Many of us have adapted to a world with remote team members and back-to-back Zoom calls with customers spread across the country, which certainly has its benefits. Nevertheless, one drawback is the difficulty of getting together in person. Whether for team building or customer appreciation, making reservations at the local restaurant for a holiday party may not work as effectively as it did in the past.
As we approach the holiday season and the thoughts of “what should I do for my employees” and “what should I do for my customers” weigh on our minds, we thought we'd share some ideas that may spark some creative approaches to celebrating the season with those near and far!
Some of these ideas have associated costs, whereas others are free. So whether your budget is big, small, or non-existent, you can still put on a creative and memorable event. Here are some of our favorites.
Just remember that any companies mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. We are not endorsing any of these companies or suggesting they are a preferred choice for your event. They might be helpful as a starting point or can be used as a point of comparison.
1. Virtual Wine Tasting Party
Elevate the virtual happy hour experience with a virtual wine-tasting event. Beginning with an overview of the winemaking process, a wine expert will lead your attendees through a detailed tasting of each unique wine sent to them beforehand. You'll learn how to enjoy the look, smell, and taste of a variety of wines as well as how to draw conclusions about each flavor profile. This will be followed by a Q&A session, where attendees can ask the expert about various wines.
- Number of Participants: Up to 495
- Cost: From $60 per participant
- Company: Confetti Virtual Wine Tasting Team Building | Confetti 🎉 (withconfetti.com)
2. Learn to Make a Charcuterie Board
You can host an upscale client appreciation event where attendees can learn how to build a charcuterie board with an expert charcutier. The virtual class will begin with an overview of the cheese-making process and the history of charcuterie boards. Participants will learn how to create a beautiful and assorted charcuterie board using a kit sent to them before the event. An instructor will cover charcuterie board basics, including how to choose charcuterie meats and cheeses, the detailed tasting notes of ingredients, charcuterie board building, and drink pairing recommendations. Stay on afterward to chat, snack, and enjoy your boards!
- Number of Participants: Up to 495
- Cost: $165 per participant
- Company: Confetti Charcuterie Class | Confetti 🎉 (withconfetti.com)
3. A Virtual Holiday Cooking Lesson
Treat your guests to an event hosted by a top-rated chef who will virtually guide participants as they work in their kitchens with ingredients delivered beforehand. Choose from either a holiday appetizer (beef Wellington bites, crostini trio, roasted cranberry goat cheese, or potato latkes), a holiday main course (butternut bisque, cranberry chicken with stuffing, or turkey roulade), or a holiday dessert (apple crumb pie, chocolate crinkle cookies, chocolate holiday tree, mini gingerbread cakes, or cream cheese pumpkin bars). This is an easy turnkey event, and the rate includes a personal chef, a dedicated event planner, and ingredient delivery.
- Number of Participants: From 5 to 50+
- Cost: $129–$159 per participant based on numbers and menu item selected
- Company: Rockoly Holiday Specials Virtual Cooking Workshops | Rockoly
4. Everyone Loves Chocolate, Especially During the Holidays
Nothing says the holidays like indulging in some good chocolate. Join a certified chocolate expert for a live, interactive, and fun tasting of chocolates that will be sent directly to your guests' homes before the event. During the event, they will taste five chocolates from award-winning chocolatiers worldwide; your host will briefly review the history of chocolate-making and share stories about each of the five chocolate makers.
- Number of Participants: 18+
- Cost: $60 per participant
- Company: Bar & Cocoa Private Virtual Chocolate Tastings – Bar & Cocoa (barandcocoa.com)
5. Get Creative with a Craft Party
Another option is a holiday craft party. We found a unique company called Board & Brush that gives the gift of a do-it-yourself experience to colleagues or clients at their homes. Your guests will create a vintage-inspired, 14 × 14-inch framed holiday-themed board. Board & Brush ships kits with paint, brushes, and templates directly to your guests before the workshop, and one of their instructors will virtually provide fun step-by-step instructions to create a beautiful piece of home décor.
- Number of Participants: Up to 40
- Cost: $55 per participant
- Company: Board & Brush https://boardandbrush.com/corporate-events/
6. Host an Online Holiday Gift Exchange
Just because you are not all in the same room, it doesn't mean you cannot still do a holiday gift exchange. Go Game Holiday-Themed Online Gift Exchanges has created a virtual gift exchange platform to make your holiday parties even more festive. Play the classic party game, White Elephant, also known as Yankee Swap. This game is about stealing others' gifts and ending up with your favorite. It is easy to plan and easy to play. Go Games takes care of everything, from providing lists of gift ideas for different budgets to automating the gifting order and present-stealing process.
- Number of Participants: 10–100
- Cost: $399–$1,600 based on group size
- Company: Go Game https://www.thegogame.com/experiences/special-occasions/virtual-gift-exchange-10-gifts
7. Test Your Knowledge with Holiday Trivia
If you are looking for games, why not try some holiday trivia? Outback Team Building can host Frost’s Virtual Holiday Trivia. With this event, you and your team will join the Frosts in the lounge of their brand-new ice hotel. While you are there, your host will guide your group as they compete through three rounds of holiday- and winter-themed trivia questions, earning points for each one answered correctly. But the fun does not stop there. Your guests will also become better acquainted with each other as they take part in a round of Frost’s Icebreaker. The team with the most questions answered correctly in the fastest time will be named Frost's Virtual Holiday Trivia winners.
- Number of Participants: 4–600
- Cost: $13–$53 based on group size; $1,045 minimum
- Company: Outback Team Building https://www.outbackteambuilding.com/remote/frosts-virtual-holiday-trivia/
8. Play a Game of “Guess Who” with Childhood Holiday Photos
Break out the photo albums, and get ready for some laughs! For this activity, ask each attendee to send you a childhood holiday photo of themselves beforehand. Use a baby picture if someone does not have a holiday photo. Gather all the photos together in a slide deck with a holiday background. Then, show each photo individually and have everyone guess who is in it. You can make it even more fun by having prizes for best dressed, biggest crier on Santa's lap, hardest to guess, etc.
- Theme: Game
- Number of Participants: Unlimited
- Cost: Free
9. Throw a Virtual Pizza Party
How great would it be to throw a virtual pizza party with actual pizza? Pizzatime has come up with a way of doing just that. They handle all the logistics of planning the virtual event, leaving you to focus on your attendees. They coordinate the pizza and drink delivery and provide a live host to run interactive and engaging games with your guests. You need to give Pizzatime your attendee list and tell them the date and time of your holiday event; they will take care of the rest. They contact your guests, who let them know what they want on their pizza and where to deliver it; they then send pizza from local restaurants to everyone's doorsteps.
- Number of Participants: 8 minimum
- Cost: $32 per participant
- Company: Pizzatime https://www.pizzatime.xyz/cater/pizza
10. Go a Few Rounds with Virtual Jeopardy
If you are looking for a free and easy party game to play during your virtual event, we have found one with Jeopardy Labs, which offers a simple way to build Jeopardy-like games online. Jeopardy Labs allows you to create a customized Jeopardy template without PowerPoint. The games you make can be played online from anywhere and at any time. Building your Jeopardy template is easy, or you can use the Jeopardy templates created by others.
Number of Participants: 5–100
Company: Jeopardy Labs https://jeopardylabs.com/
As you can see, there are plenty of choices for hosting a virtual holiday event!
In our roles, we strive to think about our life as a whole. This includes offering insights that can enhance your well-being and happiness. We would like to be slightly more than your financial professional; we are partners in your life's journey, providing support beyond numbers. We hope our list helped get your creative juices flowing, and we hope you'll share your success stories with us!