Is your office holiday party the latest victim of 2020? You can still party — just not in person. Throwing a virtual holiday bash might not seem very different from business as usual, but it doesn’t have to be a Zoom meeting with party hats. Read on for some virtual holiday party tips that will bring your employees together during this most unusual festive season.

Pick a Theme

If you’re using Zoom, you know backgrounds are an easy way to liven up any livestream. While large gatherings just won’t work on Zoom—read on for suggestions on a true office party environment—small teams or groups can have a good time with a themed zoom party. Just pick your theme, whether it’s Merry Ole England or Hawaiian holiday, and send out invitations featuring suggestions for themed backgrounds, attire, food and beverage, and music.

Cater with Gift Cards

If the buffet table is a favorite feature at your party, consider catering to your remote employees with a gift card or a food delivery kit. Going with a theme? Send out snack boxes or recommendations for food that fits the party’s atmosphere. Whether it’s a gift card or a care package, party food is always an office party highlight, so be sure to offer a little something to snack on.

Collaborate on the Soundtrack

You can build a shared playlist using a music app like Spotify — everyone can add music, and queue it up at the same time. This works great for themed parties. If you’re not so sure about everyone’s choices, have them send one person their song choices, and let that person moderate the selections into an office-approved playlist.

Gift Swaps

Home delivery options make gift swaps easier than ever, so offices which usually have a big gift-opening ceremony can still do the honors online. For big groups, this is a nice way to break out into individual teams—otherwise, you’ll be opening presents all night!

Include A Personal Message from Management

Employees work better under managers who appreciate them. Take a moment during the party for your leadership team to express real gratitude for the resilience and hard work employees have shown throughout this difficult time, and ask that all managers take a moment to privately express their gratitude to their teams. A key point of a holiday party has always been to show thanks for the employees’ hard work — don’t let that opportunity slip by just because the party has gone virtual.

Be Open About Attendance Expectations

No one attends a holiday party because it’s mandatory — they show up to talk with friends or do a little networking. When inviting employees to a virtual party, flexibility should be part of the messaging. Casual statements like “Drop by during this time” keep employees from feeling they’re expected to remain in the party for the entire window.

Keep Things Moving

If your party involves a large group or you have an agenda, a host who can keep things moving is a must. Just attempting to get everyone moving through one simple activity, like a trivia game or a gift swap, needs an emcee to herd your party cats into formation.

Virtual holiday parties are a mainstay of many remote-only businesses already, so there’s no reason to believe that just because your workers are at home, you can’t have some fun socializing this season! Get the word out and party on using our easy communication tools, part of the benefits administration solution from WBD. Click here to learn more.