Have You Organized a Remote Christmas Party This Year?
Eek! With just a couple of weeks until Christmas and no sign of lockdown ending anytime soon – we all desperately need some festive cheer and yet are unlikely to be able to come together to celebrate. Many businesses are putting on a remote Christmas party – here’s how to get it right:
Top tips for organizing a remote office christmas party
Don’t make your remote office Christmas party “just another zoom meeting” but with wine. You really need to do something different that sets the right tone and makes your employees feel warm and fuzzy not like hiding under the bed
Bring remote and real-life together – send something out in the post, that makes staff feel special, appreciated and a part of something. This could be a Christmas hamper, or it might be something themed to the remote office party itself – for example if you’re planning to do a cocktail making masterclass you could send them a little kit of everything they would need. And you could add some festive props, like hats, party poppers, party whistles etc.
Get a professional host – trying to jolly everyone along is likely to be a painful affair. It’s too difficult to set a different tone, when you’re not bringing a fresh voice to the party. Hand over the reins to a professional comedian, entertainer, virtual host or emcee and you immediately have the makings of a party, rather than a car-crash!
Get some entertainment! There’s a plethora of skilled performers who have taken their talents online -from incredible magicians to cocktail making experts to silhouette cutters, cartoonists, mimicrists and comedians. You can do anything from wine tasting, to crafting, to a bake-off – see our post on remote office christmas parties here for more ideas.
Think about your audience and your scale: If you’re a large business, your audience will be much more unwieldy than if you’re a dozen employees. Think about the level of interaction that’s possible and desirable – do you want to set up the virtual office Christmas party equivalent of the kitchen, or a lounge area, for people to chat and hang out in smaller groups, or do you want to keep everyone together – or perhaps a combination of both. If you’re keeping everyone together, and you have a lot of employees, you actually need to start to think about the party like a TV production with an audience – with a large audience you’re essentially broadcasting out, rather than having everyone interact , so you need to make your broadcast top quality, choreographed content. If you don’t want to or aren’t able to create a full production piece, think about whether team team-based virtual Christmas parties might work better than an attempt at an entire company do.
Think about introducing an element of surprise, which means employees leave with that warm fuzzy feeling – it could be anything from surprise entertainment, to a surprise announcement that everyone is getting the day off tomorrow, to a hint of something arriving in the post for them – remember, you’ve likely saved budget on food, drink and venue so if you can use that budget to make your employees feel appreciated and valued – think of it as a good investment in their retention!