After a year of hard work and dedication, there are few better ways to wrap up the year than a company party! These events give everyone the chance to come together, share stories and laughs, and celebrate the year’s successes, which is important for team and company morale.
However, many organizations have yet to re-enter the office, while others have a large number of remote employees that are unable to attend an in-person party. The good news is that you can take your company party to the virtual space, creating an experience that everyone can enjoy, no matter where they are.
Here are some tips and best practices to help you host a virtual party that everyone will remember, plus a look at how we at Zoom brought our holiday party online!
Company party best practices
While the agenda and presentation of a company party is unique to each organization, there are some basic rules you can follow to create a seamless and fun experience for everyone. Here are a few best practices to help you get your event up and running:
- Choose the right solution for your event. You’ll need a solution that allows you to interact with attendees and enables attendees to interact with each other. However, you’ll also want control over the experience to shape it and avoid disruptions — you don’t want an unmuted participant ruining a performance from a special guest or disrupting the CEO’s speech! Zoom Events is an all-in-one event solution that gives you the control and flexibility you need to create the perfect experience!
- Set up your agenda in advance. Deciding on your agenda early allows you to book speakers, entertainment, and other surprises, and gives you a better idea of how your event is taking shape. Planning in advance also allows you to figure out how you will host each agenda item, and how it might work on your chosen platform.
- Create a fun and exciting atmosphere. While some might join the party just to hang out and chat with coworkers, others will want party games and other surprises to enjoy. Be sure to create an atmosphere where everyone has something to do and somewhere to go by hosting party games, trivia, or speaker events for your attendees to enjoy.
- Provide an equitable experience for everyone. A company party is an event that everyone should be able to enjoy! With features like live transcription and translation, you can help enable all of your attendees to engage and enjoy the experience, including those that speak a different language or may be hard of hearing.
Ideas for your next virtual party
Whether you’re hosting your party in person or virtually, here are some helpful tips to bring your teams closer together and take your company party to the next level.
- Humanize your leadership teams. Creating opportunities for employees to get to know your leadership teams is a huge part of building a cohesive company culture. Incorporate fun and interesting events that give your employees the chance to learn more about their leaders, such as trivia competitions, party games, and ask-me-anything sessions.
- Offer team-building activities. The goal of a company party is to bring employees together, so be sure to offer activities and events that work toward that goal. Activities where all attendees can participate and interact with each other, such as a photo booth, karaoke bar, or cooking class, create opportunities to bring people together and strengthen the bonds that build effective companies and teams.
- Bring the holiday spirit to your employees. The holidays are a time for giving and showing gratitude, and what better way to show that gratitude than a gift to your employees! Sending your employees a gift after the party, whether it’s something small like a gift card or gift basket, or something more personal like a mug or backpack, commemorates the event and makes for a wonderful holiday surprise!
Zoom’s 10-year anniversary holiday party
To give you some ideas on how to set up and host your own gathering, we’d like to share some highlights from our holiday party, which also served as a celebration of Zoom’s 10-year anniversary! Here are some highlights from the event:
Kicking off the event with Jimmy O Yang and Eric Yuan
Our holiday party started off with an introduction from Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan and surprise speaker, Jimmy O Yang, star of the holiday hit Love Hard and Crazy Rich Asians.
Jimmy and Eric discussed a number of topics, including Eric’s favorite memories and top lessons learned from his 10 years at Zoom, some of Jimmy’s recollections from the set of Crazy Rich Asians, and even the possibility of an Eric Yuan Hollywood biopic!
For our holiday party, we decided it was time to declare the king or queen of cake decorating at Zoom with our very first Cake-Off! Three members of our leadership team were given 20 minutes to decorate a Zoom-inspired cake, competing for a $10,000 prize to be donated to the charity of their choice. Here’s an introduction to our competitors and the nonprofits they supported:
- Aparna Bawa, Chief Operating Officer, chose to represent the The Center for Black Educator Development, which focuses on offering opportunities for Black college and high school students in culturally responsive and literacy-focused academies.
- Velchamy Sankarlingam, President of Product and Engineering, competed on behalf of The Tech Interactive, which aims to inspire innovation in everyone.
- Ryan Azus, Chief Revenue Officer, chose to compete for Re:Coded, a charity serving the Middle East and North Africa that trains underrepresented talent to build and advance their careers and become tech leaders.
At the end of the competition, our Zoomies had the chance to vote and pick their favorite cake! Bringing home 41% of the vote, Ryan ‘took the cake’ and claimed his rightful place as the champion of cake decorating. Congratulations to Ryan and to his chosen charity, Re:Coded!
Inspiring holiday cheer with a virtual Photo Booth
To bring our Zoomies together in the virtual space, we also hosted virtual photo booths where employees could chat, share laughs, and get their picture taken! Using Expo, a new feature in Zoom Events launching at the end of January, Zoomies had the option to join one of four photo booths, which were hosted using our Breakout Room functionality.
Once inside the photo booth, Zoomies were placed in a holiday-themed virtual background using our Immersive View feature, which brings each participant into a cohesive customizable scene.
A friendly game of poker
Games are an essential part of any holiday party, and what better way to bring some excitement and fun to the party than poker! Hosted using Expo and Breakout Rooms, we had four poker tables, each complete with a host and dealer, where Zoomies could drop in and try their luck on a few hands of poker using Zoom Apps.
Elevate your next company party with Zoom Events
If you’re looking to turn your next company party into a virtual experience, Zoom Events provides an intuitive, dynamic platform for planning, marketing, and hosting your event. Speak to a Zoom expert to learn how Zoom Events can help you take your event to the next level and create an experience that everyone will remember!