The holidays are coming up soon, and for many of us, that means we need to start planning our holiday parties – both at home and at work!
After the online-only environments we were all subjected to back in 2020, a lot of workplaces are starting to return to some sense of normality and holding in-person holiday events again. Even if your team is still spread out and working remotely, a lot of people are excited for the chance to hobnob with their teams and get a little more into the holiday spirit after taking a year off.
Of course, not every worker is comfortable with the idea – or, in cases of remote work, even able to attend these events in the first place, so not everyone is completely saying goodbye to virtual office parties & corporate events.
With that in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of holiday party ideas for teams both near and far, for however you want to ring in the holiday season!
In-Person Company Holiday Party Ideas
By now, everyone at work is pretty used to showing up in their nicest tie and enjoying dinner with the rest of their team – but what if everyone had to show up in Hawaiian shirts, or suddenly the hall you rented was decked out like old Hollywood?
Even if you’re sticking with the traditional “cocktails and hors devours” setup, a good themed backdrop for your holiday event can really shake up the mood, particularly if the theme matches your industry, or a big achievement your company saw over the years. With the right event theme decor, you can make your next holiday party one they’ll be talking about until the next one – or even the one after that.
Looking for ideas for a holiday party theme? Here are some good ones to spark some inspiration:
- Tropical Christmas – beat the winter blues with some tropical-themed event decor like themed event backdrops and Maui themed furniture
- Holidays Around the World – take your team to another country to explore their holiday traditions and landscapes, all from the comfort of your chosen venue!
- Awards Ceremony – a lot of businesses use their holiday parties as a chance to recognize individual employees’ achievements, so why not roll out the red carpet and turn it into a literal awards ceremony?
- Throwback Style – admit it: we ALL miss the 80s and 90s these days, so why not use some throwback decor to take your guests back in time for the night? Encourage people to dress for the occasion!
- Casino Night – despite what all that awkward episode of The Office might tell you, casino nights are still a great way to get your team together and bond over a common goal – having the most chips at the end of the night! (If you’ve need a little inspiration, we’ve already got some corporate casino themed party ideas.)
Volunteer work has been growing in popularity amongst companies of all sizes over the past 10-15 years, and workers from local businesses of all types have been seen volunteering their time at community events, various shelters and kitchens, and the like. If your business has been getting more involved with the community lately, why not tie it into your holiday event?
There’s plenty of ways to do this that could tie in with the usual holiday shindigs – you could ask for donations of toys or non-perishable foods when your employees arrive, for example. Or, if you’re really in the giving spirit of the holidays, you could take your team to volunteer firsthand for a few hours at a local soup kitchen or shelter, with everyone getting dinner and drinks at the venue of your choice afterwards. It could help build a sense of community engagement amongst your employees, and who knows – maybe they’ll like it so much they’ll go volunteer even without the promise of dinner and drinks.
Local food trucks
Of course, no holiday party is truly complete without food, right? Instead of limiting your choices to a single restaurant or catering service, why not expose your team to the local tastes of food trucks and other carts from around the city you call home. All you need are a few food trucks of various delicacies (particularly for anyone on your team with an alternative diet), some rental event furniture for everyone to sit and enjoy their meals, and bonus points if your event is somewhere warm enough to eat outside during the holiday season.
Virtual Holiday Event Ideas
Even if your team can’t be together in person, they can all get together to enjoy the same events. With the right virtual event broadcasting space, your team can gather around the device of their choice and enjoy a set from a local band, or a performance from a stand-up comedian before breaking out to chat amongst themselves from a distance. (It could also be a great way to sneak in a big rousing speech celebrating the work they’ve all done over the past year, if you’re the sort for speeches!)
No one likes the huge virtual party where everyone awkwardly stares at their screens and three or four people command the conversation. After opening remarks and acknowledgements, spend some time sending attendees to breakout rooms before bringing everyone back together. Most virtual meeting platforms now have functionality to pair people off into breakout chat rooms where conversation can actually happen amongst smaller groups of people, instead of trying to be heard above the din of the main group chat. Use shared interests to group people in breakout rooms (travel enthusiasts, sports fans, movie buffs, etc.), create groups based on teams who don’t work together often, or just create the rooms at random to help your team get to know each other better.
At home wine & cheese tasting
These days, it’s easier than ever for your team to all enjoy the same things, even if you can only see each other over Zoom. Many local stores and restaurants have begun to offer virtual cheese tastings, wine classes, cocktail parties, and the like by arranging to deliver the needed supplies to each of your team members’ homes, or just providing a gift card and a shopping list for them to acquire it themselves.
From there, you can schedule a time for a live presenter to take everyone through the various food and drinks provided to them, explaining each one and helping them enjoy it more thoroughly than before. Who knows – it just might turn some of your teammates into cheese experts!
Finally, few things can bring teams together – even in competition – than a good quiz night. Divide your guests into smaller teams, nominate a host for the evening, and pick a few themed questions for different rounds. Bonus points if you whip up a slideshow to share on Teams while you go through the questions for visual aids – take a little inspiration from the last quiz game you played at the bar and have fun with it!
Plan Your Holiday Party
No matter what you decide to do for a holiday party, either in person or virtually, contact Display Group for any event planning or rental needs you may have!