The tradition of the company holiday party began in America during the Great Depression as a way to lift worker’s spirits. After the unprecedented year that 2020 has been, celebrating employees seems more important than ever—and there’s no reason it should be second-rate, just because it’s virtual. 

Here are four ways we can partner to amplify your virtual holiday party: 

1. If You Can Dream It, You Can Theme It 

Themed parties can be a really fun experience; and with customizable Zoom backgrounds, mail ahead party packages for employees, and more, you can really go all-out. However, making sure you have professional video and audio for your virtual holiday party is a must. Missed the company trip to a ski resort? Send out a cozy throw and hot cocoa mix; we’ll theme the stage for the event. Longing for that tropical cruise? Have a mixologist create a special fruity drink for your employees and send kits out ahead of time. Do you usually all go out for a special dinner? You could even hire a chef for an online cooking class. At Live Oak, we uplevel your party by seamlessly integrating videos, photos, and Powerpoint presentations to create a unique themed experience. 

(Pictured above: Ethan Stowell doing a chef demonstration for a United Way of King County donor appreciation event.)

2. Game Night, Online

Everyone loves shouting “Bingo!” right? Create a custom Bingo card with moments from the year or company terms and inside jokes for a team bonding experience. We recommend a company employee hosting the event at our Live Oak studio where they can be the game master calling out bingo cards. With our large in-studio TVs, the game master can see all the attendees and winners are able to show their card on-screen. With an in-ear monitor, the game master can hear and interact with attendees for a truly fun experience. Bingo isn’t the only game you can play for a virtual holiday party. The possibilities are endless! 

(Pictured above: The stage setup for Seattle Country Day School’s 8th Grade Graduation Celebration)

3. Virtual Employee Appreciation

We’ve all been through an often-trying year; making employees feel appreciated and heard is especially important at this time. Make sure to budget time in the holiday party program to call out employees for the impact they’ve made and why they’re so special. Having a virtual party also means the whole family can be invited. Think of ways to include children and spouses (and pets) in the activities and appreciations. Consider hiring a celebrity guest speaker for a private event that’s sure to make employees feel appreciated. You could do this from the Live Oak studio or we can bring the equipment to you! You could even keep the momentum going with an online rewards and recognition system

(Pictured above: The Black Tones doing a set for the Queen Anne Helpline fundraiser.)

4. Gift Opening On-Screen

Mail gift packages ahead of time for attendees to open on-screen. The thrill of a gift exchange is just as exciting virtually—whether the gifts are heartfelt and personal or wacky and random. In our studio, dress the stage in a holiday theme; have more than one host; and have multiple camera angles with clear video and audio. 

However you celebrate the season, taking time out to recognize employees and cultivate appreciation is always a good idea. Boosting community time with high-quality audio, video, and seamless sharing and streaming makes it even better. We encourage you to take advantage of opportunities and interactions that aren’t normally available in order to create a party worth remembering. 

Interested in hosting a holiday party? We’re here to help. 

(Featured Image: Matt Lorch and Curt Warner hosting a VIP Q&A session via Zoom for the Wonderland Child & Family Services virtual auction.)