21 Virtual Happy Hour Ideas to Foster Team Bonding

Ben Aflalo
Ben Aflalo

Head of Product at Gloww

Virtual Happy Hour ideas

Looking to plan your next virtual event for remote teams? Virtual happy hours are something to think about. Just like the real thing, these relaxed get-togethers are the perfect way for colleagues to loosen up and get to know each other. 

Just because your employees don’t work in the same room, doesn’t mean they can’t socialize and bond outside of the 9-to-5.

You can host an online happy hour for just about any seasonal event. A virtual holiday party is ideal for commemorating those big issues, while a web-based birthday party lets your employees know they’re valued. Whatever you’re celebrating, you’ll need plenty of happy hour ideas to keep the party going. 

How to Host a Virtual Happy Hour for Your Coworkers

You’ll need a reliable video conferencing platform to host your virtual happy hour. First, you’ll need to consider the basics. There’s no point in picking a platform that won’t let you host a session that won’t run for at least 60 minutes. Furthermore, you’ll need to be able to invite as many attendees as you wish. 

However, the perfect virtual happy hour should also be interactive. Some platforms offer the bare minimum, while others offer endless options for tailoring your live video sessions with happy hour activities. 

Determine a Theme That Aligns With Company Culture

If you’re not hosting an event to celebrate a specific event or holiday, you’ll need to decide on a happy hour theme. Unless you’re fine with being a virtual free-for-all, it’s best to be fairly specific here. 

Want to go with a more upmarket theme? Wine-tasting and gastro-inspired events are the way to go. Eager to engage your teams with creative happy hour activities? Frame your event around artistic pursuits and building games. 

Ideally, your happy hour theme should tie in with your company culture. 

While you’re free to include any activities you want, try and relate them to your industry. If you’re hosting an artistic event, get attendees to turn their hands to painting company mascots or senior stakeholders. Planning a quiz? Craft your questions around company-specific topics. 

Make a Plan

Once you’ve settled on a theme, it’s time to make a plan. You don’t want to overmanage happy hour fun, but you need to keep to a loose schedule, especially if you have plenty of games and activities planned. 

Putting together a plan is also important if you need remote teams to gather supplies before joining the event. 

If you’re hosting a mixology class, participants will need all the essential ingredients ready to go. You send out care packages with everything your teams will need, or let participants know that you’re happy to reimburse them. 

Pick a Platform That is Best for Work Events

If you’ve had a bad experience with a Zoom happy hour before, you’re probably looking for an alternative video conferencing platform to use. To make your happy hour go without a hitch, use a browser-based solution like Gloww instead. 

This all-in-one solution lets you take charge of every aspect of your happy hour event

You can use pre-existing templates to create captivating sessions or build one from scratch. Play around with fonts and colors to bring your happy hour in line with your branding. You can also add a host of interactive elements to your presentation like polls, quizzes, word clouds, and more. 

Our Favorite Virtual Happy Hour Ideas

Struggling to come up with virtual happy hour game ideas? We’ve picked out some of our favorite activities that are sure to get everyone in the mood. 

1. Virtual Mixology Session

Everyone loves a cocktail, but few of us can honestly say we know how to make a great one. A virtual mixology class is a good way of bringing everyone together and putting people in the mood for an online happy hour to remember. 

You can keep things simple with beginner-friendly recipes like margaritas, or try your hand at more complex concoctions like the Commonwealth. If you’re thinking about mixology classes, make sure you let everyone know what ingredients they’ll need ahead of time. 

2. Executive Childhood Trivia

This is a great way to break the ice and put everyone on an even keel. How well do the junior members of your team know their department heads? Consider hosting a game where tidbits of childhood trivia are introduced and players need to guess which executive you’re talking about. The 90s music trivia template is a good place to start. We also have a fun virtual ’80s music extravanganza template, ’80s virtual TV team activity, 2000’s music mania template, and 2000’s team activity.

3. Digital Art Contest

Nowadays, you don’t have to be a dab hand with a paintbrush to create stunning pieces of art. Encourage your teams to get creative with Dribbble, then add them to a slide deck so attendees can admire everyone’s creations. You can even run a live poll to take a vote on which piece is the best.

4. Home Office Tour

If you rely on a network of remote employees, getting each member of your team to show off their workspace is a great way to break the ice. Colleagues get an insight into the private lives of people they’ve only ever talked to via email. They might even get a few styling suggestions for their own home office. 

5. Virtual Escape Room

Escape rooms are a great team-building exercise. You’ll find many online escape room games that do a good job of replicating the thrill of the real thing. Look for virtual games with plenty of brain-busting puzzles that will challenge even the sharpest thinker in your ranks. 

6. Beer Tasting Evening

While wine is usually a safe bet for happy hour, not everyone’s a fan. Instead of rich reds and sparkling whites, consider sampling seasonal brews instead. You can switch up the tasting menu regularly or ask attendees to pick out their favorite local brews to introduce to the group. 

You can even add slides or embedded videos to your Gloww session to shine a spotlight on the brewery responsible for what you’re sampling. 

7. Corporate Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts work well in the real world, but they’re also great for online-only events. If you’re hosting a web-based happy hour, use a virtual scavenger hunt to get your teams working together. 

Assign them fact-finding missions where they have to scour the web for unusual trivia. Alternatively, draw up a list of everyday items that they can scavenge from around their own homes. 

8. Friday Fun Activities 

Made plans for the weekend? Rather than simply tell everyone about what’s in store, turn it into a game instead. Why draw your plans digitally, getting everyone else to guess what activity you’ve got lined up?

9. Cocktail Recipe Exchange

If you want to bring cocktails into play, but don’t want to get too competitive, a simple recipe exchange will suffice. Approach this one as a virtual cocktail party, letting attendees savor recipes while they chat and unwind. Alternatively, use digital whiteboards to brainstorm new cocktail recipes or use word clouds to find out what everyone’s favorite drink is.

10. Team-building Show and Tell

Remember those show-and-tell mornings from your school days? You can use the same exercise to break the ice and get your teams talking. Attendees can introduce others to their favorite pastimes, pet projects, and more. You can even bring in some interactivity by running real-time polls and quizzes.

11. Black Tie Soiree

Who says you can’t get dressed up for an online event? Make your next virtual happy hour a black-tie event. To encourage everyone to participate, think about sending out some care packages stocked with goodies a week in advance. 

12. Explore a New Culture

Many of us celebrate foreign cultures and far-flung cuisine at the dinner table. You can bring the same exotic flavors to your next virtual happy hour. Get participants to whip a Mexican-inspired feast they can devour as they sip margaritas. If your teams are based all over the world, use the location of your employees as inspiration. You can even tailor your sessions with country-specific imagery and local music. 

13. Virtual Board Games

Take game night only with your go-to classics. Many popular board games are available online and work just as well virtually. Keep it simple with single sessions, or turn it into a weeks-long tournament and give out prizes for those who end up at the top of the leaderboard. 

14. Would You Rather Questions

This happy hour game also raises a smile at parties. Use leading questions to get to know what makes your teams tick. To make things more interesting, use virtual polls and word clouds to get the entire group to answer at the same time. Here’s a whole list of fun questions to ask coworkers.

15. Online Trivia Games

Bite-sized virtual team trivia games are a great way to pass the time during an online happy hour. Just about any topic is on the table here. Delve into nostalgia, focus it on your company, or turn to current affairs to craft questions.

16. Where Am I?

A guessing game is always a safe bet. When you’re dealing with a remote workforce, guess the location games are a great way of giving everyone’s gray matter a workout. If this is your first virtual get-together, get each attendee to provide trivia about their location, with everyone else having to guess exactly where in the world they’re based.

17. Online Auction

If you want to raise money for a good cause, think about an online auction. Pick a charity that aligns with your brand or use the proceeds to finance a group get-together in the real world. 

18. Virtual Detective Game

If you had success with an online escape room, go even further with a virtual murder mystery evening. Attendees can play solo or join together as teams to increase their chances of cracking the case.

19. Lip Sync Battle

Lip sync competitions will bring plenty of laughs to a virtual happy hour. Kick them off once everyone is a few drinks deep. You can use this as an alternative to group karaoke or put a competitive spin on things by asking everyone to guess what someone is attempting to lip-sync to.

20. Corporate Talent Show

Everyone has at least one party trick. Use virtual happy hours to let everyone show off their unique skills. For first-time events, think about splitting larger groups into smaller breakout sessions so nobody’s suffering from stage fright. 

21. Virtual Book Club

Book clubs are usually seen as high-brow affairs, but there’s no harm in combining a love of literature with a little drinking. Book clubs work incredibly well online. If you’re bringing together larger groups, you can easily split attendees into smaller groups so everyone has their chance to speak. If reading doesn’t float your boat, try an online Netflix party instead. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up a virtual online party or happy hour?

To keep things simple, just an all-in-one platform like Gloww. Select a meeting template, customize it to your liking, then add interactive elements. Once you’re done, you can send out invites to your virtual happy hour guest list

What are some virtual games that can be set up for your team members during the Christmas period?

Planning a virtual happy hour to celebrate the holidays? Put a festive twist on happy hour events with Christmas-inspired word searches, quizzes, charades, karaoke, and more. We also have a cool virtual Christmas party template, as well as an article on Christmas games to play at work.

What are virtual team-building activities?

You can turn to many of the same activities you’d use in the real world for online team-building sessions. Classic icebreakers and online surveys can help put everyone at ease, while virtual trivia games can encourage healthy competition. If you want to reward your remote workers for their performance, tasting sessions, and crafting classes are something else to consider. 

Looking for something seasonal? Think about hosting an ugly festive sweater competition or encourage attendees to share cringe-inducing stories from past holidays.

Can remote team-building activities improve socialization between colleagues and promote team unity?

Absolutely! It’s important that you bring your remote teams together regularly, even if you’re already hosting all-hands meetings on a weekly or monthly basis. By encouraging teams to think together, your company benefits from streamlined communication during the working week and an uplift in productivity. 

Looking to Host a Virtual Happy Hour?

Itching to host your first virtual happy hour? With Gloww, you’ve got an all-in-one video conferencing platform that takes all the hard work of hosting a happy hour online. 

Our browser-based platform means attendees can join in the fun from anywhere, with almost any device type supported. Furthermore, it’s easy to fine-tune your session with customized branding, colors, and fonts. You can also add a variety of interactive elements, making it easy to ensure everyone feels connected. 

Would you like to spice up your virtual happy hour with fun templates? Check out our template for online groups and small team template. We also have templates for learning, interactive team building, festive St.Patrick’s Day, fun neon trivia, movie buff template, Thanksgiving team activity, and many more.

Wondering what other events you could organize online? The opportunities are endless. Here are some kick-off event ideas, as well as fun July 4th activities to get you started.

Get started with Gloww today or explore our pricing plans to find a solution that works for you. Want to learn more about our innovative platform? Drop us a message via the online contact form.

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ben aflalo
ben aflalo

Ben Aflalo heads Gloww's product team with over two decades of leadership experience. Passionate about leveraging innovative technology, he is committed to building products for the greater good.

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