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

Celebrating the end of a challenging year is more than a gesture, but a necessity when it comes to recognizing the resilience and talent of your teams. From vaccinations to vacations to figuring out conferencing software on the fly, everyone deserves to let loose a little after the year we’ve had and raise the proverbial glass.

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 you’ll need to be able to pull off a successful holiday party no matter the size of your organization. Try out the ideas below and get the shindig started.

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 for everyone’s comfort.

Seasonal spirit

There is more to swag than a sweatshirt (although who doesn’t love a sweatshirt?) and Staples Solutionshop has a multitude of options for branded merchandise. 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 Minuet Mini Portable 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 consumable care packages to send out to your team(s), or selecting a predetermined package curated to perfection. Doing DIY? Make sure it’s not too involved and can accommodate most people’s dietary restrictions. Complement fresh fruit with nuts and chocolates like Handfuel Himalayan Salt Pistachios and Healthy Crunch Dark Choco'Latte Coconut Chips.

Want to step up your food game? Send over the Simply Delish Gourmet Tower. Packaged in a branded 13-inch faux wood tower of goodness, the assortment includes hazelnut filled cookies, oatcakes, brownie cookies, sea salt caramels, berry nut mix, sweet and tangy mustard with dipping pretzels, and smoked almonds.

For an IRL 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 Weveand Confetti that are 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. Drag Music Bingo with Fluffy Soufle (AKA Kaleb Robertson) will get your gang singing at the top of their lungs and competing for company prizes.

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

By Staples Canada

December 07, 2021

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