Whether it’s weather, distance, or you’re simply just too busy, life can get in the way of celebrating one of the most festive and wonderful times of the year. But don’t let that stop you! Now, your homeowners’ association (HOA) community can get the best of both worlds with hybrid holiday celebrations. Hybrid neighborhood events work as an open invitation to both local attendees and others who can’t make it, fostering a sense of unity that transcends physical boundaries. Read on for virtual holiday event ideas and tips for planning one perfectly!
Entertaining Virtual Event Ideas
By embracing the hybrid approach to holiday festivities, your community can increase participation and engagement like never before. The inclusivity of holding events virtually is a way of celebrating your neighbors and cultivating that coveted feeling of togetherness. Here are some fun virtual holiday entertaining event ideas your community will love:
Hybrid ugly sweater extravaganza: Transform the traditional ugly sweater contest into a digital experience! Invite participants to wear their most creative and outrageous holiday sweaters. Those attending in-person can enjoy mingling and marveling at the funny gear, while virtual participants can join via live stream and interactive chats. At the end, vote for the fan favorite and hand out fun prizes.
Recipe exchange with a digital twist: Elevate the recipe exchange tradition by allowing participants to share their favorite holiday recipes. Choose a couple of volunteers to guide everyone on how to make their recipe. Once everyone is done, you can share your top picks for prettiest presentation, unique twists, and other fun categories! This activity lets everyone explore diverse culinary delights.
Gingerbread decorating showcase: Whether individuals are decorating gingerbread in person or virtually, you can stream the creative process for all to see. Have your activity committee send out RSVPs for this gathering and provide all material to each participant. While listening to Christmas carols or other holiday music, everyone participating will spring into creative action and make their best gingerbread house. After 1 hour, stop the timer and have the activity committee vote for the best one!
Reimagined Virtual Happy Hour: Host a hybrid happy hour where attendees can chat on and offline. Make it even more fun by inviting a mixologist who will teach everyone how to make different drinks using basic items everyone probably has!
Virtual Event Planning Tips
No matter which virtual party idea you decide to use, it’s guaranteed to be a hit if you take heed of these four essential planning tips:
1. Send e-Vites with RSVP information.
E-Vites are an easy way to invite residents to your community’s virtual holiday party. With more people going paperless, e-Vites will guarantee that no one misses the invitation. Plus, the RSVP feature will also allow you to get a headcount of the number of residents planning to attend. Two to three weeks before your event, send out these invitations that include the following:
Date and time
Place of event
RSVP by (date)
Number of guests in one party
2. Send reminders.
Another benefit of e-Vites is the ability to send reminders leading up to the event. We suggest setting it up to automatically send a note a few days before the celebration with important login details, tips, and more.
3. Test the technology beforehand.
This is a crucial step. Before the big day, practice using the video conferencing platform, check any speakers, computer battery life, and anything else that if down, could affect the event. Doing this will help things go smoothly and give you first-hand experience to answer any questions your guests may have before and during the event.
4. Have fun!
The holidays are the perfect time to come together as a community for some festive fun—even if it isn’t in person! Keeping a strong sense of community going will not only end up benefiting the entire HOA but also residents will continue to enjoy living and contributing to this space.
Keep the Holiday Spirit Going!
The fusion of in-person gatherings and virtual interactions allows your community to create memorable experiences that cater to everyone no matter where they are. And why not continue enjoying it with these six ways to keep the holiday spirit going for just one more month!