Wondering how to celebrate Halloween with your coworkers this year?
With COVID-19 and remote work changing everything about the working environment, this once simple event can seem like a real challenge.
But, our current situation actually presents some opportunities that didn’t exist before. If we choose to embrace those opportunities, we can celebrate another fun Halloween with our coworkers - from the safety of our own homes.
Transform Your Halloween Costume Contest
In years past, many of us enjoyed donning our best costumes and wearing them to the office on Halloween. Working from home, however, has put a major damper on that.
What we can do well from home is take pictures. In our office, that means changing our in-person costume contest into an online photo contest – and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
Because we’re all working remotely, we’re no longer limited by the traditional costume-contest categories that were available to us. We’ve expanded our costume contest to include the entire family!
Our photo categories now include:
- Best Employee Costume
- Best Family/Couples Costume
- Best Children’s Costume
- Best Pet Costume
- Best Home Decor or Jack-o-Lantern
It turns out that our current situation has actually helped unchain us from past conventions. And we expect this year’s photo-driven costume contest to be even more enjoyable and inclusive than anything we’ve done in the past.
Of course, we’re using Cognito Forms to collect our photo entries. Here’s a link to the template we’re using if you want to use it also.
Tips for Using the Halloween Photo Contest Form
- Simply download the template to your Cognito Forms account (you can create one for free if you don’t have one). Then, customize the Category field with your own contest categories (if you want to include ones that differ from ours).
- Set the maximum number of allowed photos in the Photo field settings. (We set ours to 5.)
- Update the To address in the email notification settings to be your judge’s email. This way, your contest judge will automatically receive all of the entries. If your organization is on a paid plan, you can create multiple notifications to send entries to more than one judge.
- If you’re going to use different judges for different categories, use the Send When Submitted option to conditionally notify specific judges based on the categories entered. Ex: =(Category.Contains(“Best Children’s Costume”)
- The judging fields (Creativity, Execution, Attention to Detail, etc.) will appear on the form after submission. If your organization is on a paid plan, use the Entry Link Sharing feature in the email notification settings to allow judges to open contest entries directly from their inbox.
If you’re using a free Individual plan, your contest judge can select the Admin Link in the notification email they receive with every entry to view the submitted photos on the Entries page in your Cognito Forms account.
TIP: Use the Advanced Filter option on the Entries page to sort form entries by category. If your organization is on a paid plan, you can also save each category filter as a unique view to quickly switch between different categories.
Celebrate a Socially Distant Halloween on Slack
We started a community Slack channel back in March, when we began working remotely. This became our virtual water cooler and helps keep us all connected while we’re unable to work in the same building. It’s where we share photos of our pets, our weekends and our families.
For Halloween, we’re amping it up with a full month of Halloween content. Our content team has organized 31 days of spooky subjects to entertain our employees and spark conversations.
- Halloween recipes
- Movie recommendations
- Halloween songs
- Spooky trivia and fun facts
- Air dates/times of Halloween TV specials
- And a lot more
With new content daily, we’re encouraging our staff to comment, like and contribute their own ideas and opinions. This way we can all enjoy a bit of the fun from our own homes.
(You could even spark the classic debate surrounding A Nightmare Before Christmas: Is it a Halloween Movie or a Christmas Movie? Ask your team what they think.)
You could even get fancy with your debates and use Slack Polls in Slack.
Simply ask employees to vote for:
- Best Halloween Candy (Reese’s pumpkins will win every time.)
- Best Scary Movie (The Conjuring? The Exorcist?)
- Best Non-Scary Halloween Movie (Hocus Pocus? Halloweentown?)
- Best Scary/Monster Song (Monster Mash? Werewolves of London? I’m Your Boogie Man?)
- Scariest Movie Monster (Stage your own Freddy vs Jason)
Whatever gets your teammates interacting can only be a good thing. Have some fun with it.
Challenge Your Coworkers to Some Terrifying Trivia
Who doesn’t like trivia?
We developed an online Halloween trivia game that we shared with our coworkers (and you can share with yours).
Take this free template and customize with your own questions and images.
Or, if you prefer, you can just use our questions. (Of course, you’ll probably want to change that Jack-o-Lantern image. That is, unless you just happen to be a really, really big fan of Cognito Forms.)
Keep Finding Opportunities (They’re out There)
Of course, there are countless other ways you can celebrate the holiday, so don’t just stop with what’s in this post. See how your old in-office games, contests and activities can be potentially expanded or improved online.
You can easily play the ol’ “Guess the Number of Candy Corn in the Jar” game online. Just get a jar, fill it with candy corn, snap a picture and give people a way to send you their guesses. (We’d, of course, recommend using an online form for that.)
Or maybe you’d rather host a scary movie night using the Netflix Party plugin for Chrome.
The possibilities are endless. In fact, it’s almost scary how much you can do.
Ace is the Marketing Communications Manager for Cognito Forms. When not at the office, you can find him volunteering with the American Advertising Federation (and soon on stage with his band: the Cottontown Soul Society).