Microsoft Tech Community Live:  Microsoft Teams Edition
November 09, 2021, 08:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PST)

Holiday parties & background fun with Microsoft Teams

Published Dec 10 2020 08:56 AM 60K Views
Microsoft

Now is the time to bring some holiday fun to your Microsoft Teams meetings. There are many new features in teams that are perfect for your holiday gathering. Plus we've launched a Microsoft Teams background page that will give you some fun holiday backgrounds to use to dress up your next virtual meeting.

 

It's time to bring people together to do something other than work. Below you’ll find some ideas for making your virtual holiday gathering fun, but remember a party is about the people not the technology! Whatever you do just make sure you remember that and enjoy this holiday season!  

 

Set the stage for a great holiday themed meeting

 

Festive attire: Part of the fun of a holiday party is dressing up. This doesn’t have to be forgone just because the party is virtual. In your invite, suggest a festive dress code. Maybe your office vibe is to go all out with a more formal look, or if going more casual, ask the team to wear their favorite ugly holiday sweater.

 

festiveattire.jpg

 

Dress up your background: You can bring a festive atmosphere to any meeting by using our holiday themed backgrounds every day. We’ve also created a set of new holiday-themed custom backgrounds for standard meetings and video calls. Visit our Microsoft Teams custom background page (http://aka.ms/TeamsCustomBackgrounds) and pick one, or a few, that are good for you. While you’re setting up your video and audio before joining a meeting, select Background effects, click Add new, and then select a background to upload from your computer. More detailed guidance can be found here.

 

Submit your background for our library

Our community is diverse and we’d like to show that by expanding our library of holiday themed backgrounds! Don’t see the background you want? Have one that you think is fantastic? Submit your background here to be included in our library of backgrounds from around the world. 

 

HolidayPromo.gif

 

Plan some fun holiday activities in Microsoft Teams with some unique activities and new features

 

Food and drinks: Ahead of your party, send your team the recipe—and the ingredients if you’re feeling extra festive—for a food, cocktail, or mocktail you can enjoy together during the party. You can also turn this into an activity by making a special drink or meal together over Microsoft Teams, led by one of your talented chef or mixologist teammates.

 

Photobooth: To recreate the classic holiday party photo booth in Microsoft Teams, ask the team to go on a scavenger hunt at their home or office for a few fun items to use as props—a hat, sunglasses, feather boa, their daughter’s princess tiara—the crazier the better. Ask the team to pose, then take a few screenshots to share in your Microsoft Teams team to commemorate the moment. For a cohesive look, you can ask team members to choose the same custom background, or better yet, use our new winter wonderland Together mode scene in Microsoft Teams.

 

Use our new together mode scenes: Whether you are playing some fun holiday games together like the scavenger hunt or just spending time together our new together mode scenes can bring some holiday cheer to your party. Our new winter wonderland Together mode scenes add a dash of holiday spirit that’s perfect for hosting a virtual holiday party with your team. 

 

You’d be surprised how it lightens a mood to show up with some festive holiday cheer in your meeting!

 

holidaytogether.jpg

 

In addition to these we are announcing additional Together mode scenes, rolling out now, that you can use any time of the year that transport your team to a variety of settings including a coffee shopconference roomclassroom, and more. Read more about this and other features in our Microsoft 365 blog post. To get started, once you are in your Microsoft Teams meeting, select Together mode from the drop-down menu, then click the small pencil in the left-hand corner of the screen to choose a scene (Together mode requires at least five people in your meeting).

 

Breakout rooms

We are excited to share that breakout rooms are generally available in Microsoft Teams today. Breakout rooms make it easy to divide your meetings into sub-groups to facilitate smaller discussions, brainstorming sessions, learning groups, and even holiday mixers.

 

Organizers can jump in between meetings on their own, deliver announcements to all breakout rooms at once, and bring everyone back to the main meeting at any time. And unique to Microsoft Teams, breakout rooms can be initiated both in Microsoft Teams channels and in Microsoft Teams meetings to give you flexibility on how you want to meet. Breakout rooms are especially great this time of year for mixing and mingling and playing games during a virtual holiday party. Learn how to get started with breakout rooms here.

 

Games: There are a variety of great online party games that are easy to play with your team using screen-sharing in Microsoft Teams. Kahoot offers engaging quizzes and challenges. Jackbox Games are the makers of several party games that are great to play together virtually. From speech games like Talking Points to drawing games like Drawful—there are a wide variety of games to suit every taste. Learn more about using Kahoot and Jackbox Games in Microsoft Teams.

 

Have a PowerPoint Party: Holiday parties are often a chance to mix and mingle with people outside of your immediate team. To do so virtually, use new Breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams to split up into smaller groups and get to know each other. To help break the ice, we recommend jumping on a popular trend, the PowerPoint Party. Have the team break out into groups of three or four and ask them to create the funniest, most insightful, or interesting presentation they can think of in just 15 minutes. Then present to the team in just three minutes and the best presentation gets a prize. Learn more about hosting a virtual PowerPoint party.

 

White elephant gift exchange: Take your white elephant gift exchange virtual using White Elephant Online. It’s a simple way to reimagine the age-old tradition in a Microsoft Teams meeting. It brings the fun of buying a wild and wacky gift and stealing gifts from your teammates, all from the comfort of your home.

 

Happy holidays from the Microsoft Teams team. We hope these new experiences and tips bring joy to your workplace and make meetings and office parties more festive this holiday season. And we’d love to hear how you’re celebrating the holidays on Microsoft Teams. Share your holiday spirit and ideas using #HolidaysWithTeams and submit your background today!

4 Comments
Regular Visitor

Fun with custom backgrounds, but the one thing you should focus on now is improving the video quality in teams calls. 

Contributor

At Adopt & Embrace we are no strangers to working remotely as this is the way we have always worked as a remote and dispersed team across Australia. We know that the M365 tools allow us to communicate, collaborate and co-ordinate our work efforts to achieve our client outcomes.  We also know that a dispersed team requires virtual collaboration to be ONLY about work, achieving objectives and ticking off a to-do list. It requires that little bit of extra effort to also involve the team in FUN and SOCIAL activities that means that EVERYONE can play a part in it for a lively, social and connected experience.  Recently, we decided to do a Christmas baking session where a member of our team shared her secret recipe for Christmas Bark and Rocky Road.  It wasa a great way to get the team - and members of our family included - using Microsoft Teams to share the experience.  There's a lot of things you can do with the tools we now have available and I guess our imagination is the limit.  It was a lot of fun and memorable to boot.  Hey, we got to eat chocolate and marshmallows all afternoon too!  

Here's what we got up to as I captured it all on video

 

Anyone else have any fun ideas for holiday parties and activities?

Contributor

Great post and lots of great choices - I really like the idea of the community backgrounds! 

Senior Member

More Microsoft Teams Christmas backgrounds here! -> Microsoft Teams Christmas backgrounds for the holidays! (365tips.be)

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‎Jan 26 2021 11:02 AM
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