How to Throw a Virtual Event this Holiday Season

Picture of Mariana Hauri
Mariana Hauri

Director of Sales
Shelborne Hotel, Miami Beach, FL

Virtual holiday parties might not sound as fun as in-person events — so what might you say to readers who are considering planning one, but are afraid they won’t be able to make it fun
for guests?

I would suggest to have a positive message when inviting your guests and maybe include a fun theme or a game. Ask them to wear their favorite ‘ugly Christmas’ sweater, for example, or maybe host a virtual talent show! It’s important to keep your colleagues and team connected during these tough times, while having a common goal during the party.

What are your top three tips for throwing a virtual holiday party?

First of all, the invite has to entice your guests to join the virtual party. Ask them to join you for a ‘virtual toast’ with everyone’s drink of choice and include a fun activity or theme. Don’t forget, food and beverages have always been essential to a party – pre-covid and especially during covid.

Secondly, focus on the time spent together. We tend to cycle back to the current state of the world, but try asking questions to different guests and including everyone in the conversations. It’s understandable that some guests speak more than others, but having a list of questions to ask each guest might help include everyone. Make sure everyone is aware where their mute button is located!

Lastly, plan it out! Just like any event, virtual parties also have to be planned and executed, while having fun!

Is there anything else you might like to add?

Place a time limit on the calls, just so they don’t go over time and at a certain point, it just becomes awkward. Yes, you know what I mean! Finish the meeting by maybe asking for suggestions or themes for the next meeting or virtual party. I’m sure others will give great recommendations!