’Tis the season for moving holiday parties online or just cancelling it, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some HR professionals who have the pulse of their company and, has likely made the decision is to go ahead — with a virtual holiday party to show appreciation to your employees after what we’ve all had to endured this year.
If your company is looking for some tips on how to pull off a virtual office holiday during the current pandemic here is an article titled, 5 Creative Ways to Host an Amazing Office Holiday Party on Zoom by Dave Kerpen.
1. Use Cameo for personalized shout-outs and live celebrity entertainment-Cameo is a tool that allows people to book shout-outs from celebrities, ranging from A-list actors like Mandy Moore to rock stars to reality TV has-beens. Is your team based in one city and into sports? Book a local popular professional athlete. Is your team primarily older? Book a TV star from a classic show like The Brady Brunch. Cameo even has a reality-TV star turned author and entrepreneur. And you can now book live appearances from your favorite celebrities–so they can stop by during your holiday party to say hi. There’s truly something for everyone.
2. Host a magic act or improv comedy troupe.
Zoom is tough for “typical” party entertainment like bands and DJ’s, because people probably aren’t going to want to dance alone at home. But entertainment such as magicians and improv comedy can work really well in a virtual setting, since they’re interactive at their core. Guests won’t just be entertained–they’ll be part of the entertainment! Pro-tip: Give the magician or comedians you book insider info prior to the event to make their acts even funnier.
3. Host a game show, with prizes!
Bring in an MC (or handpick the most outgoing, charismatic person at your office to MC) for your own version of a game show. You can do Family Feud with two teams competing, Kahoot with everyone answering trivia questions, or your own version of The Newlywed Game, where contestants go to a breakout room to try to predict what their colleagues will say when asked predetermined questions. With prizes for winning contestants and a “host” with a big personality, a game show can be a huge hit.
4. Use breakout rooms smartly.
At your offline holiday parties of old, 50 people didn’t gather together to have one conversation so they shouldn’t for your online holiday party, either. Instead, use Zoom’s Breakout Rooms feature to set up groups of 10 to 15 people per “room.” One room might be the ugly sweater contest while another is Christmas carol karaoke, a third is a craft activity, a fourth is your Secret Santa gift exchange, and a fifth is casual conversation. Then, rotate rooms every 15 minutes. A company with 200 employees can still have everyone engaged at once in 20 different Zoom breakout rooms!
5. Try a wine or cocktail tasting.
Shipping alcohol across state lines is next to impossible, but if your employees are mostly based in one state, you can send people wine or scotch samples and host a tasting during your party. You can even have an expert on hand to walk everyone through the story behind each wine. The nice thing is, food and beverage is usually a huge expense for offline holiday parties, so this can be done virtually and still save money.
Finally, be mindful that your remote employees have family members or roommates in the same or sometimes worst circumstances during the pandemic and as a result, may find it hard— that their significant other, has to be on another virtual call after hours.
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