How To Host A Virtual Holiday Party

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The holiday season is finally among us! That means pumpkin-spiced everything, ugly sweater-weather party themes, and Zoom holiday parties.

Since virtual holiday parties are becoming all the rage, you’re probably having to come up with some virtual holiday party ideas. And that’s likely taking up a lot of your holiday party energy, not to mention holiday spirit.

How To Host A Virtual Holiday Party

But we’re here to help you every step along the way. Because coming up with virtual holiday party ideas  and party themes is only half the battle.

Yeah, you heard us right. You also have to organize the entire virtual holiday event too!

So where do you start? How do you look? And where are the gosh darn cookies?!

A) You start here. B) You look fantastic! and C) Cookies are most likely in this browser and are definitely at the end of this article. So read/eat up!

Bonus: What Is A Product Launch?

#1. Make your guest list

Look, we’ve been there. You spend so much time trying to come up with as many different virtual holiday party ideas as possible that you forget to make a guest list!

That’s why we’ve placed your virtual holiday party guests at the very top of this list. That way, you’ll have to check your virtual holiday party ideas list twice!

Not only do you want to make sure that everyone in the office is on your guest list. Maybe you want to also include a higher-up or two to show off a specific department for their efforts this past year.

Just remember: there is a strategy to the holiday party guest list. So make sure no one is unaccounted for in your planning and virtual holiday party ideas.

Besides, nobody likes to feel left out. So take it from Mr. Claus – or even better yet, one up him and check your list thrice!

#2. Choose your virtual platform

Nowadays, it seems like every virtual holiday party is hosted on a different platform altogether. And you just can’t make heads or tails of it!

Well, below are some of the most popular platforms for you to host your virtual holiday party on. And we’ll give you some pro’s and con’s to help guide you through which one will serve your virtual holiday party best.

(Pro tip: to better your chance for success, bring in a virtual event host to do the grunt work for you! You’d be surprised at how much more enjoyable the event itself is when you can sit back, relax, and be entertained.)

Zoom

Hosting a Zoom holiday party is a great place to test out your virtual holiday party games. For one, folks are comfortable using Zoom as they’ve become a virtual party favorite.

And what makes it better is that it’s also an easy platform for folks to navigate. Just make sure your virtual holiday dance party or virtual Secret Santa doesn’t get cut off from the first 40 minutes free!

Pros:

  • Suitable for large audiences
  • Free for the first 40 minutes
  • Supported by Google Calendar
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Too many different subscriptions and add-on’s
  • Can’t control comments section
  • Zoombombing
  • You need to download the app

Skype

Plenty of virtual parties have benefitted from the use of Skype. And your company holiday party could be no exception!

It’s the perfect platform for your online team-building games as it allows for screen sharing options. And in case your team members have different home setups, it’s an easy platform for most to install.

Pros:

  • Screen Sharing options available
  • Easy to install
  • Offers 24/7 service
  • Paid subscriptions are still priced reasonably

Cons:

  • No language translation services
  • Sound quality is dependent on bandwidth
  • The service could go out
  • Background noises are rather prominent

Houseparty

A platform with a name like Houseparty just begs you to get your virtual Christmas party on virtual party ideas like a virtual painting party or virtual wine tasting party. And luckily, its large chat room capacity makes those virtual holiday party ideas all the more realistic!

Use these virtual holiday party ideas to make the best virtual office party ever

You can easily transfer any other Zoom Christmas party ideas to this platform. All while divulging in virtual holiday trivia, opening up virtual holiday party presents, getting your virtual office to sing holiday songs together, and more.

Pros:

  • Large chat room capacity
  • Ability to wave at friends for notifications
  • Simple and easy to play games
  • Easy video messaging

Cons:

  • Anyone can join the chat room
  • Your use of the app is monitored
  • Users can record a chat without others’ knowledge
  • Possibility of being hacked

Google Hangouts

If your business already uses Google, then Google Hangouts seems like a no-brainer. Syncing your virtual events with all other Google tools, your virtual holiday party will benefit from such a streamlined process.

Besides, Google is accessible from a variety of different devices. And that just makes your virtual holiday parties all the more easy to get into and enjoy.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Minimalistic interface
  • All Gmail events are synced
  • Available for Android phones as well as iPhones

Cons:

  • Video quality depends on network latency
  • Reminders can get overwhelming
  • Some concerns regarding privacy
  • Does not communicate with other messaging softwares

#3. Test out your virtual platform

You could have the most amazing virtual holiday party ideas in the world. That includes holiday-themed games, fun and creative challenges, team-building activities, a virtual festive talent show, the works!

But if you don’t test them out, then your virtual holiday party is almost guaranteed to hit a bump in the road. Luckily, all you need to combat this is a little preparation and testing out of technology.

Invite folks to a test of your virtual Christmas party and get them to partake in the virtual holiday photo booth or in a holiday-themed game or too. Or that online holiday scavenger hunt you created.

(What? You came up with a ton of virtual Christmas party ideas!)

Test out your virtual holiday party ideas before the virtual event itself to ensure a smooth ride

Just make sure that everything you planned for your virtual holiday party goes smoothly. The last thing you want is for your virtual holiday party activity to get interrupted by a technical difficulty.

Of course, you can’t help those sometimes – especially if someone accidentally spills their hot chocolate on the keyboard!But other technical difficulties?

You can definitely predict and prepare for. In fact, that preparation might be the best virtual holiday party idea out of the whole bunch!

#4. Send out virtual invitations

Nothing gets folks in the holiday spirit like a sweet virtual holiday party invitation! You know the ones – with those sweet little holly bushes around as a border?

Ooh! Even those dancing elf ecards? (Okay, can you tell that the virtual holiday party ideas are starting to control us and not the other way around?)

Punchbowl

Start your online holiday party right by using Punchbowl, a great way to send out your holiday-themed invitations around the virtual office. This virtual event organizer makes it easy for you to add in your guest list.

Then watch as team members RSVP away. You’ll also have plenty of party themes and designs to choose from to get your online party off to a great start.

Do keep in mind though that as party host, this invitation platform is particularly suited for smaller events. So if you’ve got a small virtual office, then consider yourself sold!

Pros:

  • Free for up to 50 guests
  • Easy to load in your guest list
  • Plenty of designs to choose from

Cons:

  • More suitable for small family events

Evite

Odds are, you’ve received an Evite or two in your time. Whether it’s during the holiday season or simply to celebrate a birthday here and there.

Well, now’s the time to bust this puppy out for your virtual holiday party. And get folks talking in the chat feature about their favorite holiday traditions!

Check out our reviews of the best virtual platform to use for your virtual holiday party

Because let’s be honest. Most of the holiday cheer that comes from these online invitations is from the party guests already mingling in the comments section.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to circulate even without guest list
  • Helps you manage RSVPs online

Cons:

  • Limited design options

Greenvelope

Sounds like something you’d find in one of those stocking stuffer scavenger hunts, huh? But it is, in fact, a great online invitation platform that will welcome every team member to your online Christmas party.

With plenty of party themes and designs to choose from and customize, you can ensure that your remote employees will get a kick out of the present left in their email inbox. (If not Christmas tree.)

Pros:

  • Easily customizable
  • Easy to use
  • Supports independent graphic designers

Cons:

  • Still offer limited designs

Paperless Post

Make your virtual Christmas party fun with a Paperless Post invitation! Their sleek designs will help you and your team members welcome in the upcoming virtual holiday games.

And you can even start swapping fun holiday drinks and recipes with each other in the comments section too! So, let the virtual Christmas games begin!

Pros:

  • Incredible range of designs
  • Can share party updates
  • Helps you keep track of guests

Cons:

  • Expensive

#6. Figure out what to wear

You might think online holiday parties aren’t necessarily the place to dress up. But they’re certainly not the place to dress down either…

Avoid being too casual

Virtual Christmas parties sometimes run the risk of seeming too casual. And as much as you want folks to show up comfortable in sweatpants, you also want them to put in a little effort too!

Besides, it’d be a little bit awkward watching Sandra in her formal dress open up Mark’s virtual office Secret Santa present in his pajamas. Or maybe it would just make Secret Santa even funnier! Who knows?

Don’t risk a wardrobe malfunction

If you’ve got an exciting virtual class planned amidst your party themes, then you definitely won’t want to risk a wardrobe malfunction. That means nothing too low or revealing.

Sure, you’re there to engage in some team-building activities with team members. But maybe consider that your remote employees don’t need to know everything about you. Let’s keep it clean, people!

Make it special with sparkles!

Just because you’ve been spending time coming up with dozens of virtual holiday party ideas doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get to sparkle yourself. So literally show up with some sparkle!

Get in the holiday spirit and dawn a Santa hat. Or maybe one of your holiday traditions is to dress up matching the wreath? Who are we to say!

#7. Test out all of your games

Remember that previous tip about testing out the platform for your virtual event? Well, now’s the time to also test out the Christmas-themed games, party themes, and even some corporate entertainment you’ve got in mind.

Before the actual virtual holiday party itself, invite some friends to join your virtual event and play some holiday trivia. Or stream a holiday movie or holiday movies if that’s on your list of virtual holiday party ideas.

Wear something that makes you feel special and comfortable for your virtual holiday party

Either way you’ll want to make sure that the holiday movie runs smoothly through the platform. Or that the party themes or otherwise main virtual holiday party event doesn’t run into some bumps in the road. Even if you’ve got icebreakers, make sure you write them down!

What? You don’t think Santa Claus waits until the last second at Christmas Eve to ensure he’s got all of his elves and reindeer in a row, do you? Nah, we bet that Santa definitely knows how to host a virtual party like nobody’s business!

#7a. Or hire a virtual comedian!

Okay, not everybody can be the best virtual party host like Santa. And that’s why Santa was kind enough to send down some extra elves disguised as virtual comedians this holiday season.

That being said, we can neither confirm nor deny whether your virtual comedian is, in fact, an elf hired by Santa. But that’s not what makes your virtual holiday parties important.

See Related: What Is Stand Up Comedy?

#8. Send reminders about the event

Like a battle cry, you’ll want everyone in the virtual office to remember when and where your virtual holiday party is happening. So make sure to send a reminder to every team member on the guest list!

Don’t let all of your party themes go to waste when you end up with small attendance at your holiday party. That wasn’t on the list of virtual holiday party ideas!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas party

As you can probably tell, we too take hosting a holiday party and coming up with virtual holiday party ideas quite seriously. But at the end of the day, we understand that this holiday party and all its party themes are about being together.

Not having the Christmas-story-book version of your holiday party. (Though those party themes are the party themes of your dreams!)

Instead, focus not on the virtual holiday party ideas themselves. But on the people present at your holiday party.

And hopefully, with our tips, we’ve managed to help you get there each step of the way. Save a cookie for us at the holiday party! You know those go first!

Keep Reading: Virtual Holiday Party Ideas For Work

Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of Clean Comedians. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.