LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Whether it’s a computer screen, a green screen, or boxes on a Zoom screen, the team behind Conference Crashers is blending the in-person and virtual worlds together, to make COVID-friendly interactive live events.

One of the people driving the on-screen experience is actor and host Mike Rylander.

“I’m going to host Who Wants to be a Giftcard-Aire," said Rylander. "I’m not Regis, but I’m going to do my best. And it’s just like Millionaire but instead of a million dollars, you win a gift card."

After years of producing live events, the team started Conference Crashers in January with the intention to make corporate events fun, but then the pandemic hit. It forced them to get creative, making virtual products like game shows, interactive murder mysteries, and karaoke.

“In some ways, it’s actually kind of benefited, that I think it’s expanded the horizons of what we can do both live and virtually," said Rylander.

As fate would have it, their offerings came at a time when company holiday parties will not be what they were. The virtual company holiday party will come complete with a live DJ, and games to create a party atmosphere.

Conference Crashers co-founder Rob Corrall knows that being virtual is not the same as an in-person holiday soirée, but it's certainly a way for everyone to connect.

"Even if it’s just a short way to step away from work and do something fun, companies are still looking for a way to bring people together to celebrate," he said.

Company holiday parties are a time to celebrate the year’s work and those who make up the workplace, so Corrall is hoping bosses will see that they have created a good alternative.

“If we can create that engagement, and really create that customizing the experience for that company, then it’s fun," he said. "You get to do all those things that makes a holiday party great, you know, just in a virtual world."

When it comes to virtual fatigue — working online for countless hours, with kids at home sitting through distance learning — Rylander just wants everyone who logs on to feel that this is not your average Monday morning Zoom meeting.

“That is always our goal, is that the experience is so engaging and fun and there’s so many things happening that you forget you’re on Zoom," he said.

If we are all dreaming of a maskless holiday party, virtual may be the way to go.