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Due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions, the classic Christmas party has fallen flat. For many employees this is quite disappointing: Many were looking forward to socializing at a seasonal company event. There are alternatives however, virtual Christmas parties can also be a fun way to strengthen team spirit. Ultimately, all of this contributes to greater loyalty to the company. This article focuses on six ideas on how to make your virtual celebrations via video conferencing a success.
As social distancing continues through the end of this year, planning a celebration with your company team, or even the whole company, seems impossible. However, in the digital age that doesn’t mean that there can’t be a way to hold a Christmas event. A virtual Christmas party is the perfect way to continue the festivities. To create a virtual party that is well received by your employees, they should involve in the planning as much as possible.
Meeting fatigue: How do you motivate your employees with a virtual Christmas party?
The desire for virtual exchange is shrinking as 2020 carries on. Especially since Christmas parties are not a typical meeting, but, rather, a special event – it is all about fun and interaction. To get colleagues excited about a virtual event, you should communicate this in advance.
First and foremost, you need a convincing invitation. Why not send it by post? A letter with a creative design is more attractive than an e-mail. Put the focus on joint activities and fun. Provide a teaser: wine tasting, cooking or entertainment – when employees find an invitation with exciting activities waiting for them, their anticipation will rise. Then follow-up with further information by e-mail or other virtual means of communication.
7 Ideas for Virtual Christmas Parties
1. Virtual Advent Coffee
Getting to know new colleagues is especially difficult while everyone is working from home. Many people miss the personal contact. Here is one event idea that could be used in December: allow every employee to have a virtual “blind date” each week over coffee and gingerbread with another colleague. Using this a starting point for regular exchanges throughout the coming year is perfect.
2. Christmas Gifts for Your Colleagues
Send your employees a gift package with your corporate logo. This will please not only the employees, but also their families. This immediately creates an emotional bond with the company, but what should you put in it?
- Mulled wine
- Warm hat + scarf with the corporate logo
- A little surprise for spouses & their children
- Food: delicacies for Christmas holiday
3. Virtual Quizzes and Guessing Games
Brain teasers have always been a popular part of a Christmas parties. But online quizzes – or alternatively guessing games – have their own unique appeal: speed is of the essence. When tasks must be solved in small teams, it helps to strengthen sense of community. Also, it is best if the task is accompanied by a moderator.
4. Virtual Wine Tasting
A virtual wine tasting is certainly unusual for most people. However, this does not necessarily inhibit the fun factor at all. Just send the wine in advance as a package – preferably with extensive information about the wines. Refine the whole experience with a presentation about each wine. You can even involve the participants if you give everyone an opportunity to present their favorite wine at the end. What should you send to the participants?
- A wine selection in sample bottles
- Overview with backgrounds on all the wines
5. Online Cooking Course & Christmas Dinner
Cooking courses are a classic of Christmas parties. Virtual implementation is new territory – and yet a great idea. Just send the ingredients to everyone in advance. And make sure that clear instructions are included. If in doubt, you can also bring a cooking instructor on board. The most important thing is that all colleagues should also eat together afterwards. What is essential for this package?
- All necessary ingredients
- Instructions and cooking tips
- Kitchen accessories using company branding
6. Web-based Speed Dating
The Christmas party is a classic when it comes to company networking. There is hardly any other event where employees from different departments can meet in such a simple and uncomplicated way. Getting to know new colleagues is also possible through a virtual Christmas party too – for example – speed dating. Every five minutes partners switch to ensure a high rate of exposure to many potential dates. Providing a specific way for colleagues to exchange information is also a great idea. Being able to stay in touch afterwards through some form of SNS is key.
7. Virtual chatting Corner
In the virtual chatting corner (“Breakout Session”), three to five colleagues can exchange information – preferably on a fixed topic that has nothing to do with business. Christmas plans, hobbies, vacations – good ideas are needed here. A virtual Christmas party can be a starting point. Then, every Friday at 10 a.m. all colleagues, who feel like exchanging ideas, can meet in the virtual chatting corner. With groups are assigned by an algorithm.
With Mystery Coffee, colleagues from all over the world can meet in a “virtual coffee kitchen”. These can be one-on-one chats, or meetings amongst several colleagues. See more at http://www.mysterycoffee.com.
Which Technology is Suitable for a Virtual Christmas party?
Classic video conferencing tools such as GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Skype, WebEx or Zoom work reliably and should provide all the necessary features for most virtual Christmas parties. For larger events, highly innovative new platforms were launched throughout this year due to the pandemic, providing virtual meeting rooms. Even 3D animations are possible here. Additional tools such as Doodle, Mentimeter or Slido can be integrated for voting or playful elements.