Company holiday parties are a great way for employers to give back to employees, and they can be great for morale and strengthening bonds between coworkers. But can a virtual party be just as effective as an in-person one? The answer is yes.
There are lots of good reasons to throw a virtual party – whether to be inclusive of team members in different locations, prioritize COVID safety, keep costs down, or all three. Here are a few ways you can make this year’s virtual holiday party the best yet.
1. Plan activities that foster engagement
At a typical party, you might get your attendees together with food, some good wine, a band or great playlist, appropriate seasonal decorations, and let people mingle. But a virtual party requires a little more planning and structure to foster interaction.
Design fun activities that encourage people to interact. Some ideas include:
- Mail a recipe for a fun cocktail or appetizer and have everyone make theirs together on the day of the party.
- Hold a virtual ugly sweater or holiday-themed costume challenge and offer the winner a prize at the end of the night.
- Adapt in-person games like charades, trivia, or Pictionary to an online setting.
2. Encourage small group mingling
People automatically break into small groups and mingle at in-person holiday events. That’s hard to do in a virtual setting, but not impossible. You just have to encourage it! Set up breakout rooms in Zoom with small groups, randomly assigned. Provide conversational prompts to get the conversation going. Mix and match the groups periodically and plan it so people get to know others outside their department as well as those on their own team.
3. Set a time limit
People have limited attention spans these days, especially for online meetings. Set a time limit that will ensure the evening ends before people get bored or distracted. Always end things on a high note.
4. Hire a professional to host or emcee
It’s essential to have one person manage the events at a virtual party. A professional host can help set the tone, keep things running smoothly and according to schedule, provide conversation starters, and keep the interaction going.
5. Include surprises in the mail
Everyone loves to receive gifts. You can make things special for your employees by mailing everyone a gift to be opened on the day of the party, or perhaps mailing materials for a group activity, such as building gingerbread houses or preparing a themed cocktail together.
Of course, a gift card to a popular local or online store can also be vastly appreciated.
Virtual holiday events need a little more structure to encourage interaction and engagement, but with planned activities, a professional host to keep things moving, small-group breakout rooms with interesting conversational prompts, and a limited run-time, you should be able to create a virtual holiday party that’s highly memorable!
Call (707) 429-0877 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This blog was originally posted by Spark Online Events, a division of Direct Connection.