The benefits of planning a Virtual Christmas Party
I know, I know, it may seem a little early and all the scrooges out there will be railing against talking about Christmas already! But, like it or not, ‘tis the season to start thinking about your Christmas Party and how that is going to look this year in a world where physical gatherings have become a no go. This year we have proven the power of virtual events through virtual conferences, virtual sales kick-offs and even virtual expos, so why treat your annual Christmas Party any differently? The restrictions of coming together in a live environment should not get in the way of one of one of the most avidly anticipated events of the year, and now more than ever teams require motivation and reward.
While HR professionals around the UK may be thanking their lucky stars that they won’t have to deal with the annual fallout of the infamous office party, at DRPG we are determined that Christmas is not cancelled, it’s just time to go virtual.
Here are just some of the benefits of planning a festive event and why a virtual Christmas Party could end up being your best one yet.
Coinciding with the end of the year, Christmastime can be a time of heavy workloads, looming deadlines, shrinking budgets and personal and social responsibilities, all of which can accumulate to make it a time of stress and distractions for employees. The Christmas Party is the perfect time to forget about these pressures and stresses and celebrate the successes of the team together, boosting team morale and creating an “in it together” atmosphere. It is a powerful employee engagement tool and should not be dismissed.
An online experience can still deliver this engagement, incorporating two-way communication with your audience. This means interaction, collaboration and competitions. The use of technology means even more people can get involved than in the live equivalent, be that with a simple quiz or a more complex challenge. You can bring remote contestants into the studio to take part in the madness and make team members the stars of the show! You can even get the kids involved with family friendly games and challenges.
As Christmas signals the end of the year, it's a great time to get people talking and reflecting about the year gone by and inspiring them to embrace the challenges that may lay ahead. As well as the more social and fun elements of the Christmas party, this is a great opportunity -when you have the whole team together relaxed and receptive - to get across some relevant and important messaging.
In normal times, the serious side to your party could be a speech from the CEO or a conference element to review the year. All this is very possible virtually too. Conference sessions, breakouts, team building and even an interactive expo can be brought to life online.
Looking back at the year mustn't focus solely on the business; it's time to recognise your people and celebrate personal successes as well. Awards are a great way to recognise team members who have performed well and reward them for their hard work throughout the year. They can also instil a little healthy competition, which can spur people on to great heights and set the standard for all others to rise to the following year, so they are an important tool for motivating best behaviours.
There is nothing to stop you bringing this reward and recognition part of your event online to create a bespoke virtual award ceremony, designed for the organisation and reflecting your style of recognition. You can set up nomination portals, include prizes and even go live to the finalists and winners to share the celebration.
A collective hair-letting-down exercise is a great way to bond and socialise outside the working environment, and if executed correctly, should be a safe space for team members to relax and have a bit of fun. You need to think creatively about how you can turn the event from a party into an immersive experience. If you get this right, they'll thank you for it and be back next year for more of the same!
The options for interactive fun and entertainment virtually are wide-ranging. Think ‘office party disco’, fully online, with DJs, singers, Karaoke, bands and anything else imaginable brought to your team’s living rooms, dining tables or home offices. Think mind readers or magicians interacting with remote team members online or double act comedians with bespoke, relevant content, roasting colleagues or reviewing the year “Have I Got News for You” style. This is also a great point in the evening to make things interactive, with dial ins, message boards and a chat function, so the social element of the Christmas party isn’t lost in the technology.
A virtual Christmas party is the perfect way to wrap up the year, bringing all the elements of fun, celebration, reviewing and forward thinking together. This year, more than ever, that is super important, and by incorporating the power of virtual events into your Christmas celebrations, you can still deliver all the key messaging and harness the benefits of a Christmas party with your whole team online.
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