6 Tips for Hosting Virtual Office Holiday Parties That Don't Suck
Let’s be honest: virtual office parties, including holiday parties, are not the same as physical, in-person parties. On the up side, virtual parties can be more inclusive of a distributed team, easy to attend, and can happen more often than typical office parties. The cons are that they require a different level of coordination, you may incur technical difficulties, and it doesn’t feel the “same” as being together in person. Companies and executives who scrambled to host makeshift virtual parties in 2020 may feel wary of the idea of online parties versus in-person events.
Here are some tips if you don’t want to repeat an unsuccessful virtual party experience from years before.
- Plan a flexible schedule to accommodate time zone differences, technical difficulties, and ease of movement throughout the party. One of the most important factors to consider when planning a virtual party is being inclusive to different time zones. If you are a national or global organization with employees in multiple locations, plan the party for a time when everyone can leave early if they want or arrive late if they want. You should also have a backup plan for any activities that rely on programs you access online. For instance, if you planned a virtual trivia game, make sure everyone has a physical game on hand as a backup.
- Set up a virtual “lobby” for party guests. Party guests will likely need some direction getting to the right place, especially if you have planned a wide variety of games and activities. Make sure there is someone around to direct them to the right place when they log in. The human connection of a greeter goes a long way to starting the party with some holiday spirit.
- Bring in senior leadership to address party guests. Executives and/or senior leadership should be invited to attend the holiday party, and senior leadership should have someone speak on the achievements of the past year or a year-end review of the company to kick things off. This will help employees to feel valued, not only during the party but throughout the year.
- Don’t force a hard timeline. Rather than creating a timed schedule of activities, set up various team “rooms” where your teams can interact however they want. Offer a few recommended activities for the teams to do, but allow them to decide if they want to enforce it. Just the opportunity to hang out without the pressure of work is usually enough for most virtual party guests. And with LexGo, we make having a wide variety of rooms especially easy!
- Coordinate your party food deliveries as a team. Whether you’re covering the cost of food or not, refreshments are a vital component of any office party. Choose a food delivery service and have your employees schedule their lunch or party treats to arrive at the same time wherever they are. This will allow you to all eat together and choose whatever you want based on dietary needs and other factors.
- Plan activities that work over the distance. Set up a virtual room for each activity and allow party guests to move around freely to participate. Here are some suggestions for virtual party rooms & activities: • Background Decorating Contest • Recipe Sharing Room • Holiday Decor Room • Costume Contest • Pet Pic Contest • Childhood Photo Contest
Of course, LexGo makes hosting virtual parties (and your everyday work life) a breeze! Contact us today to learn more about our successful online holiday party strategy.