Change of pace
Holiday events are a nice break from everyday content, and the fact that they're short-term means members will want to spend some extra time on them before they wrap up. Usually, players can do these activities solo, but in many cases, you can get much more out of the events as a guild than you can alone. Holidays tend to mean a slow-down within a guild, but that doesn't mean the guild has to fracture and become isolated. It's worth it to plan a few nights around doing holiday content together. That way, you'll maintain that feeling that you're still an active and organized guild, especially since many holiday events are more enjoyable when you're doing them together as a group.
Reward decorators and crafters
Most of the emphasis in a guild is on the adventure side of the game, so members focus on helping each other gear up, advance their class, or hone their PvP skills. But holiday events are an important time for crafters and decorators too since there are many limited-time house items and craftables available.
In EverQuest II, for example, there are all sorts of special harvested resources in the Christmas-themed holiday zone. But it can take some time to get the rarer ones, and with a limited-time event like Frostfell, some crafters aren't able to make everything they want. If you make it a guild event, though, players can gather up stacks of resources and bank them for the crafters. In just an hour or so, the guild can get enough to make every crafter smile, and with a few snowballs here and there, the guild has a nice way to hang out, bond, and give some attention to a style of gameplay that sometimes gets overlooked. A healthy supply of resources helps crafters make some nice goodies for everyone. And a bank full of holiday house items can translate to one amazingly decorated guild hall, so everyone benefits in the end.
Play the market
Holiday items can become the most valuable commodities in the auction house. A Christmas-themed house item will fetch top dollar in June, when die-hard decorators can't get those holiday items they need to complete their homes. Similarly, a holiday pet becomes a valuable item once that event is over. If you time it right, all of those easy-to-obtain holiday items could help you amass a fortune because some players are willing to pay for convenience.
Compensate your completionists
In MMOs with an achievement system, there are bound to be unique holiday achievements that you can get only during that event. And for the completionists in your guild, it can be a stressful time trying to get them all done before time runs out. Guild leaders could host a night or two when everyone can join in and get them done together. A skilled parkour player, combined with a summon ability, can make a difficult achievement into one that everyone completes in just a few minutes. And your combined knowledge makes those tough-to-solve achievements easy to get done.
If you have lower-level players in your guild who have been trying hard to catch up, then a holiday event can be a huge boon since they tend to give out more experience than normal content. And because these events are aimed at everyone, they're a nice way for higher-level players to do things with lower-level players, and everyone can walk away with something he wants in the end.
Making the transition to hardcore
Many guilds have considered making the jump from a more casual approach to a more hardcore style of gameplay. But it's very daunting to get into raiding, not only because of the challenge of the content but because of all of the many tasks to juggle as you manage the raid. Several MMOs now have group content and even raid content that's holiday-specific, but they tend to be a little easier than normal content. So for guilds that want to give it a try, holiday events can be the perfect time to make that transition. Guild and raid leaders can focus on learning the ropes of managing a raid without getting overwhelmed by the challenges of the content itself.
And if you're running multi-group holiday content, what better time to use it as a way to recruit more. Everyone will want the holiday rewards, and because the content isn't too challenging, you can safely invite others without too much worry that they could hamper your raid. You'll have a chance to meet potential recruits, and you generate some positive PR for your guild.
One advantage guilds have in MMOs is that their numbers allow them to do things that are much harder to do alone. The same goes for many holiday events. Even though holiday content tends to be a bit easier than normal game content, it's difficult, if not impossible, to see it all and get every reward and achievement. But with a little coordination, and a few flying fruitcakes or snowballs, a guild can help its members get the most out of a limited-time event.
Do you have a guild problem that you just can't seem to resolve? Have a guild issue that you'd like to discuss? Every week, Karen Bryan takes on reader questions about guild management right here in The Guild Counsel column. She'll offer advice, give practical tips, and even provide a shoulder to lean on for those who are taking up the challenging task of running a guild.