Christmas is still a couple of months away, but it feels like it’s come early thanks to those eased restrictions which are just around the corner!
Whilst we’re hoping small gatherings and live events will be able to go ahead during the party season, the fact that many of our clients work with large national and global teams means that virtual Christmas parties are likely on the table for the majority of you.
So how do you make sure a virtual party is fun, engaging and worthwhile attending, but also different from all the rest of those online meetings your team has had throughout the year?
Here are six ideas for virtual Christmas parties that are actually good. And the time to start planning them is now.
But just before we get stuck in, you’ll want to make sure you engage a supplier with a sophisticated virtual platform that has all the capabilities to suit your party’s needs. Interactivity, two-way vision and audio, chat messaging and breakout rooms are just some of the features that will help your party achieve the engagement levels you’re after and keep the interest of your attendees who’ve missed out on connecting with one another in person.
Hire a professional mixologist or team-building company to run a Christmas-themed cocktail-making class.
They’ll deliver all the ingredients to your attendees ahead of time, giving them a creative activity to do whilst on the video call, and afterwards, have a selection of delicious homemade drinks to enjoy during the rest of the event which could involve breakout networking sessions, Christmas trivia or team awards.
Help your team get into the Christmas spirit by hosting a bunch of games during the event and award prizes that get donated to a charity your firm supports, or let the winners decide where their winning donation will go.
This will boost the feel-good vibes for your attendees and the event itself will contribute to a worthy cause.
A virtual Christmas party is still a Christmas party… and that means Secret Santa is essential! Use a platform like Elfster to organise a Secret Santa where everyone sends their gift ahead of time.
If you don’t want your employees to be out of pocket, you could give them EFTPOS gift cards to use for the purchase, or offer up a selection of items they can choose from to give to their recipient, purchased and posted by you.
Going virtual doesn’t mean you have to forgo quality entertainment! Hire a studio like ControlRoom and engage a live DJ, band or entertainment act to put on a great show.
Or, if you have any team members who fancy themselves as a musician, singer or performer, you could arrange to have them take the virtual stage from their homes or the nearest ControlRoom studio.
Showcase an end-of-year video
An end-of-year video is always popular with the team and is a great way to celebrate their achievements, encourage brand alignment and wrap up the year in an entertaining way.
Engage a professional video production team to help you come up with an awesome concept and produce the video. Restrictions permitting, you could also involve some of your employees by getting them to participate in a film shoot or asking them to submit home videos.
Virtual Christmas tours
If you have a little budget, you can take your team on a guided virtual tour of beautiful cities around the world which celebrate Christmas differently from Australians.
Tour a Christmas market in Berlin, visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York, check out the Santa Claus Village in Finland, or tour a lantern festival in the Philippines…
There are various local tour companies in a number of countries that have virtual offerings available during the pandemic and your local guide can share their favourite Christmas traditions whilst you sit back and tour the sights.
Some other ways to spice up your virtual Christmas party is to ask attendees to dress up, send them a package of goodies, or deliver them a Christmas feast.
Whatever you choose, make it fun and allow your team to let loose a little. After all, it’s been a tough year for everyone.