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Let's face facts. It has been a ridiculously difficult 12 months, and they have tested us all on so many levels. Feelings of social isolation and loneliness have gone through the roof, and then continued skywards, work-from-home orders have put paid to established processes and ways of getting the job done, with potentially detrimental impacts on everything from efficiency to confidence.
Businesses should be keen to offer staff some seasonal rewards to acknowledge their achievements in the face of some serious obstacles. But can you really put on a fun, memorable and meaningful Christmas event for work when we're still in the middle of a global pandemic?
Thankfully, at Eventcube, we believe the answer is a resounding yes, so deck the halls and prep the bells, be ready for a Christmas carol, here are twenty two virtual Christmas party ideas for work that are guaranteed to work. And if you missed our recent post on event planning tools that can make organising a breeze, we recommend taking a look at that, too.
It's time to make this year's virtual holiday party a success and get everyone clicking YES to your virtual Christmas party. Your virtual Christmas party planning starts here.
Our 22 Virtual Christmas Party Ideas For Remote Work are:
Home restaurant kits were one of the success stories of 2020 - top quality dishes prepared by professionals delivered to homes for heating and eating. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the New Roaring Twenties have also given rise to a boom in home cocktail-making kits, and these can be a great way to bring people together when we can't actually come together physically.
With a pre-paid link sent out to staff in advance so they can pick their chosen ingredients (don't forget to offer non-alcoholic option
s), it's a case of fixing the time for the video call and then handing over to a professional mixologist who can teach attendees how to fine-tune the perfect tipple. Interested? Have a look at Mixology, one of the leaders in the UK market.
Secret Santa is a usual feature on every list of virtual Christmas party ideas. It's a long-standing office tradition for good reasons since it's a fun and affordable way to ensure everyone gets a personal gift, helping cement bonds and letting people know how they are seen by colleagues.
The good news is, just because you're all working remotely this covert exchange of gestures doesn't have to be put on hold.
The likes of Elfster and DrawNames can make the entire process smooth, quick and painless, allowing managers to set the budget and individual staff members to choose a wish list of possible gifts for others to give them.
The added bonus here is that by reading through those lists everyone will get to know each other even better, which could be a particularly huge help for firms that have taken on new starters over the course of this year.
OK, so this is a bit like The Cocktail-making party, only instead of booze think stuff like gingerbread houses, holly and ivy wreaths, Christmas decorations and nativity scenes. In fact, if you can put an "art and craft" label on it, and people can feasibly make the item in their living room, you can pick pretty much anything for the focal point here.
You'll need to come up with a simple and cheap kit containing everything people need to make whatever the item is, get these out to everyone in advance of the chosen date, and then set up a video conference with one lead host who can talk everyone else through a step-by-step guide to completing the task.
Obby.co.uk has a number of “at-home-learning” kits. Just bulk order them and send them out to your staff. The teacher will take the session live on Zoom. Simple. A good seasonal example is the at home wreath making kit session from Floral Merchant London.
For the best results, why not come up with competition categories that everyone can vote in at the end of the event, with prizes for each individual victor.
The explosion in Christmas Markets over the past couple of decades hasn't passed anyone by unnoticed. Themed on the traditional German icons, we've seen these pop up everywhere from the UK to Birmingham, Alabama.
While many have understandably been cancelled this winter due to fears arising from the pandemic, many are still going ahead and can make a great real-world option.
But if you're struggling to find one nearby don't worry too much. Eventcube has heard that several firms are planning to run their own mini-markets in the company car park, and this doesn't have to be quite the monumental task it first sounds like.
Nobody is expecting all the bells and whistles, just a little effort to brighten up what could otherwise be an incredibly dreary December. We'd recommend a simple set of COVID-19 -secure stalls offering homemade food and drinks like mince pies and mulled wine.
The jury is out on whether the trend for drive-in music events is a good thing or one of the most ridiculous ideas for putting on parties during the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the drive-in concept doesn't start and stop with Spotify chart-topping EDM stars from the United States. Drive-in cinema film screenings are the oldest example of drive-in entertainment, and you can also create your own version of this. It will surely make your Virtual Christmas Party one to remember.
With a couple of relatively basic bits of kit, which you can hire from professional companies, you can set up a small film night of your own to give people a reason to come together for a shared experience.
Those who want to take the idea further should consider options for digitally connecting the cars, or at least the members of staff in them, with a video link to allow people to talk to one another during the show, without having to leave their seat. Top marks for any of the following hot flick picks: Bad Santa, Elf, Scrooged, Die Hard, It's A Wonderful Life.
Again, this isn't so much a new idea as it is something that we need to think a bit differently about because of the dreaded COVID-19 situation. Company Christmas events have long played with corporate stereotypes by preparing fun and personal award categories that act as a great way of showing some real love for those who keep the wheels turning every day.
Due to the ongoing restrictions, you may need to run your award ceremony online, opening up a world of possibilities in terms of technological trickery to bring the evening to life.
It's crucial to remember that these only really do what they are supposed to if everyone gets to walk away with a trophy, so if you're firm is made up of more than 20 or so staff members it might be better to consider a different option, or at least be aware of how repetitive this could be and think of a few ways to vary and switch-up proceedings.
Video games have enjoyed a boom year in 2020 for obvious reasons, and one of the most visible trends in the gaming world has been the explosion in people watching other people play through titles, or livestream themselves to show off their joypad prowess. Meanwhile, mobile games are continuing to grow in popularity, and there are endless ways to network and play against online contacts. It's a safe idea when you need to organise a virtual Christmas party on short notice.
So why not show just how on-point you are by embracing this idea for the office Christmas event? Simply select one of the many fun holiday party games and then organise how the competition will work based on what the games involve.
Next,coordinate a live-streamed contest where employees can watch one another going head-to-head, no matter where they are logging in from. Have a read of our blog on 11 proven virtual event and live streaming tips if you're unsure of how to pull this one-off.
And it does not have to be only a video game. Here's a perfect example of something old school that still works like a charm. "The most likely to" is one of the many seasonal superlative holiday party games. It requires remote coworkers to recognise which teammate is most likely to perform in a specific way. For example, who is most likely to:
The employee who gets "mentioned" the most wins. You can keep track of all your winners and decide on a king or queen. This fun game still remains one of the more creative virtual Christmas party ideas on the list. It's a tremendous virtual team-building exercise as well.
Who doesn't like donning a costume, ideally homemade, and getting silly with their colleagues? Fancy dress can be a great way to lighten the mood and break the ice, as obviously everyone is quite literally wearing a talking point. It goes without saying this can be done either in a face-to-face situation (with appropriate social distancing this year) or in the virtual world.
There are tons of ways to put unique twists on this one, too. Specifying an overarching theme is the most obvious, and that could work really well when combined with another of our virtual Christmas party ideas for work, say the Christmas movie night or cocktail party.
You could also consider running virtual quizzes wherein people have to guess who is impersonating who, adding an air of mystery to proceedings and encouraging employees to think well beyond the box. You can even hire a quizmaster from companies like Quiz Quiz Quiz.
Most of us were sick to the back teeth of Zoom quizzes by about Week 4 of Lockdown 1.0, meaning these days the very mention of that phrase risks triggering your employees with suppressed memories of hours spent watching family members bickering resurfacing from the deepest recesses of their minds. Taking that into consideration, we recommend giving these a wide berth.
But that doesn't mean the basic principle can't be adapted. One of the most fun holiday party games we have played in this least-fun-of-years involved treasure hunting objects around the house to fit simple, broad descriptions or categories, and then having a vote on whose interpretation was the most accurate, smile inducing or innovative. Like our virtual secret santa idea, this can really help staff get to know each other better, and in our opinion that can only ever be a good thing.
Giving back to the community can be an incredible way to bring people together. Giving during your virtual holiday party will make you feel warm and fuzzy on top of being fulfilled, which is something everyone wants at this time.
Hosting an online event that encourages philanthropy will not only be fun with your colleagues; you can raise money too. A virtual casino night is a great way to do both - all proceeds go towards the charity of choice while having some good old Christmas gambling thrown in.
Play some of your favourite Christmas party games for prizes that go directly to your chosen cause. You could offer guests an opportunity to have access only by donating money.
Setting up a digital tip jar for donations is also a great idea. This year, you can also get your team in the spirit of giving by paying for teammates to complete holiday-themed dares, and then donating all proceeds from this activity towards charity!
Give them something more than just a virtual office Christmas party. Get creative by assigning remote workers into small teams and have each one come up with their own attack on Christmas trivia questions that cover popular movies or holiday songs associated with different traditions around the world.
Clearly, it is a great way to make any online event more enjoyable. Just prepare questions for each person and split them up into teams so that there's plenty of competition going around.
Immediately after the round, collect teams' answers in a private online chat. Keep score and at the end of each round, announce who won. Team trivia is one of the best virtual Christmas party ideas to get competitive while having your team combine collective knowledge (and earn bragging rights.)
You can't go wrong with this idea for a traditional Christmas party. All your guests will have to do is decorate their cookies, and you're all set.
You can find a selection of online cookery decorating over on Simply Recipes Best Online Cookie Decorating Classes blog post. Be quick though - these group sessions are selling like hotcakes (literally)!
Guests are sure not disappointed even if they don't know how—these easy treats only take minutes before being enjoyed by everyone at home together as well as those who attend individually.
The best part—you can use the cookie decorating kits to design the goodies together and compare results. Or, let each teammate upload them into one photo album or social media group where everyone votes on which ones they like better. You can even announce winners during your video call with a live poll voting system, so all participants will know who won at once.
This one is perfect for remote employees. You could send your virtual holiday party guests on a quest, create a group chat and open it up with challenges like finding odd or difficult items to complete this fun activity together.
You can be as simple or complicated as you want, making it a popular item in our list of virtual Christmas party ideas. An example could be about finding the biggest Christmas tree in town.
Have your Christmas party guests post pictures in the chat as they check each item off the list. Then, discuss everyone's favourite images in your video call.
A scavenger hunt is always an easy icebreaker that will get everyone talking, and for distributed teams, it offers a glimpse into everyone's hometowns.
The team members can also scour the house for seasonal clues, like when your pet is dressed in Christmas clothes or how a rich person celebrates Christmas. People could share one Family photo that went wrong this year.
There are so many possible prompts that you can hunt. To make it fun, you could turn the hunt into a race with teams or award points based on originality and absurdity.
Christmas looks different in every city. It does. While some build snowmen, others hang lights on palm trees. You can celebrate the wonderful way by embracing all of your team members' hometown traditions with virtual tours of their homes.
It would also be amazing to direct some of your team members in gathering photos and videos that document how residents enjoy these events. Ask them to prepare a short video of their city and take the rest of the group on an "in-depth" tour. It's like taking a vacation without the hassle of going through security and being stuck in traffic.
One of the best things about virtual celebration events, in general, is that it gives you access to experiences that would otherwise be out-of-reach.
We bring you the perfect virtual Christmas party gift game. Most of us love snooping for presents and trying to guess what's inside based on its size, shape. You can harness this curiosity and make it a fun virtual holiday party activity. Before your party, ask each teammate to wrap and photograph an object. Then ask each player to take photos of their unwrapped presents.
Take several pictures with a bit of wrapping paper removed each time. Others can guess the object before all the paper is gone. If someone guesses correctly, then they get something from your treasure trove.
It's always exciting when people finally find out what we're hiding - plus, there are points awarded if their team solves the mystery quicker (points don't matter as much here). There are not many virtual Christmas party games that are as relaxing as this one.
What makes a great virtual Christmas party? Taking part and re-living the moments that make up who we are as individuals and families is a fun activity. Sharing photos that tell a story is an easy way to make your virtual Christmas party feel warm and inviting. Team members could request holiday pictures with their favourite Christmas memories.
Every picture tells a story, and it's important to know the one behind the favourite photo, making it a heartwarming activity for any virtual event this festive season. It would be great to know the most famous Christmas story of anyone's family.
The virtual holiday party will be a blast with a paint-n-sip virtual event. Choose your painting, provide instructions for supplies needed and then watch as other participants can follow along. It's easy because all you have to do is send them the required list of items or include step-by-step videos, so they know how it's done.
You get to connect with coworkers online, paint and drink wine together. Whether it's wine, beer, or cocktails- any good beverage will make your virtual paint and sip more enjoyable. In fact, a nice glass of your favourite drink is a key ingredient of any memorable virtual Christmas party.
Events company Merriment Atelier offer a paint and sip party planner kit that comes bundled with free pre-recorded video content to help you get started. Your team will be painting and sipping in a carefree way in no time.
Escape rooms are a popular choice since the concept has successfully moved online, making it one of the most practical virtual Christmas party ideas. The general premise is that all teammates are locked inside a room. There's only an hour total time given to complete all puzzles within it - which will allow for successful "escape." Teamwork also comes into play here, with everyone being on their toes at every turn.
Virtual Escape Room is a fun way to combine teamwork, problem-solving skills, and creativity. It makes the perfect addition to your team's virtual holiday party.
Your employees are more than the skills you see them use in your workplace. A virtual Christmas event can be a great way to showcase their other gifts while also connecting on an individual level.
Treat yourself to an evening of entertainment as you enjoy the various talents on show, including holiday songs and dances. You can even get involved by voting for your favourites or entering a competition.
Always choose a movie suited for a virtual holiday party and gather around and watch a movie with your friends! There is one simple twist, though.
Get everyone involved with an easy-drinking game. Pick some holiday-related words and, whenever they're used, take a drink. Also, let your teammates share what they are munching on (Christmas cookies, popcorn, or candy canes, e.g.)
After everything that's happened over the past couple of years, we all need something to make us laugh. Luckily for your employees, you can send them a private link that will allow them access and connect via secure video chat like never before-no matter where they live.
Escape Team Events is a company specialising in creating immersive events where you can enjoy several different comedians throughout the evening. You can expect to have a great time with plenty of laughs and make your virtual holiday party a big success.
If you've been looking for a way to give your team a laugh they deserve and provide income to talented comedians, then virtual comedy night is exactly what you need. Not only does it allow comics who are struggling with making ends meet an opportunity; but it also gives back in two ways: humour provides relief from stress which boosts our immune system—and spending money helps support those that have found themselves without enough work.
Whatever you need to organise a memorable virtual Christmas party, your friendly local business can come and deliver on every aspect. So get in touch with that local pub or bar or a restaurant. Call and ask them if they can help with your virtual holiday party. It's a noble cause that is a win-win for everyone involved.
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