The holiday season is coming up. It is time to celebrate with your work colleagues, family, and friends. You need some fun and entertaining holiday party ideas and get everyone together!
With the latest advancements in event technology, you can host stellar virtual, in-person, or hybrid holiday parties to wow your guests. We’re going to talk about some of the amazing and out-of-the-box things you can do to elevate your holiday parties.
Time to step out of your comfort zone and start planning a stupendous l holiday party!
Virtual Holiday Party Ideas
1. Live Group Activities
What’s a party without some fun tasks?
Here is your opportunity to include slots for team building activities. You could schedule live activities through group video meetings depending on the holiday theme. For instance, individuals can decorate gingerbread cookies, paint together, or weave Christmas wreaths. Include a happy hour or a sing-along with a karaoke display! A great exercise for virtual team building.
Attendees can choose the activities they like during registration. This will then help you to fine-tune your agenda and determine what to include in individual goody bags!
2. Personalized Goody Bags or Gift Cards
A swag bag for your party people? Why not!
You can create goody bags of company products that can be mailed to your attendees before or after the event.
Find local vendors and pre-deliver packages that are part of the virtual activities. These could include:
- A wine-tasting kit for happy hour
- A cheese platter for snacks while chatting
- A cake/cookie decorating kit
- Art supplies for a virtual painting party
- New Year headbands for the photo booth
However, if you’re looking to skip the hassle, buy gift cards from different companies that attendees can use. They can make purchases from their favorite vendors before the event.
3. Trivia or Scavenger Hunt
You can also add virtual holiday games for some fun. Set out the rules for a themed scavenger hunt or a holiday-themed trivia. Include a fun Q&A session or poll! They can gain points and watch the leaderboard for scores. The winner takes home a company gift hamper!
You can include a 3D avatar of the CEO or Dean in the lobby to give these instructions.
4. Themed Photo Booth
Whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving, or New Year’s, ask attendees to dress up according to the theme. Ugly Christmas sweaters, Rudolph red noses, autumn colors, or New Year headbands.
You can include an alert or prompt on the virtual page so that people chime in on time to “Say Cheese” for the group photo.
Alternatively, you could have a picture wall that is integrated with social media. People can upload their pictures with an exclusive hashtag. This will then appear on the virtual photo wall.
Share this via email to everyone and display it on your company website!
Pro-tip: Include a prize for the best or worst dressed!
5. An Ideas Poster Hall
Get your colleagues’ input for the new year. Let them brainstorm ideas. You can have a unique poster wall where they can share their vision for the future of the company. Perhaps they can share infographics of the success of their teams or any projects they are working on. You can also ask for more casual ideas, ask them to share their favorite memory from the year, or post a holiday dessert recipe they swear by!
6. Secret Santa Gift Exchange
Pump everyone up for a gift exchange! Set a budget and use an online Secret Santa generator to assign gifts for colleagues or friends.
Make sure everyone delivers their gifts on time for the event. Have them then exchange their gifts virtually and see each other’s reactions.
7. Holiday Mad Libs
Now here is a fun one! This is a great way to get everyone into peels of laughter. You can find holiday-themed Mad Libs online and share them as downloadable PDFs. Or you could parcel them as part of goody bags. You could even create a custom Mad Lib for your company and share it with everyone.
Give everyone the opportunity to do this together online and burst into guffaws.
Pro-tip: Dare everyone to keep a straight face or hold a sip of their drink in their mouth while the other person reads for some extra humor.
8. A Roast
We love our turkey roasted, but how would you like to roast your family head, professor, or project lead? Individuals can make notes of bits and take turns roasting others.
This will help break the ice and will make for a good laugh.
9. Festive Virtual Open Mic Night or Talent Show
We all have our secrets and some of us have kept them hidden well. You never know who might have a neat party trick or a beautiful singing voice.
For those willing, set a schedule for attendees to showcase their talents. Be it poetry reading, singing, stand-up comedy, or playing an instrument. Have these videos available for on-demand even once the live session is over. Those who missed the event can always visit your event later!
This is also a great way to get to know your peers even better.
10. A Virtual Chat Lounge
Create a virtual lounge where people can connect. Networking is a big part of holiday events, especially when everyone is more relaxed. Cocktails in hand, here, people can catch up through video-enabled:
- Individual chats
- Spatial connect with holiday-themed rooms
- Chat-rooms with team members, or
- The vFairs matchmaking tool
11. Yoga or Meditation Session
A mindfulness retreat might be just the thing some people need. A short session on self care through guided yoga or meditation could help your guests relax. By letting go of some stress they can recuperate better over the holidays and come back to work energized! Plus, who knows a group yoga session might even be fun.
12. Dine Together
Hold a grand virtual dinner near the end. Guests can sit together online, with the dinner you had parceled to them or the dinner they ordered through the gift cards you gave. Request your guests to include candles or fairy lights around them. So they can feel just as festive in their physical environment as in their virtual one.
13. Create a Virtual Venue Holiday Theme
Your venue is virtual, but you can still decorate it for your guests according to the holiday you’re celebrating. Choose a virtual event platform that offers unique and unlimited possibilities for customizing your virtual venue. Add themed animated avatars for your lobbies, create themed rooms like networking lounges and lobbies. You can even add customized stickers and a themed photo booth.
To help you with party planning, check out our comprehensive virtual event planner checklist.
Hybrid Holiday Party Ideas
A hybrid holiday party is one of the best ways to make sure more people can join the fun night! You can host the party through a hybrid setup to accommodate people who live far away or can’t join due to some reason. Holidays are all about togetherness, and a hybrid holiday party can ensure no one misses out on the fun.
Here are some great ideas to level up your hybrid holiday parties.
1. QR Scavenger Hunts
Hosting hybrid parties means that you need to bring together audiences with very different experiences together to have some fun. Planning scavenger hunts for both virtual and hybrid audiences can be one way to make that happen. Virtual attendees can scan through the entire virtual environment to look for clues and items to get points.
You can add a mobile event app to your hybrid event to allow QR code scans. Every time an in-person attendee finds an item, they can scan the QR code to automatically add points to their mobile app. This is a fun and convenient way to host traditional scavenger hunts with the help of event technology.
As a result, both audiences can enjoy the same game and participate fully through different mediums.
2. Ice-Breaking Webinars
Webinars aren’t only for the online audiences. You can set them up in a way that an in-person session is live-streamed to virtual audiences so both parties can be equally involved. Moreover, as this is a holiday party, no one wants to listen to a boring conversation.
Add some fun by including ice-breaking sessions and running live polls for both online and in-person guests. You can divide your guests into groups through online and in-person breakout rooms to encourage collaboration and bonding time. You can play games, and quizzes, and reward the winners with fun prizes throughout the session as well. In-person attendees can ask online attendees questions and vice versa. The more interactive you can make the session, the more fun all your attendees will have.
3. Live Stream Entertainment Sessions
No holiday party can be complete without a good karaoke or live music session. You can make sure that all your guests are a part of it by hosting it in person but live streaming it online through a hybrid event platform. All your guests can be a part of a live dance party or a concert. You can also bring in Christmas carol singers to add to the holiday spirit.
4. Hybrid Event App
An event mobile app might be the single most important tool that you can add to bring your hybrid audience to the same place together. In-person and online attendees can’t meet at the venue but a mobile app can still bring them closer. They can download the app to take part in mutual activities and use the chat feature to communicate and connect with one another.
In-app live streaming sessions, quick polls, quizzes, and other games are all tools that can help you host an amazing holiday party for all guests whether they are online or attending in person.
5. Hybrid Silent Auction
Charity and philanthropy events are a big thing around the holiday time. People want to spend more money to try and help the less privileged so everyone can join in the holiday spirit. Silent auctions are a great way to collect more donations and with the latest that event technology has to offer, you can easily run a hybrid silent auction.
Event mobile apps like vFairs have a silent auction feature that you can use to set up a charity event specifically for the holidays. Your guests can leave an anonymous bid and the one with the highest bid gets to take away the item on auction. You can add fun stuff like dinner for two, a fully paid trip, an art piece, or a spa appointment in your auction.
In-Person Holiday Party Ideas
1. Holiday Party Fundraiser
Most holiday parties are free to attend as hosts don’t charge for the ticket. However, there are many in-person events that are also fundraisers. Give your guests a chance to make a difference in the community by setting up a holiday party fundraiser.
Guests who show up can have fun at the holiday party while simultaneously giving back to the community. You can set up an in-person holiday party and ask the guests to purchase a pass for a minimal amount. The money you collect from ticket sales can then be donated to a non-profit of your choice.
Online event ticketing software can help you set up paid tickets and tiered pricing easily. They offer landing pages, registration forms, and secure payment methods to streamline the process.
2. Holiday Themed Badges
In-person holiday parties can be a lot more fun if everything about the event including decor and food follows a particular theme. For instance, if you’re throwing a Christmas party, you should pull out all the stops for the decor by adding a Christmas tree and even inviting a Santa!
Another small but impactful change you can make is to create a holiday-themed badge for all your guests and print it through a badge printing service. Most in-person event management platforms offer a badge printer and you can customize your badge’s design. This can be a fun new addition to amp up your party theme and can even be great if most of your guests are strangers! No need for awkward introductions if you have customized badges for all guests.
3. Live Photo Booth
Holiday party guests will want to take photos – as many as they can!
You can enhance your in-person holiday party by offering a live photo booth for your guests who have come all dressed up for the camera. Ask your in-person event management service to set up a live camera and a photo wall. You can connect the camera to a TV screen and display all the photos in real time. Add fun filters and backdrops to make it even more festive!
4. Social Media Wall
In-person holiday parties don’t need to shy away from social media. In fact, you can create a fun hashtag for your event so everyone at the party can post online about it. You can also include a social media wall integration like walls.io to broadcast all live tweets, and Facebook, or Instagram posts to the guests. The social media wall can be a great addition to your holiday party and act as a live community center both online and in-person!
5. Onsite Leaderboard
Make your holiday party even more fun with a live in-person leaderboard! You can create fun little games for your party guests and award points for playing each of them. Encourage guests to play as many games as they can and take part in onsite activities to get points for the leaderboard. The guest with the most leaderboard points will get a surprise gift! It can get a little too competitive perhaps, but no one dislikes a little healthy competition!
So get your party hats on and start planning now!