How to Plan Your Office Holiday Party in 2021 – NuvoDesk Coworking

How to Plan Your Office Holiday Party in 2021

Leslie Radford

Key Points

Things to consider when planning your holiday party along with ideas for virtual and in-person events

If your office is back to working in person, your holiday party may look a little different this year with social distancing still being a thing. If you haven’t returned fully to in-person, you may be looking for new ways to still host a holiday party to boost morale. Either way, NuvoDesk can help you out with ideas and steps to plan the perfect holiday party at work.

Be Mindful of Your Holiday Gathering

Holiday parties are meant to celebrate your company’s accomplishments and express gratitude to your employees. And my goodness, do we ever need little celebrations and to cherish moments of gratitude after 2021 and 2020!

Taking into account the necessary Covid precautions, there’s a little more preparation that will go into your end of 2021 company party. You want to be mindful of everyone’s comfort levels considering we are still amid the pandemic.

Your employees may feel more comfortable with an in-person party that requires masks. The ones who don’t want to wear masks or be so close to others may prefer a virtual party. The best thing you can do is ask them what they want so you can make everyone feel comfortable and have a good time.

Virtual, In-Person, and Hybrid Gatherings

  • Host an online white elephant gift exchange.  Using a site like, you can have fun exchanging gifts while social distancing. Set a gift amount limit, meet up online, unwrap a gift from the virtual table, and view & steal gifts from fellow participants just like in person.
  • Virtual holiday pub quiz. Pub quizzes are a fantastic way to bring the team together. This lively holiday party idea is ideal if you have some trivia fans in your midst, and it works well for larger groups. Transform a regular pub quiz into the perfect holiday party quiz by adding some festive flair. You could fashion your own game on zoom or use something like  This can easily be set up for an in-person gathering.
  • Painting party. A virtual painting party is a great option for organizations looking to buck the party trend. It’s a relaxing experience that your team can enjoy together to embrace the holiday season, and it makes a refreshing change if being lively and extroverted isn’t your team’s style. Many companies out there will arrange for painting supplies to be sent to your party guests with instructions so everyone can paint together!
  • Virtual Happy Hour. Choose a platform to host your happy hour (Zoom works) and spice it up with a theme (ugly sweater contest anyone?). You could play drinking games or give everyone a chance to share a holiday cocktail recipe. The options are limitless. You could also use something like to set up and send out virtual credit cards for your team members where they can order drinks to be sent to their homes and it’s also a simple way to give back to your coworkers. 
  • Escape Rooms. Good for team-building and also just downright fun! These will be hard to reserve throughout December, so plan well in advance. Afterward, grabs some drinks or dinner.
  • Rent a Movie Theater. Rent out a movie theater and watch the latest blockbuster with all of your employees. It’s an easy way to get everyone together in one place without having to worry about food or drinks.
  • A Cookie Decorating Class. Can be done in person or virtually or both! Decorating is fun for everybody and adds a flair to a traditional holiday party while doing something a little different. 

How To Host A Successful Holiday Party

christmas office party close up

Planning, setting up, and hosting a successful holiday party comes down to a lot of small decisions. Here are some things to consider when planning a holiday gathering whether in-person or online:

Set A Date  

  • Send a survey to employees with possible date options
  • Select the date with the most votes
  • Send a “Save the Date”- this can also be done via

Budget It  

  • Determine how much you want to spend for a budget to be set.
  • List party elements in order of importance (entertainment, food, decoration, gifts, etc.)

Type of Party  


  • In-person event
  • Hybrid event
  • Virtual event
  • An after-hours party
  • Formal event
  • Casual affair
  • Themed party
  • Venue 
  • At the office
  • At a home
  • At a local venue

Tip: Consider the following elements when selecting a location for your event: price to book the location, size/maximum occupancy, the proximity of the venue to work, and available facilities.


  • Pay for Uber rides
  • Hire a bus
  • Have a carpool sign-up sheet.


  • Buffet
  • Sit-down dinner
  • Floating appetizers
  • Venue-supplied food and beverages
  • Potluck


  • Holiday-themed cocktails
  • Open bar
  • Just wine (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)



  • Holiday music
  • Live entertainment
  • DJ
  • Low-key tunes
  • Games


To make those precious memories last, you can hire a photographer and set up a photo booth to capture holiday laughter and fun.

Party Time

festive guitar

Whether you decide to have an in-person party or a virtual one, the key is for everyone to have fun!

Need a space to host your holiday gathering? NuvoDesk has an event center perfect for you! 


By Leslie Radford
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