How to Host a Virtual Costume Party in 5 Steps

September 17, 2020

If you feel like your online parties are missing the pomp and circumstance of in-person affairs, then you can plan a virtual costume party to make your next remote event fancier for your team.

These parties are perfect for virtual Halloween parties, and virtual happy hours too.

The TeamBuilding crew are experts at internet dress-up. Every year, our sister brand, Museum Hack, hosts an online costume contest that results in gems like these getups:

This online event raises company spirits and grabs the attention of adoring fans. Last year’s competition racked up thousands of likes and earned hundreds of new social media followers.

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 online party 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 photoshoot 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.

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 parties.

Author: Angela Robinson

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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