How to host a virtual holiday happy hour 🌟🎆 - Some templates, tips, and tricks.
Why am I thinking about Holidays right now? It's too early for some, and for others the holiday season starts in September and carries through the end of the year. (I'm a finish gift shopping by Halloween kind of person myself.)
In a traditional office, teams celebrate holidays together and build culture. Whether it's a Halloween costume party, an international potluck lunch or an annual gift giving game, teams around the world take time to celebrate with each other.
As a remote first company, MURAL builds rituals around holidays that bring fun to virtual teams and maintain the intent of these traditions with MURAListas all around the globe. Here's what we have learned.
Use a template
A template lays out the plan of the event for you, gives you direction and instructions for activities, and sets the mood for your happy hour. It's like playing a game on easy mode. You can focus on bringing in the people in and facilitating the fun.
Remix it to suit your teams' needs and holiday
Don't want to decorate a Christmas tree? Great what celebration can you replicate in a mural instead? Want to celebrate Halloween and Fall instead? Remix it!
Templates are guides. Once you download one, it's yours to modify and adjust to make it work for your team and create a space and event that matters to them.
Set the stage for the fun
Part of what makes a holiday happy hour special is the decorations, the special setting, the music, the food, and the small gifts. Going virtual means reimagining the party space. To help get people in the party spirit, share custom video backgrounds, send out party boxes with decorations, nibbles, cocktails/mocktails, and have a playlist going as guests arrive. When you do this, you are making that happy hour space a little more special and a little less business as usual.
Start with an ice breaker
Use the ice breaker to set the tone for your happy hour. Whether it's sharing a holiday tradition, playing a fun game, or doing something silly, the goal is to build fun and get to know the people you work with over the internet every single day.
Create safe spaces for sharing and choose meaningful activities
Like all sessions, people need safety to participate. Make sure you model the behavior you want to people to engage in, and if you have a shy-er crowd, recruit some members before the party and prep them to jump in on the activities to get the ball rolling. Lead the way by sharing a little something about yourself to set up an inclusive environment.
The happy hour is a great opportunity to build and foster relationships that happen all year round. When you are setting up your happy hour, be sure to include moments that people can share as much or as little about themselves as they like. Happy hour relationships grow into cross-functional work relationships, so give people space, time, and activities to connect and really get to know each other.
Wrap it up with something people can take away with them and share
Part of any good party is having something to take and leave with. Consider including a small gift like a gift card or a link to a fun holiday experience that your party-goers take with them as they go.
Holiday Happy Hours are the best
So what do you think? Is your holiday happy hour going virtual this year? What holiday are you celebrating, and what activities are you highlighting?