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How to plan a virtual Christmas party

If you asked us this time last year how we'd be spending the festive party season, the answer definitely wouldn't have been "at home"! Things might be a bit different this year, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy a good (virtual) party.

The concept of virtual parties exploded onto the event planning scene recently as an alternative way to get teams together at Christmas, when they can't physically be together. Our guide to virtual parties tells you everything you need to know about planning your own, and how to avoid any awkward silences on Zoom!

Whether or not you know what type of virtual party you want to have, we can help create a bespoke celebration for your budget and party size. Let us know your requirements by submitting an enquiry form on this page.

What are my options for a virtual Christmas party?

The most popular idea we’re currently seeing is to book a virtual class, where an expert will teach your team a fun new skill over an interactive video call.

People are loving virtual cook-along classes, where gourmet meal kits are sent to staff, and a chef from the restaurant teaches your team how to cook the perfect meal, or a virtual cocktail making class, a similar concept with a mixologist on Zoom rather than a chef. The highly interactive elements of these classes remove any video call related awkwardness and allow your team to enjoy the most important aspects of a Christmas party; food, drink and the company of colleagues.

Other activities include classes like wreath and bouquet making, virtual gigs with musicians or performances from comedians.

If the idea of a virtual party isn’t appealing, sending personalised gifts to your team is a great way to thank them for all their hard work. Think Christmas hampers stuffed with goodies, three-course Christmas dinner kits for them to cook at home or personalised doughnuts and brownies.

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How do I get everything to my team, and when do I need to place an order?

Some cook-along classes require your team to purchase ingredients themselves, but most involve kits with all the gear delivered straight to their doors.

Try to order kits about a week in advance of your party date, although some suppliers can do deliveries at shorter notice, so they reach everyone on time. Most kits can be delivered nationwide, with some suppliers offering international delivery.

Any supplier you book through Feast It was selected for their reliability as well as quality, so all you need to do is fill in the addresses of staff, and your order will make it to them in time.

How much should I spend on a virtual Christmas party?

That depends whether you’re looking to simply to send something out to your team or throw a virtual class. Meal or cocktail kits start at about £30 + delivery per person. If you’d like to have an expert teaching your team over Zoom, you can expect to pay around £150-£250 extra on top of the cost of the kits.

Activities like wreath making, where you get all the materials delivered to you, can cost more than food classes. You can expect to pay around £90, which should still come in much cheaper than a traditional Christmas party, where the average spend is over £100 per head.

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How should we host a virtual event?

Zoom allows up to 100 people on a standard call and up to 1,000 with their Large Meeting add on.

Past the actual choice of software, we recommend reaching out to your team at least a week in advance to make sure that everyone’s free (although with lockdown there shouldn’t be too many excuses) and to check any dietary requirements if you’re doing a cook along.

Personally, we would recommend getting in a host for an activity like a cook-along class or cocktail making session where it’s important to keep the interactive element of the event going.

We recommend rounding off your party with your own interactive quiz (sorry to bring up Zoom quizzes) or virtual awards ceremony so your team can feel like they’re enjoying their meal or drinks together, without any awkward silence!

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What about dietary requirements?

No problem at all, just let the suppliers know and they can sort it!

You can enquire about the country's best suppliers for your Christmas party right here.