14 Virtual Birthday Celebration Ideas for Work and How To Plan Them

Cassy Aite
April 3, 2024
14 Virtual Birthday Celebration Ideas for Work and How To Plan Them

Office birthday parties are a long-standing tradition in Western society. According to an Ipsos Reid survey, 89% of Americans believe in celebrating birthdays with 85% of people feeling special when someone puts effort into planning activities or festivities for their special day.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrating a birthday or simply telling someone happy birthday became increasingly difficult — only video calls or direct messages were available. In the aftermath of the pandemic, not much has changed for some remote teams. Around 30% of Americans still work from home, complicating interactive and fun ways to celebrate your employees’ yearly milestones.

Nevertheless, the opportunity to celebrate a birthday with fun activities — albeit over video-conferencing platforms — is still possible with a bit of planning and creativity. In this guide, we offer valuable tips to keep in mind when planning your virtual birthday party, as well as several virtual birthday celebration ideas for work that could transform your virtual party into an unforgettable one.

Virtual Birthday Celebration Ideas for Work: 6 Tips for Planning and Hosting

Woman at a virtual birthday celebration

Before you dive into virtual birthday celebration ideas for work, remember that planning can streamline the process, sort out any potential issues, and ensure a higher rate of attendance and employee engagement. Review these tips for hosting and planning to make the most of your remote employee birthdays.

1. Cater To the Birthday Boy or Birthday Girl

Birthday parties are personal events. Above anything else, you have to think about what kind of celebration the guest of honor would enjoy. Unlike holiday parties that are designed for mass appeal, a birthday party should follow the preferences of whoever it’s for.

Once you come up with a theme that will impress the birthday person and entertain the guests, then you can continue with the planning process.

2. Pick the Platform

You have several possible platforms to host a virtual birthday party, so evaluate each option before picking your course of action. Zoom is a popular option for video chats and virtual special occasions thanks to its easy-to-use platform and numerous birthday-themed Zoom backgrounds. But you can also pick another app like FaceTime for more convenience.

No matter which option you decide to go with, make sure to provide the people attending with instructions so they can join the party.

3. Send Invitations

After figuring out a date that works best for your team, spread the word about the party. Give a shout out on Slack or send invites via email.

Keep building the anticipation leading up to your event, teasing the fun plans through social media posts, emails, and follow-up reminders. Electronic invitations also simplify the RSVP process, making it easier than ever to keep track of a guest list for your online party.

4. Set a Budget

Virtual birthday celebration ideas for work are just that — ideas — at least until you create a budget. Once you have a general idea of how many people are attending your celebration, you have a better understanding of how much money you need.

Although a virtual party means you don’t have to book any particular location, tons of expenses go into a memorable event — food, entertainment, virtual games/virtual escape rooms, and more. Remember to keep your budget flexible as the planning process goes along since unexpected costs can always arise.

5. Organize the Catering

Now that you have a budget in place, organize the catering. Most birthday parties involve tasty treats, but delivering these to a distributed workforce can prove cumbersome.

Hoppier virtual gift cards are an easy solution to this issue, as they allow guests to order personalized treats from a range of vendors who will deliver them to your guests. These cards simplify the office party catering process and ensure everyone in attendance gets some party snacks they’ll love.

6. Keep Plans Flexible

Once the day of the birthday party arrives, stay flexible. No matter how much you love your virtual birthday party idea you lined up, you still need to adjust your schedule as needed.

If the party has a particular activity that’s generating lots of engagement, don’t hesitate to go longer on it than planned. As essential as it is to come up with a detailed agenda filled with fun ideas, it’s even more important to modify plans on the fly so people have the best possible experience during your virtual celebration.

14 Fun Virtual Birthday Celebration Ideas for Work

Woman with a party hat attending a virtual birthday party

Although you may feel limited by the number of activities you can do virtually, you might actually be surprised by the number of virtual birthday celebration ideas for work. Get the party rocking by adding one or more of these ideas to your birthday festivities.

1. Party Boxes

Capturing the appeal and spirit of an in-person party in a virtual forum isn’t easy. To avoid this disconnect and turn remote work birthday parties into something more authentic and true to the spirit of the party, consider sending them party boxes ahead of time.

These kits can include classic party favors, such as birthday hats or custom cups. Or you can treat them more like event gift bags with practical adult presents and swag — it all comes down to your budget and audience.

2. Decorated Backgrounds

People can feel less engaged at virtual parties when they’re not sharing a room with other guests, but a clever tech design can help in this regard.

Try creating or using a pre-made decorated background that looks like a birthday party room, and encourage your guests to copy the filter. Zoom is one of the apps that let users customize their backgrounds, but other virtual meeting platforms have followed the trend.

This might seem like a basic idea, but making people genuinely feel like they’re a part of your event can positively shape their experience — making it a superb virtual birthday celebration idea for work.

3. Interactive Birthday Cards

Birthday cards are a simple yet meaningful gesture of reminding people how much you care about them. Although you won’t pass a birthday card around the office for signatures, that doesn’t mean you should stop doing them altogether.

Making an interactive birthday e-card is a modern spin on the long-standing practice, demonstrating that you put in the effort to make their day special. Invite everyone in the office to digitally sign it and include personalized messages — much like you would with a paper birthday card.

4. Mixology Classes

Many people love a good cocktail, but few know how to do them well. If you want a virtual birthday celebration idea for work that adds a DIY element, try a mixology class.

Bring in an expert to give people a mixology class, and everyone can drink the fruits of their labor after the class is over. This activity is highly encouraged if you’re looking to help your team members loosen up outside of the virtual workspace.

Employees going out for drinks to celebrate something after work is always fun, so don’t let virtual meetings ruin that experience for the whole team. Let everyone enjoy the drinks and banter from the comfort of their own homes.

Quick Tip: With Hoppier gift cards, you can buy the mixology ingredients for your staff. Use companies like Drizly or Instacart that will pick up the liquor and mixers. And in the spirit of a great birthday gift, let the birthday boy or girl choose the cocktail.

5. Food- or Drink-tasting

Trying new things is exciting, which is why so many people love exploring their taste buds with new food or drinks. Although everyone is spread out for the virtual birthday party, you can still put on a taste-testing exhibition for people to enjoy.

Think about partnering with local restaurants or breweries that make deliveries, and provide your party guests with various samples so they can all share a connected taste-testing experience despite being apart.

6. Stylized Treats

Birthday parties are known for their treats, but doing the same for virtual events is more difficult. Fortunately, it’s not out of the realm of possibility with help from Hoppier and the right gift card.

Use Hoppier to simplify the ordering process by letting each guest order snacks they’d enjoy through our virtual cards. You can also customize the cards in order to select only relevant vendors and encourage your guests to order specific treats (cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or healthier options) so that everyone in attendance can feel like they’re sharing the birthday snacks together.

7. Board Games and Party Games

If you want a virtual birthday celebration idea for work that’s in a friendly yet competitive setting, stage a board game or party game battle during the birthday party.

Even though everyone’s participating remotely, you can still find plenty of online options to play popular adult board games like Catan, Pictionary, Scrabble, and many more — while also giving you the opportunity to dish out prizes or incentives for whoever fares best.

8. Team Trivia

Team trivia contests are another awesome tool to encourage audience participation. You can choose specific trivia themes related to the field you’re working in, or keep the topics broad so that people can have a break from their work lives.

Most bar/pub trivia nights involve teams, and you should copy that system for your birthday party trivia contest. Doing so promotes teamwork, communication, and other helpful aspects that can boost your company culture — making it a dual-purpose virtual birthday celebration idea for work that everyone can enjoy.

9. Virtual Escape Room

Although the notion of escape rooms might seem suited to an in-person birthday activity, they are an incredibly fun experience when done virtually. Escape rooms are a great exercise in using teamwork and communication in order to complete the escape tasks, and they allow your entire group of guests to work as one collective unit rather than smaller teams.

10. Coworker Quiz

If the goal of your virtual birthday party is to bring your employees closer together through team-building activities, try coming up with a custom coworker quiz. This game is guaranteed to provide laughs whenever people get questions wrong, while also letting your team members learn interesting facts about one another that can inspire friendships through shared interests.

An alternate idea would be to do a birthday party bingo game, which also lets people learn interesting facts about their coworkers or the guest of honor.

11. Talent Show

Speaking of games that can help your guests learn about each other outside the workplace, a talent show is another wonderful virtual birthday celebration idea for work. Whether it’s learning unique skills you had no idea your team members possessed, or letting people have fun in a non-serious group routine, talent shows can provide memorable experiences that guests can bond over or smile thinking about for years to come.

12. Karaoke

Some people can’t carry a tune in a bucket while others might surprise with a mic in their hand. You’ll find out when you add karaoke to your virtual birthday celebration ideas for work. As long as the song is suitable for work, karaoke engages people, shows your workers’ tastes in music, and might even uncover a hidden talent — or lack thereof.

13. Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Another fun and interactive option for virtual birthdays is a scavenger hunt. Unlike a typical scavenger hunt, the hunt itself will take place entirely within your workers’ homes.

Pick an item — maybe something like a stapler or a CD — and have the party guests find it and show it to the camera. The first person to find the item earns a point, and the person with the most points wins the game.

It’s a great icebreaker game if you have new employees, and a great opportunity to introduce your birthday guest to new employees.

14. Throw a Surprise Party

If you want to go that extra mile with a surprise party, more power to you. Select one or more of the virtual birthday celebration ideas for work listed above and follow the same planning and hosting tips.

You send out all the invites, except to the person having the birthday. Then, cook up a fake reason for the meeting. Make sure all the guests “arrive” early, and you’ve successfully pulled off a virtual surprise party.

Hoppier: A Helpful Way To Complement Your Virtual Birthday Celebration Ideas for Work

Planning the catering for any virtual event is a huge challenge, and birthday parties are no exception. Hoppier virtual cards are an easy solution to these concerns.

After going through the simple process of creating an account, you get to design your customized virtual cards and load them with money. Once you pass on these cards to your guests, they have the freedom to order food and drinks from a long list of vendors.

It’s a customary gesture to give out treats at birthday parties, but it’s a massive undertaking to organize a delivery process for virtual audiences. Give Hoppier a try and let us handle the logistics of ordering your treats, allowing you more time to organize an unforgettable virtual birthday party for your team.

And even if it’s not a birthday celebration, Hoppier can still help. Whether you want to celebrate a work anniversary, start a virtual happy hour, or host a game night or movie night, Hoppier gift cards provide a simplified way to get food, drink, and party favors for the festivities.

Virtual Birthday Parties: A Modern Twist on a Timeless Tradition

Acknowledging and celebrating office birthday parties has always been an important thing for businesses, and that sentiment holds true today. Virtual parties have evolved into an important tool for boosting your corporate culture, and being creative in preparing virtual events is the best way to ensure people love their experience.

Planning and implementing fun virtual birthday celebration ideas for work can transform the party you’re hosting into an engaging event that everyone will enjoy. For more information on how to improve your virtual team parties, check out our webinar on the Top 10 tools to make memorable virtual events this year.

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Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo


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