connect at level of depth and playfulness that is truly memorable. If you are interested, can you cut and paste this Tweet, and share it with friends on Facebook or Twitter? Thanks!
IDEA STARTER Planning Valentine events/themes? Create national network to cohost local #vday parties? See Proposal http://bit.ly/VDay2010 RT