How To Organize A Virtual White Elephant For Your Team
Published November 8, 2022
White elephant is one of the most famous twist versions of gift exchange.
It’s a variation of the traditional gift exchange where everyone buys wacky gifts. During the exchange, people can swap gifts with one another. It’s fun and wacky, but most importantly, you can host the event online.
Of course, you should expect it to be a bit harder and trickier to organize than an offline white elephant. Nevertheless, as long as you know what you’re doing, it should be completely doable and perhaps even easy.
With that in mind, let’s look at how you can organize a virtual white elephant for your team.
Announce The Specifics Of The Event
The first thing you need to do is announce the specifics of the gift exchange party to your team. Of course, that is if you’ve already decided on the specifics. Otherwise, you may have to do that first.
If you don’t know what you should be deciding on, here are a few examples:
- The date on which you’ll conduct the event
- The budget limit for the gifts
- The theme that the gifts must follow (optional)
- The rules of the gift exchange
You must also explain how the white elephant game works in case some team members aren’t aware of its rules. Also, give them a heads up that they’ll need to display their gifts to their camera for everyone to see.
As you might imagine, these specifics aren’t something you can decide by yourself. You must ensure that every team member agrees with the details. With that said, consider making a poll.
Consider Making A Poll For White Elephant Ideas
An organizer knows that they cannot make everyone agree on everything. But at the very least, you can decide on things the majority wants. You can do so by making a poll and having everyone participate.
Below are some examples of poll questions that you can make.
When Are You Available?
This question will help you, the organizer, determine the best possible date for the event. You can make sure it doesn’t conflict with their plans. For this poll, it should be fine if there are no choices available.
What’s A Good Limit For A White Elephant?
Gift exchange events almost always have a budget limit. People impose a budget limit to ensure there are no major disparities in the quality of gifts. After all, you wouldn’t want one member to receive high-quality wine and the other a roll of toilet paper. In case you didn’t know, the budget limit for white elephant gift exchange parties is typically under $25. For this, it would help if the poll had multiple choices (e.g., $10, $25, $50, etc.)
What Are Great Themes For White Elephant?
If your team has been to a white elephant before, its vanilla version might not be exciting enough. In that case, you’d want to spice things up a bit, and one of the best ways to do so would be by following a theme.
Here’s a look at some great ideas for white elephant gift themes:
- Beauty products
Just like the budget limit, you can put these up on the poll and let everyone choose which they think is best.
What Should We Change In The White Elephant Rules?
Like the theme, an excellent way to spice things up would be to change a few things about the white elephant rules. But in case you’re not aware of the vanilla rules, here’s how it usually goes:
- Everyone will bring a gift.
- Each player will draw a number to determine the order in which they’ll pick gifts.
- The first player will pick a gift and open it.
- The second player can either pick an unopened gift and open it or steal the first player’s gift.
- The succeeding players will have the same options:
- to pick an unopened gift, or
- to steal or the gift of a previous player.
- This will go on until every gift is open. At that point, the turn will reset, and the first player will have the same options, except this time, rather than stealing, they’ll be swapping their gift with others.
There will be a limit to the number of swaps in a single turn. The swap limit is something the organizer or the team must decide on. Moreover, they can only swap a gift once in the same turn.
- The game ends when someone declines to steal a gift.
There’s a lot of room for changes here. For example, you can make it so that when the team steals a gift three times, they cannot steal it again for the entire game. A poll for rule changes would be an excellent way to involve everyone in the new, twisted version of the white elephant. With this, you can establish the rules and other things about the game and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Facilitate The White Elephant Online
Now that the team has established the specifics of the game, all that’s left is to wait.
Once the date for the white elephant comes, your only role now is to facilitate the virtual white elephant.
The first thing you usually have to do is determine the order in which the team members will pick gifts. Though you can pick their names from a box, an easier way to do it online is by using a list randomizer.
Type in the names of the team members, then randomize.
The game will progress naturally from that point onwards since your team members should already be aware of the rules. If you want to go above and beyond, you can make a PowerPoint presentation of each gift.
It’s an excellent way to showcase each gift since the cameras of some of your team members might not be very clear. For this, you need to ask for images of each member’s gifts. Then, compile them all into a PowerPoint presentation. That way, you can showcase each gift properly whenever someone picks them in the first turn.
Apart from these, there’s not much you need to do during the virtual white elephant. At the end of the game, each member must mail the gifts to the recipients. For that, you may have to compile a list of their addresses.
The Bottom Line
Nowadays, the regular gift exchange tradition in offices is no longer as exciting. People want to experience something new, and a virtual white elephant fits the bill. It’s new, and with a few tweaks, you can make it as unique as it can be. But while you may feel burdened with the responsibility for the event as its organizer, you must keep in mind that it’s a team effort. As such, you shouldn’t be afraid to get ideas from your team.
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About The Author
Lenard Arceo is an experienced writer who enjoys learning to coding as a hobby. He has spent many years blogging about a vast array of topics and has helped many reputable websites grow their audience over the years.