With the holidays right around the corner, the next big event on the horizon for many teams is the annual holiday party; whether you’re planning an event for a team of four or four hundred, this climate has turned what might normally be a straightforward event into a bit of a puzzle.
If you’re planning a holiday event for your team this year, you’ve likely asked yourself some variation of these questions – how do we bring our friends and teammates together without actually getting together? What can we do to raise peoples’ spirits while keeping each other safe? We make and solve puzzles for a living, so let us help you solve the puzzle of your event planning with some ideas from our team.
Puzzle Break Virtual Escape Experience: If you’re looking for an interactive game to play with your team with the polish of a custom event but without all the planning, you should consider playing one of our award winning virtual escape rooms, like our newest virtual experience, School for Spies. Once you’ve booked your time, all you have to do is join a virtual meeting and our expert game masters will lead your team on a thrilling adventure.
Home Drive-In Movie Party: Create your own drive-in experience and host a movie (or two) for your team using one of the major streaming services’ party modes. Popcorn, candy and soft drinks not required, but strongly encouraged. The weather is perfect for a chilly spy thriller!
Tabletop or Board Game Night: While it can take a bit of preparation to set up, hosting a board game or tabletop event on one of the many online platforms available is a great way for people to relax and have fun together from the comfort of their homes. With everything from the most popular pen-and-paper roleplaying games to classic board games of every stripe being available online, you have plenty of options to choose from, whatever your teams’ tastes may be.
Communal DJing and Music Playlists: There are several online platforms that allow multiple people to act as a DJ, queuing up their favorite songs to play in a virtual room for everyone present. Let your team be the DJs this year and encourage everyone to take a turn playing their new favorite tracks or holiday classics during your holiday gathering.
Virtual Tasting: In lieu of a traditional holiday dinner party, send your squad baskets of spirits, cheese and other delectable treats. Then, schedule a virtual tasting with a professional sommelier or chef to teach your team the best pairings for their holiday spirits.
Mixology or Cooking class: in a similar vein, consider scheduling an expert mixologist or chef to teach your team how to make a festive cocktail or holiday treat, using ingredients sent to them in advance. This could be an excellent opportunity to learn how to make the perfect martini – shaken and not stirred, of course. I’m particularly fond of the folks at The Crafty Cask.
Trivia Competition: Even if you can’t gather in the local pub, you still have ways to enjoy a night of drinks and trivia questions. There are a number of online solutions that allow people to run trivia games over the internet, with or without a host. Divide your team into groups and give prizes to the top scorers!
Decoration Competition: By now you and your team are quite familiar with one another’s Zoom meeting backgrounds. Challenge your team to decorate their physical offices or meeting backdrops in the spirit of the holidays and award prizes for the most creative and best-themed backgrounds.
Costume Contest: The holiday season is packed with opportunities for fun and creative dress-up. Compete with your team to see who has the best Great Pumpkin, Grinch, or Santa costume. Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines, either: this is a great opportunity to try out that Krampus or Festivus pole costume idea you’ve had in the back of your mind…
Ugly Sweater Competition: Garish holiday sweaters are a tradition for lots of people, so why not test your team to see who has the most outrageous, over-the-top winter garb. While having the best/worst sweater is often its own reward, prizes are encouraged.
And there you have it! Mix and match these ideas to make your virtual holiday gathering as special as possible. Whatever you decide to incorporate into your own party planning, these suggestions will help you plan the best holiday party your team has ever had.