The year 2020 is full of milestones that a lot of us want to celebrate and remember, such as graduations and weddings. COVID 19 has made the focus for the year about social distancing to stay healthy. A sense of community and togetherness is critical to helping people get through this time.

The team was motivated to help people with this challenge. We talked to graduating students to learn what they would miss the most about not being to celebrate their graduation. The responses had an underlying theme of anxiety and sadness around not being able to share their achievements with their loved ones. We felt there must be a way to allow them to celebrate while socially distancing.

How our product helps:

At Festa, we believe there are ways to celebrate your special day with the people you care about most, even if your family and friends are spread out across the globe.

Through our vendors and partners, we’ll coordinate your virtual event, including providing physical elements that make you feel connected to the celebrations.

  • The party starts with an event e-vite being sent to guests. It can include a link to a graduation fund, wedding registry, or fundraising site.
  • Hosts can choose to provide their guests with party packages that include customizable merchandise, party favors and activities.
  • Food for snacks, dinner, and other food can be provided to guests through food delivery or catering services that we have tied up with or they can choose to provide their own vendor’s contacts.
  • Each event comes with an itinerary with online games, activities, or memory slideshows.
  • The party is hosted over a video call allowing everyone to come together in one place.

Hosts can pay for the party or invite guests to participate in paying for their own party package.

How we built it:

We have a symbiotic system with manufacturing and shipping outsourced. The assembly and consultation will be done by us in the beginning. We have a website where the hosts can browse our party packs and contact us to get started.

Challenges we ran into:

Team members do not have an engineering background so we weren’t able to build a platform specific to our project. Pricing has been challenging because of the variety of event types and components.

Accomplishments that we're proud of:

In one short week, we have been able to create a prototype of the website, create a buzz among our peers and accepted orders that are going to be fulfilled as soon as the end of May 2020.

What we learned:

There is no one size fits all when it comes to creating a successful online event. We also learned that video conferencing tools take time for people to learn how to maneuver. Both hosts and participants have a learning curve in order to partake in a successful virtual event. We hope to make the experience as smooth as possible for our guests through mock trials/run through before the actual event.

What's next for Festa Virtual Events:

Participating in the HACK [FOR] HOPE hackathon has been exciting. We are motivated to move forward with providing a product that allows people to stay connected and celebrate their special moments while physically separated. We will host wonderful parties that are as exciting as being together in-person. Festa will start with graduation parties and similar types of events and expand as we learn.

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