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Updated: Oct 28, 2020

A year ago, if you were to ask any colleague, client or friend what they were planning for their Christmas party, it’s unlikely that the answer would involve sitting in front of a computer in their living room… In 2020, the answer to the question is now almost certainly going to include the word ‘virtual’.

The Christmas celebration is an opportunity to engage, reward and motivate. But more than that, an effective, carefully considered event can drive connection and togetherness more meaningfully than in years past, helping achieve imperative business objectives and launching the team into the new year.

With all of this in mind, we present our top 5 tips for planning a virtual work Christmas party.

1) Embrace the opportunity

See your virtual Christmas event as an opportunity, not as an unwelcome deviation. The event is more inclusive, with less barriers to attending (health, childcare, travel) and an ability to scale an event to reach even the most remote of colleagues. You may

also find that your ideal key note speaker is available virtually and at a better cost. This model also offers the chance to try something new and different to what has traditionally been done before.

2) Set your strategy

Discuss with key stakeholders what your objectives are from your Christmas event. With budgets working harder than before, it’s important to set your objectives, then your strategy, before deciding your tactics. If the primary objectives are to reward and entertain, then you may end up with a different event than if your objective was to connect a remote team who have never met before.

3) Don’t overcomplicate

Whilst there are of course similarities in the planning, the prospect of running a virtual event can seem daunting, with the increased reliance on technology. Consider the fundamentals of what you need – the ability for guests to see and interact with each other, food and drink, a central entertainment or activity and then build from there. Also, consider that virtual events tend to be best left shorter than their in-person equivalents. We would consider a maximum event time of 2-2.5 hours.

4) Personalise the experience

Personalising the experience will drive engagement and a better guest experience, representing a cost-effective means of driving reward for your team. Can you offer them options of the activities that they can take part in? Can you allow them choice in the contents of any Christmas goody box being sent out?

5) Build inclusivity through shared experience

It can be hard to know where to start when planning an event to appeal to a broad range of guests, some of whom you may not know and who may be new to a business. Consider what types of events have worked well in the past, then look at how this can translate into a virtual setting. A social group that enjoys a drink may find that a Seasonal Cocktail Masterclass is the perfect option for them, the Mindful Festive Paining could be the ideal choice for a team wishing to include their children at home. If you don’t know the group well, consider opportunities that are inclusive to all such as Wreath Making, Virtual Escape Room or Festive Singalong. You can choose to build in personalised elements, such as alcohol, in a goody box that you send out to each guest based on their own preferences.

Contact us for more ideas and see The Christmas Collective for details about our festive virtual events for team, client and social celebrations.

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