Blue Christmas Without You

Weddings may be making a comeback in 2022, but office holiday parties aren’t quite there yet. 

Event bookings are way down this winter, and the parties that are happening are much smaller. Even Silicon Valley, known for its elaborate soirees, is trending smaller this year—with parties limited to individual departments or entirely virtual. Neither Google nor Facebook will be throwing major holiday parties this year. 

Other companies are forging ahead, moving events outdoors with heaters and requiring both vaccination and negative COVID tests in advance. Some are even bringing rapid testing on-site.

With the Omicron wild card still dangling, companies proceeding with virtual events for the second year may be wondering how to keep employees engaged through a screen. With lessons learned from 2020, this year’s virtual events will be shorter and more interactive:

  • San Francisco-based company Brex is including DJ sets and using a virtual event platform called Welcome to make events more immersive
  • Muck Rack’s party will feature magician and mentalist Coby Elimelech reading virtual attendees’ minds…and includes a food and drink stipend for employees.
  • Facebook will host a virtual variety show with performances from Broadway talent. 

Other popular virtual events include chocolate tastings and craft-making with materials sent to employees ahead of time—even a Christmas murder mystery

And if all else fails? You can’t go wrong with swag, bonuses or additional time off.