Get Festive! Corporate Holiday Party Ideas Your Team Will Love

Your staff has worked hard this year being malleable and innovative. They have worked through changes and frustrations. Reward them with a fun end-of-year escape to recognize their hard work and to energize them for a successful 2021. 

Planning a holiday party that meets staff expectations and current mandates doesn’t have to be a challenge when you can infuse a bit of creativity and work with a venue to help make it happen.  

Corporate Holiday Parties Aligned with the Times

Here are some holiday party ideas to add cheer to the season while still following safety protocols. 


One perk of planning a party in a venue with multiple gathering options is that you can create a sense of “normalcy,” even during a pandemic. Ballrooms and meeting spaces can host larger, socially distanced groups, while smaller gathering areas provide room for intimate conversations and connections.

Selecting a venue that can also provide a virtual option for attendees who prefer to attend from home shows your staff that you genuinely care for their well-being and appreciate their flexibility and hard work for your business this year. 

The Inn at Virginia Tech has plenty of space to spread your team out. We have implemented state-of-the-art technology to include virtual attendees as well. 


Socially distancing is the new black. It’s fashionable and necessary. 

  • Rather than have everyone meet at once in one big room, separate your group into teams and have the teams enjoy the party together. Meeting in one location but in separate rooms gives a sense of cohesiveness even if everyone can’t be in one place together. 
  • For food options, a full-service buffet is just one creative and workable option that many venues have used to maintain the freedom of food choices while making sure everyone is safe. Additionally, Bento Boxes are individual, covered meals, but this doesn’t have to mean the food is simple. Tasty, gourmet meals are available, even with individual serving plates. 


Go all out on the in-person holiday party that includes a smaller group of key executives. This could be the night before the “main event” or a separate evening altogether.

One key advantage of an intimate cocktail party is the opportunity to breathe fresh vision and energy into your leaders. When your leaders are inspired, they will be able to lead well into the coming year. 

2021 may be feeling like an uphill climb. Show your support and appreciation to your highest level of leaders, and they’ll likely return the favor. 

corporate holiday parties - inn at virginia tech


Likely you have staff that prefers to quarantine for their own health or the health of a family member. You can extend your appreciation by finding unique ways that are tailored specifically to them. 

  • Send a party package ahead of time – Send them a box that includes some fun swag, a few prizes for virtual attendees only, and a bottle of wine with glasses. 
  • When you’re planning the company prize giveaway, either have all virtual prizes (gift certificates, for example) or arrange to have all of the product prizes delivered, Santa Clause style. 
  • Arrange takeout or delivery of the food for them so they can relax and enjoy the party without worrying about meals. 

RELATED: High Standards and Innovation: Preston’s Recipe for Safely Serving During a Pandemic


To make the party stand out, consider giving the gathering a theme. Themes are fun because they make the party unique and memorable. 

    • Make the most of having to mask up while staying ultra fashionable. 
    • Have a mask contest. You could have categories like company spirit, latest fashion, most festive, best creativity, etc. Even wearing a mask can be fun! 
    • Allow guests to let their competitive spirit go wild at card stations.
    • Invite an Elvis entertainer, or have an Elvis impersonator competition
    • Make everyone a winner by donating the proceeds to a local charity.
    • If you’re planning a family-friendly business party, plan it during the day and include games for people of all ages. 
    • If you’re planning an adult-only evening affair, outdoor events can be incredibly elegant with twinkling lights and properly spaced tents and gazebos.  
    • A drive-in movie is a trend that is unique and memorable! Be sure to hire bellhops to serve meals to the cars of the guests. 
corporate holiday parties - inn at virginia tech


Boost morale and make a memorable event with fun awards that you can give both personally and virtually. Consider awards such as “best Zoomer” or “fastest email replier” along with the more typical award considerations.


Bottom line: It’s been a challenging year for everyone. Get in the spirit of the season and bring your team together for something with deeper meaning, such as a charity drive. Have them bring canned goods, wrapped gifts, or cash donations. Create team spirit with a little friendly competition between departments or execs vs. employees. 

Whatever you do, think hard about hosting a company Christmas party for your team. The year has been challenging for everyone. The staff at The Inn at Virginia Tech is ready to help you plan a party that will refresh your whole team.  Learn more here >>

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