We may’ve spent much of 2020 physically separated, but our teams have worked harder than ever to keep up with the rapid changes this year has demanded. So, instead of passing on the holiday celebrations that everyone loves, here are 10 creative ideas for virtual (but still fun) staff holiday gatherings!
1. Virtual Wine Tasting
It may not be the first time we’ve had a drink with coworkers on Zoom, but this time it’s official.
Several wineries have now taken their tasting experiences virtual, offering a more structured, expert-led take on the virtual drinking party. Check out a few suggested wineries hosting these events. Virtual coffee tastings are also available if that’s more your team’s speed.
2. Ugly Sweater Party 2.0
It’s never going away! The ugly sweater party can be taken online and stepped up a notch with home lunch delivery to each employee. Make it a contest and open voting on the ugliest sweater through a simple Survey Monkey form. At the end, announce a winner and award a prize, such as a virtual gift card. Encourage family participation, since they might be home too!
Related Article: 11 Gift Ideas to Make Your Staff Feel Appreciated This Year
3. Virtual White Elephant
Yes, it can be done virtually! In fact, here’s a guide, complete with PowerPoint templates to help. It offers suggestions for both a “steal-friendly” and a traditional “steal” party. Gifts can be shipped at the conclusion of the game. Remember to send a snack basket to employees, so everyone is in the party spirit.
4. Team Cooking Class
Invite team members and their families to participate in a virtual cooking class. At the end, everyone can have a delicious home-cooked meal together. Make it extra special with a wine basket or dessert delivery.
5. Virtual Yearbook Party
There’s no way around it—2020 has been a rough year. Prepare for a “virtual yearbook party” by asking employees to share their 2020 photos. Then, create a slideshow that represents the team’s year. Plan a meal delivery for each employee that they can enjoy during the premiere of the 2020 yearbook.
6. Host Entertainment
Host a virtual escape room, or hire a comedian or magician to entertain the team. Send a creative, theme-related gift to employees before the event.
7. Virtual Holiday Games
Prepare a few virtual holiday-themed games. Here are a few ideas:
- The Naughty List. It’s #4 on this list from teambuilding.com.
- Holiday Movie Trivia. Here’s some help getting started.
- Holiday Mad Libs
8. Virtual Award Party
Host an award ceremony showcasing both serious and humorous awards. Add some dazzle by making it a black-tie event, complete with award ceremony music. This year has surely provided plenty of material for creative award categories, but here are few ideas to get you started:
- Baseball Cap on a Zoom: Who Wore it Best
- Best Virtual Team Player
- Best Sidekick: Awarded to the Family Member or Pet with the Most Zoom Appearances
9. Host a Virtual Sip and Paint
Watch a sip and paint tutorial as a team, or hire an artist to guide your team through a painting session. Send a bottle of wine to each team member to enjoy during the class.
10. Your Traditional Party, But Virtual
Things have changed in 2020, but if your traditional staff holiday party is too good to be reinvented, try it virtually! It may require a bit more preplanning than the holiday parties of yore, but it’s not impossible. Just make sure employees have everything they’ll need at home to partake in the festivities. For example, if you’re sticking with a photo booth, you’ll want to send props to everyone, so they can strike a pose in the “virtual photobooth.” Pro tip: Create “rooms” where employees can go to have smaller group conversations, you know…like staff holiday parties irl (in real life).