Updated: October 04, 2023

Virtual Costume Contest Ideas for Halloween

You found our list of virtual costume contest ideas.

Virtual costume contests are events where remote participants compete on who has the best costume. You may have one winner, or categories like “most creative” and “too scary for work.” The purpose of these contests is to have fun, do a little team building, and destroy the competition. This event is also known as an “online costume contest.”

These contests are perfect for virtual Halloween parties, team building at Halloween, and virtual happy hours.

This article includes:

  • how to host a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • virtual costume party ideas

And more 👻

So, let’s get dressed up!

Examples of virtual costumes

1. Mime Stuck in a Zoom Box

mime virtual costume

The “Mime Stuck in a Box” is a classic costume that can be adapted for a video call format. In fact, it may be even easier for you to pull off some of the logistics.

2. Unicorn Assassin

unicorn virtual costume

There is no standard “Unicorn Assassin” format. This virtual costume contest entry shows that you can really just wear whatever you have around home!

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3. Mystery Mask

mask virtual costume

Putting on a mask and wearing a cape is a great way to create quick costume persona.

4. Scary Mask

scary virtual costume

You can wear a scary mask too.

5. Alien Hat

hat virtual costume

For this costume, the participant has a fun alien hat, put it on, and was ready to go!

6. DIY Paper Mask

bag virtual costume

This participant did not have a mask or a fun hat, so he made one! All you really need is a paper bag, and maybe some scissors to create a fun virtual-friendly costume.

How to host a virtual costume contest

Here is how to host your own virtual costume party in five easy steps:

Step 1. Choose themes and categories

Your team’s imagination is likely boundless. You can better channel the creativity by selecting specific themes for your online costume party.

Virtual costume party theme suggestions:

  • Movie moments
  • Cartoon heroes
  • Misunderstood villains
  • Ghosts of companies past
  • Best costume you wore as a kid
  • Anything but human

By limiting your group’s options to a theme, you can spur creativity and focus on costume development.

Alternatively or additionally, you can set general costume categories such as funniest, punniest, scariest, most creative, most impressive effort, and group getup.

Consider getting the entire company involved and doing group costumes based on department!

Step 2. Incentivize a clever disguise

You can help more hesitant teammates get on board with fancy getups by offering rewards for creative costumes. When you share your themes and categories, be sure to announce the potential prizes.

Online costume party prize ideas:

  • Online gift cards to companies like Amazon, iTunes, or GrubHub
  • Three-month subscription to a streaming service of choice
  • Permission to use costume picture as company avatar
  • A gift box, like one of these assortments from Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • Half day of paid time off
  • Online fitness class

Rewards transform the party into a fun and friendly competition. Providing an incentive ensures your staff will put extra consideration and care into assembling inventive costumes.

Step 3. Encourage extra bells and whistles

Online costume parties require no commute, meaning you and your team can don crazy costumes without worrying about drawing strange stares from the carpool lane. You can encourage your staff to get elaborate with accessories: think unwieldy props, pet sidekicks, smoke and lights, and cardboard construction projects. Anything goes!

You can also take advantage of technology to add extra wow factors to your costumed affair. For instance, Zoom’s customizable backgrounds offer the opportunity to personalize your setting. Ursula can join the party from her lair, aliens from outer space, and the president can broadcast live from the Oval Office. If your team is really technologically savvy, then you can also use augmented reality elements to add special filters.

Step 4. Dress up and show up

Once you decide on the details for your remote costume party, you can send your team an invitation for the party, including the virtual meeting software you have chosen for your event. When your online party starts, you can marvel at your team’s ingenuity and guess the identities of your guests. Throughout the event, you can play virtual team building games like virtual scavenger hunts and online trivia to entertain the group. Costumes add an extra dimension of fun to remote team building games, since there are few things more amusing than watching Princess Peach play Never Have I Ever with Abraham Lincoln.

Step 5. Memorialize the masquerade

After all the effort your team put into the ensembles, it would be a shame not to capture the final results. You can easily memorize your video call costume party by capturing a screenshot of your costumed crew. If the standard screen grab does not offer enough flair, then you can liven up your photo-shoot by sending the team printable photo booth props like these found on Pinterest, or adding fun graphics afterwards in programs like Canva.

If your team gives the blessing, then you can use your dressed-up photo on social media, email newsletters, and your company website.

Virtual Halloween Party

Our Virtual Halloween Party is a 90-minute spooky social for online teams, that includes an event-long costume party. Throughout the experience, the host will issue “costume run” challenges where participants will get up from their seats and race around their houses to grab accessories to make into a costume. The host and other players will guess what the costume is supposed to be as they see the disguises come together before their eyes. The party will end with an origin-story shareout, costume contest, and group photo.

Learn more about Virtual Halloween Party.

Final Thoughts

You do not need to limit virtual team costume parties to October; these online gatherings are great any time your team could use a morale boost. Leaving the choices open-ended is fine, but structuring your event by choosing themes, offering prizes, and recommending extras helps your group better prepare.

For more information on celebrating in internet style, check out our post on virtual holiday party activities.

You can also combine your costume party with an online pumpkin carving activity.

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Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com.
Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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