Woman enjoying a work holiday party on video conference

Tips for a Great Virtual Office Party

The COVID-19 pandemic has made digital events the new normal. From livestreamed weddings, virtual meetings at work and hangouts with friends, it seems everything is now happening online. Office holiday parties are a tradition for many at work, but a traditional event is probably not an option this year. If you want to keep the tradition alive while staying safe and adhering to CDC guidelinesfollow these tips to throw a successful office party. 

There is more preparation you will need to do beyond connecting your device to a stable internet connection. There are only a few video chat platforms that offer meetings for large groups. Zoom, Skype and Google Meets are the most utilized, and your colleagues will likely have access to them. Before planning the meeting, remember to check the maximum number of participants that these platforms allow as well as the duration of a single meeting. 

Here are some things to focus on when planning a virtual office party: 

Plan ahead for technical problems. 

Let’s face it. Technology is not always easy to use. The last thing you would want for an office party is for technical glitches to ruin the fun. To help avoid this, check your internet connection, because it is the most important thing to keep the party going. Check other connected devices, such as speakers and microphones, and ask the attendees to do the same with their equipment as well. 

Send invites and reminders. 

Sending invites to a virtual party is identical to sending an invite for an in-person meeting. Create your invites, make them attractive and include the necessary details. When the invites are completed, share them on all platforms that your colleagues use. This could include email, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype for Business and others. Sending the invites to every platform will make sure that nobody misses the party. 

Plan fun activities, and create a theme. 

To keep the event entertaining for all attendees, start the session with a bit of ice breaking. Prepare a list of questions for small talk, favorite types of music or binge-worthy television shows. Themes may include a dress code, such as everyone wearing holiday sweaters or Hawaiian shirtsthe same kind of drink or a throwback to an 80s night, among others. 

Fun games to play include: 

  • Office Bingo that utilizes company jokes 
  • Trivia 
  • Charades 
  • Talent show featuring useless skills 

Consider this as a team-building exercise, as it builds relationships, creates healthy bonds and strengthens work relationships. If you have been missing the fun times with colleagues, this is the perfect opportunity to catch up, unwind and have some fun. 

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Photo credit: Anastasiia Stiahailo

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