Holiday party going virtual again this year? For so many teams working remotely across the globe, maintaining engagement and connection has been extremely difficult. The holidays are no exception. Planning a virtual event that people actually want to go to is tricky, so we compiled a list of tips and tricks to get your team excited to share some virtual cheer.
Create A Formal Invitation
While it can be easy to stick to the usual calendar invite for virtual events, a simple yet formal invitation can help your holiday party stand out before it even starts. Canva has some beautiful templates that will make it easy to create your e-vite this year.
Choose Your Platform
Consider using a different platform than the one you typically use for work. Zoom or Google Hangouts are great, but mixing it up can create a whole new feel for your holiday party and entice your team to join. Vimeo, for example, helps you create an on-brand, highly-interactive experience to make your virtual event almost as good as being there in person.
Send Your Team Something
Gifting ahead of a virtual event has the ability to promote attendance and engagement while spreading gratitude amongst your team. There are so many virtual gifting options available now, you don’t need to settle for the usual holiday candies or fruit in a box. This is a good opportunity to look at supporting a local business that can put together a curated box of goods to ship to each team member. Spork Bytes has a brand new offering called Recipe Kits. We worked with our restaurant partners and a selection of local makers to curate a package of quality goods and a custom recipe that your crew can make at home. Ask your Spork Bytes rep or email us for more info! And if all else fails, everyone loves a good gift card as long as you make sure it’s something each person will actually use.
Plan Some Entertainment
This one’s a biggie. No one wants to join the virtual holiday party just to sit around and small talk. Consider hiring someone outside of the company to provide some entertainment. Based in Portland, Peachy Springs hosts a virtual drag bingo guaranteed to get your team excited. Just make sure she knows a bit about your crowd and knows when to keep things Safe For Work (SFW). A motivational speaker, live musician, or team trivia are other ways to get people excited to attend and make sure they’re engaged during the event. If you have a small team, letting everyone present for 5-10 minutes on any work-safe topic of their choice is a fun way to get everyone involved.
Give Everyone A Task Before The Event
You know how before Thanksgiving dinner everyone pops into the kitchen to ask the cooks how they can help? People want to feel involved and a virtual event is no exception. Ask everyone to craft a drink of choice to enjoy at the party and be ready to explain it! Tell them to find one item in their house they are proud of and create a virtual show-and-tell. Even small tasks like these will help people feel involved and engaged. Don’t forget to delegate planning tasks to others on your team! Delegation is the ultimate tool for engagement and participation.
Give It A Fun Theme
Event themes are best displayed through decorations and attire. Physically decorate your space behind you or create a custom virtual background. Ask some team members to do the same! The classic holiday party dress code is Ugly Christmas Sweaters, but pick a theme that you think would vibe the most with your group. Fancy on top, cozy on the bottom could be a fun way to mix things up.
Create A Playlist
Nothing says “it’s time to party” more than a carefully crafted custom playlist. You know your team better than anyone, so the content is your call, but Spotify makes it easy to create a custom playlist and even open it up to let others add to it as well. As always, make sure it’s SFW before you post it. Time to get movin’ and a groovin.’
Give People A Reason To Come
While many people will be excited for the holiday party this year, some need that extra little reason to be there. Recognition and/or awards are a great way to show some love towards the end of the year and if someone knows they’re getting a shoutout, they’ll be there. Contests or raffles for legit prizes are another good reason to show up.
Make Sure It’s All SFW
Non-denominational holiday party themes are the safest way to go now. Make sure everyone feels comfortable and welcome. It’s important to set up an environment where people can let loose, but make sure to set some guidelines or rein people in before things get NSFW.
Keep It Short and Sweet
You’re putting a lot of time and effort into planning this event, so it’s obviously important to you that people attend. But don’t forget that to most of your team, this might still feel like work. Doing some of the things listed above will help it feel different, but it’s important to keep the “required” part of the event short and sweet. Set an end point where people can leave if they want or stay a little longer and mingle. Manage your expectations here and don’t forget that at the end of the day, this is a work event.
Don’t forget to capture a screenshot or recording of your event to relive the memories later!
We hope you have a fantastic virtual holiday party! The point of this is to have fun and connect with your team, so don’t forget to enjoy yourself. If there is anything we can do to help make your event successful, don’t hesitate to reach out!
The Spork Bytes Team
See more of our blog
10 Portland Gift Ideas for the Ultimate Foodie
Need a gift for the foodie in your life? You’re in luck. Portland is one of the best places in the country for finding food and beverage related gifts...
Boxed Meal Options from Spork Bytes
Planning a return to the office? Limit your team's exposure with Spork Bytes’ boxed meal delivery option. More than 30 different restaurants to choose...
Spork Bytes and COVID-19
The Spork Bytes team has made it a focus to develop new and improved ways to bring Portland’s best restaurants to you and your team in the safest way ...