(Updated 21st December 2020)
Time to talk about the C word…. (no not Covid), Christmas! 2020 has been a very bumpy year - why make it worse by not having a Christmas party with your team?
With the previous restrictions and local lockdowns in place, we took initiative and took Christmas digital! According to the recent research that IET Birmingham: Austin Court carried out, 60% of people are now expecting Christmas parties to be more important and better than ever after the year we have all had. With Christmas being a current trending debate for a number of reasons this year, the festive season is now sitting right on the periphery of our timelines. The challenge of 2020 being the lack of interaction and human contact not being allowed. This meant that people were not able to organise their usual annual Christmas parties which tends to be the highlight of an office year.
As we knew wellness was a big concern for remote workers this year, we decided to launch our virtual Christmas party campaign in the hope to boost spirits and morale within offices. We had created an e-book to send to employers making them aware of this exciting opportunity. We also listed ways they can get festive with their team virtually, without our help. We launched an email campaign which was sent to relevant employers which included this ebook but also showed them the website we had created to give them more information on how they could boost the morale within their team.
No matter what size your team was, we had customisable packages that would fit around you and your budget. We had the skills and expertise to ensure that your brief was met, and exceeded. Providing a complete package to deliver your annual office party (but from home!) Not only offering drinks, food and entertainment within our individual packages, we were also including a mixed reality virtual environment offering and VR room (if you have the Zoom fatigue!)
Our aim for our virtual Christmas parties is to boost the wellbeing and morale of teams out there which cannot celebrate together due to the pandemic. Many people look forward to their annual Christmas party, it’s a time for them to let their hair down and celebrate the year ahead.
On our live Online Events Made Simple podcast, we recently had industry professional Narmeen Kamran discussing the virtual Christmas party options out there with our Marketing Manager Rhian and Partnership Manager Dean. This got the word out there about our campaign but also made our audience aware of simple things they could do virtually with their teams. You can watch the podcast on demand below.
From the podcast it was made clear that many companies and individuals are looking to take Christmas digital this year, whether that’s a teambuilding session through Zoom or a full Christmas party. Many people look forward to the festive season, being able to drink and be merry with their team. With most office Christmas parties now being cancelled, why not boost morale within the team and support Christmas during this pandemic? Here at EventMind, our speciality is managing virtual event projects - perfect, right? Francesca, a clinical psychologist has previously said “online celebrations are no substitute for the real thing, but tech can work in our favour. It allows people to see each other which will help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness” which just clarified to us that there was a space in the market for this virtual idea.
You can find an example agenda of our virtual Christmas parties here which we used within our marketing to give you a better understanding of the timings and the agenda.
Virtual Christmas Party Ideas
Your Christmas party doesn’t need to be a full blown creation, why not plan some fun virtual activities to do with your team to get in the Christmas festive spirit and boost the mood? Below is a list of virtual activities you could consider running yourself on a software you may already be using - what about Zoom or Google Meets?
Whether you’re a team of 5, 100 or 500 - organising a virtual Christmas party could really boost the wellness and morale of your team, and we’re here to help you do that. If you’re working in the corporate sector and you’d like more information on how you can book your last minute Christmas party then you can contact the team - however you’ll have to be quick as the slots are running out!
A client approached us from the education sector with the idea of organising a virtual Christmas party for their team, but their biggest worry was they didn’t know where to start. As mentioned, most office Christmas parties and gatherings have been pulled to a halt so there there was a real opportunity to bring their team together, support smaller entertainment businesses and raise the morale of people during this time of year given that it would be another year until Christmas parties may (or may not) be happening again.
First, the client discussed how they had a team of 50 team members and so was concerned it would be expensive, and confusing to organise as some team members weren’t ‘tech savvy.’ We helped them through this process by explaining how our virtual Christmas parties were fully flexible and could be as expensive, or as reasonable as they wanted, this completely depended on the choice of entertainment and food/drink options they wanted. Their biggest concern was how to organise it for a team of 50 when some members weren’t the most progressed when it comes to event technology, so we discussed this is what EventMind can help with, and they soon overcame this concern and worry.
To begin, with the EventMind virtual Christmas parties we had two available event platforms on offer - Zoom and Mixed Reality Rooms. Of course, we all know and (is love a strong word?!) Zoom. In the UK the daily active users of this software reached a peak of roughly 1.7 million users in November this year and so as a team we agreed this was the most accessible and understood platform to use. However, after extensive research, we also partnered with Mixed Reality Rooms, which is a fully immersive Christmas themed room, where you can walk around, talk with others on video and use interactive options such as viewing entertainment on a tv (think interactive Sims but for a Christmas party - amazing right?) We wanted to have a second technology software to offer to our clients as we understand some people may be feeling the Zoom fatigue as they usually use this software in their everyday working life, so we wanted to have an option we can offer to our clients, which is different to the ordinary, and to wow them. We had also partnered with Fuzzy Brick, which is a VR experience room. Again unlike our other two options, this was a completely different environment we had to offer, which some clients may be interested to hear more about.
As we know all our clients would have a completely different agenda, budget and idea to work around - having the option of Zoom (a basic but easy to use software), Mixed Reality Rooms (a creative and adaptable software) and Fuzzy Brick (a fully immersive experience) we could meet all of our clients needs. Zoom is great as it is a budget friendly option, where we can still adapt to use with our entertainment options, and no matter how tech-savvy (or tech-phobic) you are, it's an easy software anyone can use. Although Mixed Reality Rooms were higher in budget, the room is fully customisable to the clients branding, offers easy break out rooms and can make the entertainment more engaging - so we had both budget options covered.
When speaking with our client, their main concern was the budget, however when viewing our Mixed Reality Room offering, they were blown away and agreed that they will be using this for their party.
Once we had agreed with the client the software they would like to use, this is where our team of specialists came in. We discussed how our team could provide full tech support during the event, so if any technical issues were to arise, we were on hand to fix these immediately. All of the team had full training on both softwares we used, and were able to overcome any issues that had a potential to happen.
The next stage was to go through the entertainment which the client had in mind. Before launching our virtual Christmas party campaign, our team of experts specifically focused upon finding entertainment which was varied, supported the local industry and helped smaller businesses on the market. We created a TikTok video of the Christmas entertainers we had on offer which you can view here but also in the image below.
The list of the entertainment options we had on offer are shown below:
We were sure that our extensive list of entertainers would please any client that came to us, and we were proud to be supporting smaller businesses during this time.
On this occasion, our client had chosen to go with the magician and the quiz as part of their Christmas party entertainment. They had decided how they would like the magician to wander around the mixed reality room to mingle with the guests, and then the quiz to take part later on in their party as this is something they could split into breakout sessions for.
We were really proud to partner with One Fine Dine and City Pantry for our food option. Both of these options provided a different food experience, One Fine Dine specialises in delivering high quality fine dine meals whereas City Pantry focused upon the snack and drink options. We decided to partner with these companies as they are local and provided a range of options for our clients.
On this occasion, our client discussed how they would like the snack option to keep the budget lower, and they had the opportunity to choose between a sweet snack, a savory, an alcoholic drink and a cocktail kit if they wished.
Once the client had chosen their software, their entertainment and food options, we worked on the logistics of booking the entertainment, receiving their information for delivery and setting up the event for them. The client gave us the following lovely testimonial:
“A huge thank you to Dean and the team at EventMind, we weren’t sure what Christmas 2020 was going to look like and keen not to have another Zoom call, EventMind did not disappoint! The team were on hand and supportive from day one helping us to curate a virtual event which lived up to the enjoyment of a live one – thank you again to everyone.”
From organising these virtual events, we learnt that clients were really excited to try a virtual version of a party, and were very open to trying our ideas. Below are a list of points we found from organising virtual parties:
The party was a huge success and we had great feedback, could virtual Christmas parties stick around for the future?
EventMind does not endorse any particular virtual event platform or software. We review the platforms available on the market monthly (through a combination of client feedback, test events and demos). If you're looking to make online events simple, or want trusted and unbiased advice, then contact the team today by emailing email@example.com or calling 0330 133 3485.