It’s officially the holiday season, which means it’s time for family gatherings, outings with your friends and of course the office party.  For the last two years you may have experienced a virtual party due to restrictions, but this year our options have expanded. This means that you may have an in-person party (that follows the rules of course) instead of a virtual one. For some this is exciting, for others it might be a push to get you out the door. Either way it’s party time.

Whether you decide to throw a virtual holiday party or an in-person one, here are some tips to make it the best party your staff has ever had.

Virtual Holiday Parties

Despite having the option to have an in-person party, a virtual holiday party may still be the best for your staff. The best way to find out if you should be hosting the party virtually or in-person is to survey your staff to find out what they are most comfortable with.

To start planning your virtual holiday party, you want to start with your objective. Ask yourself what the purpose of this party is and what you want your staff to get out it. Once you know what your goal is you can plan the rest around it.

After deciding the date and time, choose your platform. The best platforms to do this is whatever your staff is currently using for virtual meetings. This can be Zoom, Google Meets, or even Teams. Keep it the same to avoid technical issues or frustration from your staff.

Using an agenda will help keep your staff in the known of what’s going on. It doesn’t need to be formal like your monthly meetings, but just a general idea to keep everything on track. Inside the agenda you will want to have scheduled breaks, games, and any other activities.

Choose activities that will include all staff members at the party. Keep them interactive and get creative. You can even give charades a shot.

One of the hardest parts about virtual holiday parties is making everyone feel included. A great way to do this is to make sure everyone has the same food, drinks, gifts etc. You can order from a catering company and have the food delivered to each home or provide gift cards to a take-out restaurant. Another idea is to drop off gifts for everyone that they open at the same time online.

Just remember that with a virtual holiday party you may have to go a little over the top to make it feel extra special.

In-Person Holiday Parties

Planning an in-person holiday party is exciting, especially if it’s been a little while since you have had one. One major thing to keep in mind is safety. This means looking for venues and spaces that have a lot of space and other safety precautions in place.

Once you have located your venue, it’s time to start planning the fun stuff. One of the first things you want to secure is your catering. Some venues may provide catering, or you can hire a different company of your choice. Make sure to choose catering companies that offer a variety of options to keep your staff satisfied.

Another great way to add some flare to your in-person holiday party is to bring in a live band. You can have music playing during dinner and have a dance party later. If this isn’t your vibe you can also hire companies that do great activities with your staff – think scavenger hunts, escape rooms, and other interactive games. You can also bring in your own games such as giant Jenga or have a tree decorating contest.

You’ll want to have an agenda just like any other meeting to ensure that your staff knows what is going on throughout the night. You can even attach this to your menu or place it on the table as part of the center piece.

Don’t forget that you can also set up technology to bring in some people virtually. This is a hybrid approach but can be done if needed.

Unique Themes

Want to take your party up one more notch? These ideas will work whether it’s a virtual holiday party or an in-person holiday party.

Here are some of our favourite themes:

  • Ugly sweater
  • Masquerade
  • Christmas around the world

Picking a theme is a great way to bring more spirit into your holiday party.

Just remember that the most important thing of hosting a party this year is that everyone feels safe and has a lot of fun!