You may well associate virtual happy hours with unwinding after a hard week at work.
While that is undoubtedly one benefit, virtual happy hours can also be a terrific opportunity to get to know your teammates better.
As more employees work remotely, finding a way for everyone to stay in touch regularly can take time and effort.
But don’t worry! Virtual happy hours are here to save the day.
Yet, how can you ensure the success of these virtual events?
In today’s piece, we’re including the following:
- Fun virtual happy hour games and activities
- Swag options for your virtual happy hour
- Tips for throwing the best virtual happy hour
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
25 Fun Virtual Happy Hour Games And Activities
Throwing a memorable happy hour needs some planning, and a few games and activities will work really well!
Feel free to mix and match from the below 25 ideas, and your virtual happy hour will be full of team bonding and lots of amusement.
1. Virtual trivia game night
Playing trivia is an absolute delight for people who want to show off their understanding of various subjects.
The best part of this know-it-all game is that you don’t have to be an expert in something!
Also, the questions are broad enough that anybody in your remote team can join in on the joy and excitement of a virtual trivia night.
What’s a great way to start a trivia night?
Make sure you design the questions around a particular subject and establish a timeframe, so things don’t go on for too long.
Most trivia sessions last an hour, while a virtual trivia game should last roughly 30 minutes.
Also, remember that people’s attention spans fluctuate considerably online and are often shorter than in in-person discussions.
2. Talent show
Do you need a reason to showcase your ability to rap to your favorite music or wiggle your ears up and down?
A pointless talent show is an ideal game for you!
Just ask everyone to come up with one weird talent or useless skill they have before you start your online social event.
After that, get everyone to have fun with their talents!
Author’s Tip: keep tabs on who’s doing what during your activity, and you can then have a vote to choose the winner, offering a cool swag item as a prize.
3. Escape game
Nobody enjoys a virtual happy hour when they just sit around trying to find something to talk about.
An escape game is a great opener to many discussions and fun conversations.
You’ll do everything you’d do in real life and more in these escape rooms—you’ll be smashing your way out of a virtual room by solving riddles and locating clues, all within a specified time constraint.
What’s more, games like this are perfect opportunities for you and your team members to connect, as you’ll get to communicate and discover even more about their problem-solving talents under pressure.
You’ll also uncover some of your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
4. Two truths and a lie
This game is risk-free, and a good laugh is always guaranteed.
The game is self-explanatory; everyone presents two actual facts about themselves and one made-up fact.
Then, the others attempt to determine what is real and what’s made up.
The best thing about this game is that it’s excellent for new staff members or those getting to know one another.
Plus, by taking a shot when you get anything incorrect, you can add a drinking aspect to this game and spice things up, making this virtual experience very memorable.
5. Name that emoji song
This is a twist on music trivia in which you guess the song based on the emoji hints shown; just use various emojis to identify the song in the shortest amount of time.
You could create an interactive slideshow with emojis and a little clock, and then a photo of the artist who sings the song could appear to answer the question.
Get as creative as you want by selecting various topics, genres, yearly hits, or even musical periods!
6. Online crossword puzzle
Bring your team together for a fun virtual crossword puzzle challenge, and play it with any group size.
Just create a crossword puzzle with hints about your business, products, or industry first, and see who knows your company best!
If you’re short on time, use a free online crossword puzzle generator—then select a volunteer to serve as the host.
When everyone is ready, split into two or more groups.
Remember to set up an honor system where no one accesses the internet to find the answers (that would be cheating!)
The next step is to set a timeframe for the competing teams.
The first team to finish their puzzle before the time runs out wins!
If no one completes it, the team with the most correct answers will be declared the winner.
7. Virtual murder mystery
One of the best virtual happy hour ideas for team members is including a murder mystery in their video call.
Before the event, assign everyone on the team a part in a murder story.
Give them hints about their personality, instructions, prior behavior, and whether or not they had a significant role in the murder.
To properly set the mood for their persona, participants can wear their new characters’ name tags throughout the virtual happy hour.
The moderator will then discuss the murder plan and get the group started on the investigation at the start of the Zoom happy hour.
Everyone has an hour or so to ask questions to unravel the truth.
Author’s Tip: Ask your team to dress up as their character and alter their Zoom backdrop for an even more exciting approach to play.
8. GIF game
Does your group like GIFs?
If yes, this is your ideal virtual happy hour activity.
Here’s how it works: a different person acts as the judge each round.
The judge chooses a category, and the remainder of the participants need to choose a GIF that they believe best fits the category.
Once all gifs have been submitted, the judge selects the one they believe best suits the category, and the winner will become the judge in the following round.
9. Show and Tell
Do you recall being in elementary school and having to search for something to bring to school the next day for Show and Tell?
It could have been a favorite stuffed animal or artwork you wanted to show off.
This tried-and-true game is a fun way for grownups to learn about one another during a virtual event.
To start the game at your happy hour event, ask your participants to choose an item to share with the others.
Then, one at a time, invite each person to tell the group about the thing they chose and why it’s significant to them.
Participants will always be astonished at how similar or different the objects they selected to present are to what others displayed.
10. Word association
Word association is a typical game for a team meeting or conference call.
The subject can be anything work-related, such as “select the top successes and objectives the organization has accomplished this past year,” or something fun and stupid, like “cat breeds.”
After you’ve dropped the question, ask everyone to say a word that best describes the topic.
Then, take a minute to discuss your group’s comments once they have been given.
This game is a fantastic team-building activity that encourages brainstorming and working as a team to find the answer.
11. Online painting session
Another fantastic virtual gathering idea would be to have everyone recreate a famous piece of artwork in their unique style.
To prepare for this painting night, deliver the necessary painting supplies to the party participants.
Why not send some sketches, paint colors, or colorful felt-tip pens like the one you see here?
The Paper Mate flair is acid-free, its water-based ink is resistant to smearing, and it will not leak through any type of paper.
It also comes in so many vivid color options that you can send as many as you want!
When it comes to starting your activity, offer guidance on applying the paint, combining colors, or where to begin.
To take this to the next level, you could hire a professional artist for this virtual happy hour event.
This is an excellent method to foster team spirit while still having fun and being creative.
Ensure everyone takes turns and presents to the whole group with their creation towards the end of the session!
Author’s Tip: You can use an online tool like Vowel to track time and ensure that everyone gets their turn to speak without one participant leading the conversation.
Another entertaining game to play while having a virtual happy hour is Pictionary.
You can create clues and use Zoom’s whiteboard for action time!
Also, online generators are ideal for offering a never-ending supply of hints.
But watch out! It’s harder than you might think to draw on the digital whiteboard.
13. Virtual thank-you wall
A virtual appreciation wall is a great way to show gratitude for someone who has helped your company grow and overcome obstacles.
During the event, keep a digital board up and urge guests to enter a message, or find a virtual gathering platform with a virtual collaboration tool to post digital notepads, images, and video clips.
Finally, share the notes after the event and send everyone a copy to keep as a memory.
14. The beach vs. mountain debate
Who isn’t fantasizing about their next vacation?
The key question is whether you would prefer to visit a gorgeous white sand beach or breathe pure mountain air.
Before your team gathering, get your group to vote through Zoom on whether they want to travel to the beach or the mountains.
After they’ve voted, split them into “mountain” and “beach” groups and get them to discuss why their holiday choice is best.
At the beginning of the session, ask each team to prepare three compelling arguments for why their vacation would be the winner and then discuss them.
This game is a fantastic method for employees to get to know one another while practicing creative debate with remote work or office vibes.
15. Lights, camera, and action
Are there any movie lovers on your team?
The perfect online happy hour game is waiting for you then!
All you have to do is participate in this game and act out scenes from your favorite films or television series.
You can let your staff improvise, perform them from memory, or look for screenplays online.
To make this even more entertaining, have a little Oscars ceremony and present prizes after everyone has finished performing their roles.
The movie and TV journal you see above will make the perfect reward if you’re brainstorming branded gift ideas.
This cool journal is jam-packed with exciting stuff for film fans, including film festival schedules, a glossary of cinematic milestones, a movie and TV vocabulary, and a brilliant cast of renowned worldwide directors.
16. Statements game
To begin this virtual happy hour activity, one person will make a statement and move on to the next.
Dialogue continues once the second participant replies with a statement.
The goal is to extend the chain of reasoning and make as many statements as possible.
When no one has asked a question or made a statement in 5 seconds, the game is over.
17. Black tie
While the freedom to dress in whatever you choose is part of the charm of virtual happy hour, why not make the evening formal by having it in black tie?
Invite your employees to a formal happy hour in their finest attire, and send out invites that include the recipe for a classic cocktail to make your get-together lavish!
18. Cocktail education
Would you like to learn more about the history of your favorite cocktails and mocktails?
Straightaway has produced a blend of virtual happy hour and history lectures.
They can design an event for large organizations or smaller individual gatherings according to your needs.
Choose your drink menu, tell them the ideal time and day for your company, and they’ll give you a hand.
Then, over Zoom, you will be entertained with an hour of instructive drinking fun and pub trivia!
19. Online auction
Online auctions are a cross between eBay, a yard sale, and a white elephant gift exchange in which everyone picks a cheap or secondhand item to bid on.
You can implement the same concept in your happy hour and have your employees bid on certain items they choose from their own personal items.
After the bidding ends, donate the earnings to a cause of your staff’s choice.
20. Backward charades
Players in conventional charades are not permitted to use words to describe a person, place, object, or action but must utilize motions and gestures instead.
Backward charades is the opposite, where players aren’t permitted to use motions to elicit the proper response, just words.
In addition to the answer, participants aren’t permitted to mention specific words that can readily reveal the answer.
For example, if the right answer is pizza, consider prohibiting the words tomato, sauce, cheese, salami, and so on.
21. Culture trip
Choose a new culture (maybe one of your staff members can do this) and provide the recipe for a local drink and cuisine.
Learn to say “cheers” in the local tongue or encourage people to tell you about their overseas travel experiences.
Using Google’s Arts & Culture Explore tool, you can even ‘travel’ to another nation and have a virtual trip worldwide.
22. Virtual scavenger hunt
That cluttered drawer has now been transformed into a huge pile for your virtual scavenger quest!
Make a list of miscellaneous items team members will all have lying around their homes.
Then send them on a scavenger hunt in their own houses to gather the items, and the one who returns with the most items quickest wins.
23. Movie night
Streaming providers such as Netflix now offer viewing parties that allow groups to watch remotely.
So make sure everyone has munchies, have a title vote, and turn on a movie.
Also, you can choose something silly or second-rate on purpose to get humorous commentary from the group!
24. Virtual mixology class
All wannabe mixologists, take note!
Start by hiring a professional mixologist to teach you and your staff the perfect way of crafting your favorite vintage cocktails.
Also, you can take votes from your team members to pick which drink they want to learn to make.
From margaritas to traditional rum cocktails, you can take this happy hour to the next level!
25. Every moment is a holiday
If you’re worried your virtual happy hour will end up being boring or repetitive, spice it up by celebrating a holiday.
Assemble your team’s input and vote on your favorite holidays, then arrange a virtual happy hour around that occasion.
Also, feel free to add costumes, varied Zoom backdrops, and branded munchies to set the ambiance.
These modest gatherings aren’t just excuses to celebrate another Christmas or Halloween; they’re also great ways to check in on your team.
If your coworkers are experiencing burnout, you can keep it simple and stick to icebreaker questions and silly hats instead of extensive party preparations.
Top 4 Swag Options for Your Virtual Happy Hour
Sending your employees swag items before taking part in activities will definitely vamp up your happy hour.
Also, it will add a great sense of excitement, and boost overall morale.
1. Cocktail party kit
Let the drinking games begin!
Before you host any cocktail-sipping activity or bring a mixologist to your video call, you can send this beautiful gin and tonic cocktail kit to the team members invited to your next virtual happy hour.
This cool kit includes a yummy berry mix, tonic syrup, a small bar spoon, and a chic coaster.
2. Sip & snack gift set
Including a tasty snack and a nice drink is a nice staple for any activity or game!
This sip and snack gift set works for any cocktail education session, an online black tie function, or celebrating the holidays virtually.
This set comes with a delicious nut mix, a strongly flavored wine mix, and great-looking custom wine glasses to keep that happy hour of yours super classy.
3. Luxe throw blanket
Keeping everybody cozy will just give you extra points.
This luxe faux fur throw blanket will impress all your employees no matter what theme you select, especially if it’s Christmas time or a holiday party happy hour as it’s made of super high-quality material that’s incredibly soft.
What’s really cool about this item is that you have the space for embroidery to personalize it with your employee names and make it extra special.
It also comes in a beautiful white gift box, so it can’t get any better!
4. Gourmet popcorn gift set
A movie night?
We’ve got you!
The gourmet popcorn gift set will just add the best sparkle to watching any movie with your team.
This great kit has everything you need, from popcorn kernels to natural seasonings, and a fancy bowl.
5 Tips for Throwing the Best Virtual Happy Hour
While enjoying games and activities with your team can help fight video chat tiredness, it’s important to remember some online meeting rules.
Here are some things to consider while attending or organizing happy hours on any video conferencing platform, such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Skype, Vowel, or Zoom.
1. Don’t invite an excessive number of people
You should restrict the number of individuals who get invitations in the same way that you would limit the number of people who attend a dinner party.
If your virtual party is overcrowded, not everyone will have the opportunity to meet, people may feel bored, and the discourse may become confusing if one person dominates the chat.
2. Set a convenient time for everyone
One of the essential things to remember when hosting a virtual happy hour is to choose a time that works for everyone.
For instance, Zoom has a feature that allows you to arrange a one-time meeting or numerous recurring meetings at the same time each week.
Overall, one-time gatherings are beneficial for groups of friends with erratic schedules.
If everyone is available on a Friday at 6pm, you can send a weekly reminder, but you should always double-check first.
3. Be on time
You wouldn’t want to be kept waiting before a meeting, and you shouldn’t make your happy hour visitors wait either.
So if anything happens and you’re going to be late, just notify the host so your guests will know.
4. Select a fun theme
Choose a fun theme that involves everyone and helps them interact.
An entertaining theme to which most people can relate is always a great idea.
For example, you could pick the happy hour theme to be Island Beach, and all guests could make beach-inspired beverages, dress up in their favorite Hawaiian outfit, and even alter the backdrop of their video call to a beach.
Also, you could create virtual happy hour activities that match the theme or an icebreaker question to start the call, such as “If you were stranded on an island with just five items, what would you like to take with you?”
This will give everyone an opportunity to speak and participate in the conversation and enables all of your team members to let loose, which is the main goal behind any happy hour.
5. Minimize distractions
Whether you’re the host or not, it’s critical that the other participants feel involved and present in the discussion.
Nobody wants to be involved in party games while the person on the other end is typing away on their phone or computer.
If distractions are unavoidable, be sure to use the mute button so you don’t disrupt the meeting.
Plus, you should remember to unmute yourself during video conversations to prevent that embarrassing moment we’ve all had.
We hope you’ve found lots of inspiration in our game and activity list and that you’ll get to share them with your team soon!
Remember that a happy hour can be a great gateway to boosting your staff’s mood and fostering personal connections, so take advantage of that.
If you have any questions or need some swag advice for your next virtual event, get in touch as soon as possible!
We look forward to messaging you very soon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How frequently should I host virtual happy hours?
To keep your teammates engaged and motivated, throw a virtual happy hour at least once a quarter; that goes for really big teams.
When it comes to smaller teams, they could attend once a month or even each Friday night if well-planned.
Q2. How can you keep a virtual happy hour enjoyable?
To make your virtual happy hour enjoyable, you can start by proposing a fun game, a food/drink event, or even a theme.
You can also add a virtual team-building session to increase participation and add something different and memorable.
Q3. What swag items can I send for my virtual happy hour?
Choosing what swag items to send out depends on what type of activities and theme you’ll have.
Just remember to plan ahead and arrange the delivery before the virtual meeting!