How to Throw the Best Virtual or In-Person Holiday Party

Thursday December 9th, 2021

Author: Staples Professional Inc.

Marking the end of a challenging year is more than a gesture — it’s a necessity when it comes to recognizing the resilience and talent of your teams. From navigating vaccinations to vacations to figuring out conferencing software at the drop of a hat, employees deserve to let loose a little, especially after the challenging couple of years we’ve all had.

With many companies large and small still working from home or embracing a hybrid model, what does a holiday party look like that follows pandemic protocols both virtually, and in-person?

We’ve gathered some interesting ideas and the tools businesses will need to be able to pull off a successful holiday party no matter the size of your organization. Get the celebration started with the ideas below.

Keep it clean

Whether it’s turning your workplace into party central, or renting out an appropriate venue, equipping everyone with products to keep things clean, safe, well and festive are essential. Keep disposable masks and hand sanitizer on-hand, and at a variety of stations, everyone’s comfort and safety.

Seasonal spirit

There is more to company branded merchandise than a sweatshirt and Staples Professional has a multitude of options. Bring your team together by asking them to use, or wear, the same items — mugs, calendars, t-shirts and more.

Set the mood if you’re going virtual, and help your employees get into the holiday spirit by providing a branded Bluetooth Speaker and creating a company playlist full of party worthy songs easily shared through a music streaming service like Spotify or Canada’s own Stingray.

Celebrating in person? Make sure everyone leaves the party with a branded memento — to say goodbye to years past and welcome in the new year ahead.


Food is a vital part of any gathering, virtual or not. Supplying tasty treats can be as easy as creating custom edible care packages to send out to your team(s), or selecting a predetermined package curated to perfection. If your organization is making custom packages, make sure it’s not too involved and can accommodate most people’s dietary restrictions.

For an in-person gathering, make sure that your snacks are individually portioned to avoid any cross-contamination. And supply disposable, compostable tableware and disposable, recyclable glassware to keep things clean, and good for the environment.


Any party can have moments of awkward silence and stilted conversation. Help your team avoid the impulse to turn off their cameras and check their socials by providing top notch entertainment to keep morale high and engagement off the charts. Look for technology like Weve and Confetti that is designed specifically to host your virtual get together — built-in games and a live host can keep the gathering going.

Having your celebration at a venue large enough for social distancing? Consider hiring entertainment and looking for local talent that can take things to the next level. Toronto Jazz Collective’s cover bands will get your group singing at the top of their lungs.

So, whether you’re a team of thousands or a group that’s small but mighty, throwing a successful virtual holiday party to round out the year can be as easy as a few simple steps.

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