We started Rally 7 months ago when the pandemic first hit in Toronto. Quickly realizing that 20 person Zoom calls were horrible for socials- we decided to build something better where everyone can still mingle and hang out like they use to in real life.
At the same time, we saw artists, restaurant owners, and small businesses shutting down and thought - let’s make a virtual platform where they can continue hosting and everyone could get together. After a few weeks of sleepless nights, we built Rally, a video conferencing and networking solution for parties, get together and events.
Today, Rally is being used for everything from the conference networking lounge to closing reception, to a career fair and trade show for major enterprises.
"Social engagement, parties and fun is at the heart of what we stand for."
Holiday parties are a natural extension of who we are and we’d love to share with you some ideas so you can run successful holiday parties for yourself!
We've got 18 virtual holiday party ideas here in the guide for you! All you need is a good group of people, some holiday spirit, and laughter!
16 Virtual Holiday Ideas
1) Christmas Carol Pictionary
The classic game of Pictionary where teams race to draw popular Christmas carols. Once the group knows what the Christmas carol is, they'll have to start singing it to get their points. (TheSpruce)
How to spice things up by doing it on on Rally? 🌶
Use Rally’s tables feature to break out into teams (or use our shuffle feature!) to draw popular Christmas carols.
Next, have each team go on stage to perform their Christmas carol using is Rally’s stage feature. While the team is on stage, they’ll be able to hear the background chatter of the rest of the teams in the audience singing their own rendition of the Christmas carol!
So get ready to hear the best rendition of“Silent Night”since Mariah Carey in 1994. LOL!
2) Holiday Themed Two Truths and a Lie
Two Truths and a Lie is an easy ice breaker game, and you won't need any materials—just a group of people. Also known as Two Truths, One Lie or Two Truths and One Not, it is ideal for 10 to 15 people. If you have a larger gathering, divide people up into teams so it doesn't take longer than 15 to 20 minutes to get through everyone.
How to spice things up by doing it on on Rally? 🌶
Rally’s stage feature is built for games such as Two Truths and a Lie! With the stage feature, each speaker will be able to present their two truths and a lie, whilst still being able to hear their audience as they aim to guess the lie among the bunch. The tables feature also presents an opportunity to play the game tournament style which makes a game usually deemed unfit for large groups suddenly highly competitive and endlessly fun to play!
3) (Ironically)Ugly Holiday Sweater Party
Ugly Sweater Parties are the staple theme of so many holiday parties. Whilst this holiday season may be spent at home with gatherings of just two or more people, we just can’t imagine a holiday season passing by with no ugly sweater parties at all!
Much like any ugly sweater party, first up you’ll have to find the ugliest sweater you can find - so ugly that it’ll even repel COVID-19!
Now, invite all your friends to your own Rally room by signing up through here. Set a custom backdrop for room and start socializing! No masks required for this party - just a good internet connection, a Rally account, and an ugly holiday sweater. To make this competitive, you can put each person on stage and have the audience vote for the best (or worst?) ugly sweater!
4) Holiday Kahoot!
Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform, used for educational purposes in schools and other educational institutions (although right now being used A LOT for trivia!). Basically, you create an account, choose what questions you want to put into a game and your guests sign in through the game code on their phone!
Kahoot x Rally is a match made in heaven. Using Rally to gather all your friends within one "virtual" room to test their knowledge on holiday trivia is just guaranteed to produce some memorable moments and an overall awesome party. Create your own holiday themed quiz on Kahoot! and stream it with your friends on Rally's stage to test who’s really smarter than a 5th grader or play it with different prizes at stake such as a special Christmas stocking full of holiday goodies for the winner.
What we did recently with the Rally team is have interesting trivia mixed in about each of our teammates - yay for team building :D
Put in full "polls" to the game to see who voted for who.... Who knew everyone thought Nate was most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse?
5) Virtual Secret Santa + Sending Holiday Boxes
The ULTIMATE Christmas tradition. You didn’t really think we would let a party go without a bout of Secret Santa, did you? Secret Santa involves randomly assigning members of your group/community a secret gift-giver whose identity remains unknown throughout.
Firstly, use a random name generator website such as drawnames.com to randomly assign different people their Secret Santa.
Next, once you’ve received your “Secret Santa” and their shipping address from the host, check out one of the holiday gift box ideas below:
You can send your remote employees a box of goodies the week before the virtual party and have everyone open them at the same time on Zoom or Rally!
Sending a physical gift box to remote employees is a great way to help your team feel included and appreciated! Plus they'll be experiencing something together!
6) Holiday Scavenger Hunt
An easy way to get everyone together to virtually look for things in and around their house. Instead of having everyone doing this by themselves, putting everyone into small groups will also allow them to catch-up and talk to other team members who they haven’t seen in a while! It’s tough now to catch-up with someone who’s not on your team and you don’t normally talk to. What best way to still experience that watercooler moment than doing a scavenger hunt together online!
1. Download TeamBuilding’s scavenger hunt sheet, or create your own and attach this to the customizable button in your room.
2. Shuffle everyone into groups of 3 or 4 (smaller groups will be harder!).Shuffle into tables of 2, 3 or 4!
3. Once everyone’s in their groups, start the timer for 10 minutes to let everyone find the things on the scavenger hunt sheet.
4. Once the timer’s up, whoever has collected the most things wins!! You can even have different points associated with each item to make it harder.
5. Have different scavenger hunt sheets up and do 2 or 3 rounds for a tie-breaker!
7) Holiday Bingo
If you haven't played with our regular Bingo yet - now is the perfect time to do it plus, you can make it holiday themed!
There’s a few different ways to do this. Try replacing the numbers with:
Holiday facts about your friends and colleagues. "Who's never had eggnog before?" and "Who ACTUALLY LIKES eggnog?"
Something holiday related that you can find in the house like, "Find someone who has candy canes"
Topics that are specific to a topic. If the topic is Holidays you might have questions like, “Who’s watches Die Hard every Xmas?”
Create your own Bingo Sheet (or use one of ours!) and attach this to the Room Link URL for guests to click on.
Easy mode: someone gets 5 in a row. Hard mode: black out, they have to get everything on the sheet!
8) Holiday Icebreaker Shuffle
Also very easy to set-up and takes advantage of our shuffle feature! Great for just 2 people to get to know each other better or for groups of 20 strangers for an icebreaker networking event!
The game requires you to
Upload a fun icebreaker website to your Rally room like this one here
Shuffle everyone around every 5 minutes into tables of 2 (you can switch this up to tables of 3 or 4 - up to you!)
When you get paired up, you can click the button at the top to open up the website
Start asking questions to get to know the table
Switch every 5 minutes!
Check out our page here for more detailed instructions on how to add a link to your room and set it up, and a one-pager you can send your guests before they join.
9) Holiday Workshops
Why not have a different speaker or team member teach something they love? With the ability to have multiple rooms, you can have everyone on Rally at the same time and allow users to pick and choose which room they want to go to for which topic they want to learn about.
One room can be about how to decorate a gingerbread house, another for healthy eating during the holidays (LOL!), and maybe another room for showing off your tree!! Users can also hop from one room to another to check out other talks and stay behind to mingle afterwards with the speaker to ask questions.
10) Industry Music and Magic Night
Put on a fun show for your guests! This is not only great for the audience but also a great experience for the performer as well.
Performing on Zoom….let’s just say it works okay. The key thing that’s missing is the engagement and interactiveness from the audience. It’s so important for someone on stage to know how the crowd is feeling - whether they’re laughing, crying or clapping. And it’s not enough to see the clapping on the screen in a sea of silence.
Performers can actually hear the audience while on stage in Rally without the sound overpowering them. Try bringing in a live musician, comedian or even a magician for one of your social events! One of our favourites is Daniel Chan (@danchanmagic) who always promises an amazing show!!
Virtual events can easily get old and tiresome on Zoom but you can make them more fun and memorable for your guests!
11) Holiday Team Trivia
Gather your team into groups of 3 or 4 and have a battle of the wits! (This can also be played with Kahoots! or Mentimeter)
Each table on Rally can be toggled between Public and Private. Public tables can be heard in the background as part of the background sound and is open for anyone to join the table.
When it’s Private, no one can join or hear you which makes it perfect for trivia!
Gather your friends up to try out trivia on Rally!
Create a Google Doc that’s shareable with everyone that has 3 questions: 1) Team Name 2) Question Number 3) Answer.
Link this Google Doc in the Room Action URL when you’re editing your room in the venue
Once everyone is in the room, split everyone up into groups of 3 or 4 (or use our Shuffle feature to mix everyone up randomly).
As the Game Master (you as a host!), you can go on stage to ask the trivia questions while everyone else stays in their tables.
Have everyone lock the table so no one else can hear them and make sure they have the Google Doc open to submit the answer.
Then ask away! Questions can be a song snippet, movie snippet, worded question, a poster - basically anything you want and make sure teams only have 30 seconds to submit their answer in the form. (Here’s an article of funny trivia questions!)
Each answer is recorded in an excel and at the end of the trivia, you can just filter through the team names and questions to see who had the highest number of right answers!
Gingerbread Wars is a fun, virtual holiday event that includes themed games, competitions and actual cookies. Before your event, they send each of your participants a gingerbread kit in the mail that includes gingerbread people, frosting, candies and more. Then, everyone goes on a video call for games like holiday trivia and gingerbread self-portraits.
Gingerbread Wars is a 90 minute event, conducted over a video conferencing line that the company provides. They also provide a cheerful lead host that makes sure everyone is engaged, and a co-host that manages the technical aspects. Gingerbread Wars is fun, cheerful, and maybe the best darn way to celebrate the holidays with a remote team.
The Naughty List is a unique holiday variation of the game Never Have I Ever. Check out TeamBuilding's holiday blog for the full instructions and downloadable template.
Every team member starts the game by holding up ten fingers.
Each team member takes a turn making a statement starting with “You are on the naughty list if…”
If a team member has committed the act, the team member will lower one finger.
The game continues for a set number of rounds, or until only one employee has fingers in the air.
Whoever has fingers in the air at the end of all rounds wins the game.
You can add your own items to the Naughty List too!
13) Chubby Elf
Chubby Elf is a similar game to Chubby Bunny where you stuff as many marshmellows as you can in your mouth and then recite a famous christmas story OR christmas carol!
The rules require the storyteller to recite the plot to a classic Christmas story or Holiday song with a mouth full of marshmallows. Teammates will try to guess the story as quickly as possible. The team or individual with the most points at the end of the game wins a holiday-themed prize, like a snow-globe, or maybe the rest of the marshmallows.
14) Gingerbread Decorating Contest
You don't know how competitive and creative people get until you host a gingerbread decorating contest!!
To host a cookie decorating contest during your online holiday party, you will need to mail supplies to your teammates about a week ahead of time.
Find local bakers that sell gingerbread houses or house kits for cheap online, or you can always assemble your own kits with frosting packs and homemade cookies. Gather your equipment such as sprinkles, gumdrops, fun holiday gummies and candies to decorate your house with! Get creative!
Once your online party begins, you and the team can decorate the goodies together and compare results. Or, you can allow teammates to decorate cookies independently and upload results to a shared photo album or Slack group! Then, vote via poll function on Zoom OR just put them on stage for Rally and announce winners during your video call.
Things can get pretty intense.......
14) Christmas Card Competition
Speaking of creative virtual Christmas party ideas, this one can get some serious laughs.
Before the party, invite everyone to try and make the best/funniest Christmas card they can. This can get really funny - especially if you've got some funny photos of your teammates lying around on the laptop!
Pretty much no graphic design skills are necessary for this one as there are some great, free tools out there:
Canva – A tool that gives you heaps of templates, backgrounds, Christmas icons and Christmassy fonts to make a Christmas card within minutes.
PhotoScissors – A tool that helps you cut faces out of photos super easily and download them for use in Canva.
Plain ol' Powerpoint works as well!
Get your guests to present their crafted creations during your virtual Christmas party and them to vote it up!
Maybe you can even use the design for real Christmas cards to send out to everyone afterwards through Shutterfly!
15) Paint Night with the Team
What better way to spend the holidays than making some art you can share with your friends or use to decorate your house. The makers of the original Paint Nite have gone virtual, and you can check out some of their events here!
They always have new ones coming out - check out this cute Polar Bear one you can signup for!
16) Virtual Happy Hour
Run a virtual cocktail happy hour with your team, family or friends! Rally makes this super easy by allowing you to mingle in a very organic and human way!
Plus, the background chatter in the rooms will really give you that feeling of being in the same room as them!
OR if someone's being a bit too loud - you can also turn off the background chatter.
If you want to run a full cocktail making class with a host, check out some amazing classes from Evee.
We hope you've enjoyed reading our Ultimate Virtual Holiday Party Guide. These are just some fun ideas to make your holidays a bit more festive. But of course, the important thing in making the holidays festive are the loved ones you're spending time with!
Even if we have to social distance, there's still ways to have fun together virtually and stay connected!
Hopefully this will be the last holiday we have with a pandemic, but even so, let's make the most of it!