5 fun virtual events for the holidays in 2020

Written by a marketing expert as a part of our guest blog series.

This year’s holiday season will be a little different from any that have come before it, especially for businesses that are used to hosting in-person get-togethers to celebrate the festive period and handle some team-building at the same time.

Since most events will be virtual, you need to plan some inventive ideas to make them engaging, entertaining, and memorable. To help inspire you, here are a few virtual event ideas to consider trying out.

Visit a virtual escape room

Escape rooms have been all the rage for business team-building for a few years now, and thankfully they are also an experience that translates well to the digital sphere.

Popular virtual options include The Escape Game, capable of accommodating hundreds of participants over Zoom, with larger groups split into teams of 8 to tackle immersive and challenging rooms together.

As this kind of event encourages teamwork and competition, it may be worth combining it with the provision of swag bags filled with goodies and branded products. In terms of working out what to put in your bags for this type of event, swag, which suits the season, makes sense. You can easily send out bags to each attendee ahead of time so they can open them together and get into the spirit of the game simultaneously.

Take your Secret Santa gift exchange online

Many offices make use of Secret Santa to build upon employee relationships and strengthen team bonds as Christmas approaches, and there is no reason to stop this tradition when everyone is working remotely. The only thing you need to do is orchestrate it a little more rigidly to ensure that everyone knows their role and responsibilities. In turn, when you host the gift exchange event live via video chat, there is no disappointment.

To make the exchange even more festive, provide everyone with Santa’s classic hat to wear throughout. Furthermore, this event’s advantage is that it can be slightly modified and adapted to cater to other gift-giving traditions around this time of year, to ensure that people of different faiths and backgrounds are included in the fun.

As always, setting a maximum budget and only requiring that people buy a gift for one other team member will avoid a lot of the stresses and anxieties which might otherwise emerge in this context.

Share the festive workspace decorating experience

Prettying up your workspace for the holidays is popular in offices everywhere, and you can turn this into a full-blown event for team members when working from home.

Once again, a virtual meeting solution like Zoom will be the ideal foundation for this event, and you can even send out the same set of decorations to everyone ahead of time if you wish or provide them with a budget to spend on their own choice of tinsel, baubles, and other seasonal paraphernalia.

Suppose you want to turn this into a virtual event indeed. In that case, you could even factor in digital decorations, whether that might be video montages captured on social media or photoshopped festive backgrounds that everyone can apply to their video feed to stand in place of physical decorations.

Host a quiz filled with festive questions

2020 has been the year of virtual quizzes, so it seems sensible to round it all off with a major trivia session, this time themed around the holidays themselves.

This is arguably easier to prepare for than any previous quiz because the theme is self-evident. There is a whole heap of source material to choose from if you plan to come up with the questions yourself or assign this task to someone who has a passion for question-setting. Alternatively, there are plenty of online resources for pre-made quizzes that are suitable for team-building events as well as for casual use, so you can truly take your pick.

Gamify your regular virtual happy hours

The virtual happy hour is another tool that many businesses have used to boost morale and keep teams pulling together throughout 2020. You can spice up this regular event for the holidays by introducing a system of festive buzzwords which, when said, require participants to take a drink or carry out some other predetermined forfeit.

This list can include everything from snow and Santa to mistletoe and decorations; just make sure you decide on a list beforehand and distribute it to everyone who will be on the happy hour call at this time of year. The person who manages to avoid using as many clichéd words and phrases as possible could be in line to win a prize, or it could just be a fun free-for-all that keeps everyone chuckling; the choice is yours!

Be sure to check out our other guest blog on Improving Company Culture While Working Remote.

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