Four Ways to Celebrate Halloween, Hybrid-Style

Halloween is a spooky season, and it might just be what your team needs to stick together in a hybrid setting. Check out this list of association-inspired tips and ideas.

When some employees are staying remote and others are in the office, it can be tough to find a way to make everyone feel like they’re in it together. Fortunately, a holiday like Halloween offers opportunities to bring people together and have a little bit of fun in the process.

Maybe costume parties and after-hours get-togethers were the approach for your organization previously, but there are still plenty of ways to kindle the spooks even if not everyone is in the same spot.

Here are a few ideas, from the association space and other places, to keep the Halloween spirit alive in a hybrid environment:

1. Watch Scary Movies, Together

The Halloween & Costume Association put together a resource page called Celebrate Your Way, which offers ideas for folks who are OK with socially distanced in-person meetings—as well as those who aren’t quite at that point.

One idea recommended by HCA that might pull in the coworkers? Teleparty, a web browser extension that allows people to converse while watching a movie on Netflix and other streaming services with others—complete with a chat window. If you have a few scary movie fans on your team, you might be able to come up with a fun event without too much trouble.

2. Celebrate Halloween All Month Long

Also getting in on the resource fun is the National Confectioners Association, which offers a dedicated Halloween Central website of its own, complete with tips for celebrating at home.

One idea that might appeal to associations hoping to get the team into the spirit: Offering a Halloween countdown to employees, complete with candy.

Perhaps you’re seeing this a little late for Halloween this year, but December is just around the corner, and the basic idea definitely translates to the end-of-year holidays.

3. Carve Some Pumpkins Over Zoom … Safely

A key aspect of successful virtual events has been offering networking and other activities. (Think drink-mixing, with the ingredients mailed to your door, tangible-element style.)

One Halloween-related example: Pumpkin-carving, which excels in a team-building setting by offering elements of creativity and interactivity. (Who wants to put the association’s logo on the pumpkin?!) It can even be done virtually, so you don’t have to be in the same room as your fellow pumpkin-carvers.

Of course, there is an inherent risk when it comes to cutting things, but the American Society for Surgery of the Hand offers resources on its website to keep the public safe. One tip: Make sure the knives you use aren’t too sharp.

“A sharper knife is not necessarily better, because it often becomes wedged in the thicker part of the pumpkin, requiring force to remove it,” ASSH member Jeffrey Wint, MD, told the association’s Handcare website. “An injury can occur if your hand is in the wrong place when the knife finally dislodges from the thick skin of the pumpkin. Injuries are also sustained when the knife slips and comes out the other side of the pumpkin where your hand may be holding it steady.”

4. Encourage People to Decorate for the Season

Whether it shows up in the frame of their webcam setup or on the front steps of their home, odds are good that there might be a little decorating in your coworkers’ future—which you could leverage among your team.

The National Retail Federation reports that more than half of Americans are expecting to decorate their home or yard for the holiday this year, which could offer an opportunity for team engagement.

HCA even has a name for this: Porch pics, which could be shared on social media or on your internal collaboration tools.

But even if your employees don’t want to go through the trouble of decorating their house, they can definitely spruce up their backdrop with some spooky sights. And you could help the cause, too, by creating some inventive Zoom backgrounds to add to the festivities.

Just because the trick-or-treating doesn’t really transfer over wires doesn’t mean the spirit of the holiday will be lost if not everyone’s in the room.


(LPETTET/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!