Planning your company's virtual holiday party? Get ideas and event suggestions for the most successful work party of 2021 with our Holiday Planning Guide.
By the Offsyte Team, November 1, 2021
Wild turkeys on the loose, chestnuts roasting, sleigh bells ringing… wait, are the holidays are just around the corner again? Time to put together a guide for you to plan out the most wonderful (team-bonding) time of the year.
Holiday parties are a great outlet for corporate teams and organizations to bond and celebrate a year of achievements. The elements of a good in-person holiday party usually include: delicious food and drinks, festive holiday decorations, an interesting and spacious venue for socializing with co-workers, a band or a DJ to play the hits, and maybe a photo booth at work with props to take silly pictures that memorialize the night.
With so many companies either temporarily or permanently moving to a remote workforce, it not only makes holiday parties hard to plan, but also threatens to change some of those key elements. Event organizers will need to get creative.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about best practices for planning a virtual holiday party, discuss ways to creatively incorporate the best parts of a good in-person holiday party to ensure your organization gets the credit they deserve for a tough year well done, and take a look at some of the most popular virtual holiday party events on Offsyte for inspiration.
Learn how to make festive Holiday cocktails from a friendly, expert mixologist. Each guest will receive a kit of seasonal ingredients pre-shipped straight to their home/office (with or without alcohol).
Learn more about this Holiday Mixology Class.
Taste exquisite champagnes and/or wines from small family wineries, and learn to make some easy and delicious snacks.
Get more details on this Champagne, Wine, and Snacks Tasting Workshop.
Holiday entertaining is ever more delicious (and impressive) with the perfect cheeseboard. Learn how to make your own with all the ingredients shipped right to your door!
Get more details on organizing this Charcuterie Board Workshop with your team.
Take a virtual tour of Napa Valley with a guided flight of small production wines and hand-crafted artisan food pairings.
Learn more about organizing a Virtual Wine Tasting Tour for your team.
One of the best ways to celebrate the holidays is indulging in the perfect food, CHOCOLATE!!! Learn how to make caramel pecan turtles, almond bear paws, dipped strawberries and more. Add on a fudge box with a handwritten note for extra holiday cheer.
Learn to make chocolate with your team in this Chocolate Candy Making Cass.
Learn to make your own Instagram-worthy Pumpkin Spice Latte with expert barista duo Lorenzo and Julian.
Get toast in this simple yet interactive Pumpkin Spice Latte Workshop.
a) Snowscape & cocktail mixers
Paint a snowy landscape and make a cocktail or a mocktail with the artisan cocktail mixers we send you.
b) Ugly Sweater Paint & Macaroons
Wear your UGLY Christmas sweater while painting a winter landscape and savoring fancy macaroons.
Bring the spirit of the Holidays to the workplace with colorful origami Christmas trees, wreaths, and other seasonal decorations.
Learn how to make some Holiday Origami models with your team.
Create festive handmade greeting cards in watercolor, guided by our pro artists. We’ll send a kit with all the art supplies you need! Send a hand-painted card to cheer in the New Year 🥂
Liven up your workplace with succulent plant arrangements that look like Rudolph, Dasher, Prancer, or Vixen.
Learn more about this Holiday Succulent Planting Workshop.
Join us for a holiday special live-hosted trivia event, featuring questions inspired by the Winter Holidays including a specialty music round, a picture round, and tons of inspired general knowledge.
Play games like “Reindeer, Santa or Snowflake”, “December Holidays Around the World Trivia”, “Festive Fast Scavenger Hunt” and more! Ugly Christmas Sweaters and Hot Cocoa not required, but highly encouraged.
Details on organizing this Great Holiday Zoom Challenge Game.
Solve puzzles, share stories, participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange, and get merry with your teammates in this cheer-packed 60-minute holiday event.
Read more about Chasing Santa - A Holiday Party Experience.
Race against your teammates to solve clues and win holiday challenges while exploring famous cities & landmarks around the world. Who knows, you might even visit Santa’s workshop or spot a reindeer…
Learn more about this thrilling Holiday Edition Cyberspace Race adventure.
Join us for a fun-filled 60-minute live-hosted holiday team-building game night that will be the highlight of your Winter!
Navigate the North Pole in this comedic puzzle game, meeting characters and perusing holiday clues in search of an elf’s lost bells…
A wintery-themed escape room that is perfect for any virtual holiday party. Read more about this Shackleton Great Escape from Antarctica event.
Space Defenders is a collaborative, puzzle-based escape game. Teams must communicate and rely on each other to solve puzzles and share clues. It’s more than fun: it builds communication skills.
As part of an elite group of Space Defenders, your team uses ancient power crystals to keep the universe safe. However, an alien criminal calling herself Kryota stole these crystals and scattered them across a dozen planets. Now your crew must adventure into a myriad of terrains, uncover secrets, and reclaim these crystals to save the universe.
Your mission… should your team choose to accept it?
Surprise your team with a Holiday-themed magic and mind-reading experience.
Bring your Holiday cheer and get ready for some interactive magic and mentalism in this world-class performance.
Learn more about this Magic of the Holidays team event.
Take your team on the ultimate magic entertainment experience, featuring world-class sleight of hand, playful pick-pocketing, and thoughtful sleight of mind.
One more chance to wear your favorite ugly Christmas sweater!!! Play suspicious characters and sleuthing detectives at this holiday-themed murder mystery party.
Welcome to Murder by Magic with a Holiday twist – a unique, interactive, and surprising comedy magic show. Help solve a mystery with your team by participating in fun (and astonishing) demonstrations of magic and mind-reading.
Discover more top virtual Holiday events at:
Let’s break down the components of a virtual holiday party and tackle them one by one.
Perhaps not the most important part of the holiday party - but certainly the biggest constraint - is the duration of the event.
In-person holiday parties don’t require as much thought for longer durations. Typically, the caterers, DJ, etc. need to be booked for the proper times, and the guests will enjoy the party. Virtual holiday parties, on the other hand, require more thought around the sequencing of the events. After all, the guests are sitting in front of their computers, so the entertainment needs to be well-thought-out to keep everyone engaged throughout the event.
A common practice we’re seeing for virtual holiday parties is to chain different events together - especially parties that are scheduled for 2+ hours. For example, start out with a holiday cookie making class, then a mixology lesson for some fun, holiday-themed cocktails, and end with an escape room. This gives people a chance to network and mingle at the beginning, share a few laughs, and then dive into friendly competition at the end.
A good rule of thumb is to plan a different event for every hour and a half of the party in order to keep it engaging. Each event doesn’t need to be an hour and a half; we’ve seen teams that use the non-event time as a regular happy hour, and take turns DJ’ing on a collaborative playlist.
It is completely acceptable to have a holiday party without a holiday theme! Depending on when the holiday party is scheduled, it might be too early to start thinking about the holidays, or too late in the season to the point where all of the guests have holiday fatigue.
But if you are aiming for a holiday theme, here are a few ideas to keep it on brand:
No one wants to do the “typical” team offsite for their holiday party. It has to be fun and unique! This is where Offsyte can help out - with a wide selection of Holiday events, you can be sure to find something new and engaging.
If you normally do mixology classes, find an awesome holiday-themed escape room, and vice versa. Or you can take that mixology class to the next level by including delivery and even ship the guests some company-themed glasses for their cocktails. Which brings us to the next point…
A holiday party is a perfect excuse to send gifts or goodies to elevate the experience and commemorate the year. Some virtual events have a delivery component, which makes it way easier to plan for, and far more fun for guests to unwrap something special.
When planning a virtual holiday party, keep an eye out for events that have a delivery component, or include a gift - here’s a great example with an add-on gift box.
Paint holiday ornaments, canvas, or tote bags. Take it up a notch with a premium package with gift add-ons.
If the event doesn’t include a gift or delivery, you can always supplement it by purchasing holiday goodies and sending them over to arrive around the time of the party.
Last but not least, when planning your virtual holiday party, it is key to ensure that every guest feels included. This is even more critical for virtual events since all of the attention is focused in one place, as opposed to an in-person event where, for example, a guest who prefers non-alcoholic beverages could simply avoid the bar.
While there is no silver bullet for inclusion, here are some points to keep in mind when deciding on an event:
We hope you found these tips for planning the best virtual Holiday party useful. We’re here to make your corporate Holiday party planning easier, whether your team is in the U.S. or across the globe.
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