Creating an advent calendar

With our partner Hirschtec, we've devised an idea of how you could implement an advent calendar in your platform.



To present an advent calendar in an attractive way in Haiilo, you need to make a few preparations:

  • Divide a picture into 24 smaller pictures or allocate numbers to 24 individual pictures
  • Prepare 24 items of content to act as the "gifts" inside the calendar doors, or ask your users for ideas

You can let your creativity run free regarding the content: wonderful stories, competitions, holiday recipes, or a Secret Santa campaign. You can find a few examples further down in this article.

Remember to consider weekends when planning the calendar. Not all users will check the calendar on weekends, so it is advisable to avoid events that require participation during these days. Instead, you can use this opportunity to send a holiday greeting or a message that doesn't require action.

Engage and involve your users

Are you struggling with ideas for each door or how to promote the calendar to hype up your users? Involve them in the creation and ask for their ideas!

Use the form app or provide an email address for users to submit their ideas. There are no limits to creativity, but to keep it as simple as possible, you might provide some helpful guidelines and inspiration, for example:

  • The idea should be linked to the holiday season
  • The idea can be executed in under X hours (depending on your resources)
  • A company reference is great but not required
  • Ask if the submitter wants to be credited for their idea or remain anonymous.
  • A deadline for submissions should be set well in advance, e.g., latest by mid-November, to allow time for execution and fine-tuning of the ideas.

Build the calendar

To integrate the calendar:

  1. Start by selecting the location where it should be placed. If you want all users to be able to access it, it's best to add it to a company page, such as the HR page. Alternatively, you could add it to an engagement community.
  2. Create an app group called "Advent calendar" for easier organizing
  3. Create a content app to house the calendar, i.e., be the overview for all doors. You can also name it, e.g., "Advent calendar"
  4. Create a blog app. The blog articles you publish in the app will each be a door. We recommend naming the articles "Door 1", "Door 2", etc.

We recommend you start creating the content inside the doors (blog apps) before building the overview (content app).

Create the doors (blog articles)

  1. Create a new blog article in the blog app
  2. Fill it with content for the door it represents. You can find a few examples further down in this article. Our tips for an attractive layout:
    • Use a teaser image, including a short introductory text. With this, users can see an excerpt of the content from the previous day in the calendar overview.
    • The calendar should be visually appealing, with images and clear text formatting that catches the reader's eye.
    • Are you including several competitions? If so, use a recurring image to signal a competition so that users can immediately see what the day's content is about.
  3. Set the scheduled date. Schedule each for publishing on the corresponding calendar door day, e.g., Door 1 should be published on December 1st. This ensures that the calendar door for the respective day is only visible on that day.
    • If someone tries to access a future door, they'll see a message explaining that it's not available (yet).
  4. Define a publish time. We recommend publishing content at a time before most colleagues start working, e.g., 8 a.m., so the newest calendar door is available as soon as they log onto the platform.
  5. When creating the blog article, consider two settings:
    • Deactivate Raise notification to all subscribers. Notifying everyone about a new blog is great for most use cases but not for the advent calendar. The notification in the bell directly links to the blog article, so it won't give users the feeling of opening a door. We recommend directing them to the content app instead so that they can open the door from there.
    • Choose Publish in the name of this page/community. You want the calendar to be attributed to the company, not you.
  6. Select Publish the schedule it

Create 24 blog articles using these steps. Once you're done, you should have 24 scheduled articles in the blog app. Ensure that all articles are published at the correct date and time and under the page's name.


Create the calendar (content app)

Add the following layout and widgets to the content app: 


  1. Add an introductory text in the rich text editor widget. This is also the place for competition rules or contacts in case of questions.
  2. For the image widgets:
    1. You need to manually insert all of the cropped and numbered images prepared at this article's beginning. There's no way to fill all of the widgets simultaneously.
    2. In the Links to... field for each image widget, add the URL to the blog article corresponding to that door. For the door 1 image, add the URL for the blog article "Door 1". To make this easier, we recommend opening another tab for the blog app to copy the links to the blog articles.


Ideas for calendar doors

When it comes to content, there are usually no boundaries for your creativity. Here are some examples that we've seen our customers use:

Secret Santa

This activity promotes team-building and boosts engagement among colleagues as you can come into contact with people you may not yet know at the company.

You can use advanced mode when creating the blog article:

As with almost all activities involving participation, it's important to define rules:

  • By when do people need to sign up?
  • How do I find out who my assigned gift receiver is?
  • How will the handover take place?
  • How much should the gift cost?
  • ...


Cookie recipe

You can use a delicious cookie or any holiday-inspired recipe for a door. Who doesn't love sweets during the holidays?

You can use advanced mode when creating the blog article:

  • Add a Teaser widget and use delicious-looking cookies as the image.
  • Select a two-column layout with the Rich text editor widget in each column to show the ingredients next to the instructions. Use tables to highlight the oven temperature and baking time so they stand out as important information.



You can create an engaging competition with a prize for your users. Prizes can be anything that fits your budget, e.g., restaurant or take-out vouchers, merch sets from the company, or a ready-made advent crown/Christmas tree. The competition question can be, for example:

  • Questions about the company
  • (Photo) competitions, allowing users to upload an image and then you choose the best one
  • (Anonymous) nominations of colleagues who've earned a little reward, "Colleague of the Year"
  • General knowledge questions

You can use advanced mode when creating the blog article:

  • Add a Teaser widget and use an image of the prize, e.g., a dinner.
  • Add and format text with the Rich text editor widget
  • Use the Poll widget for the competition question. Limit the response to 1 per user. It's essential that participation is visible, so enable Show results to user. Close the poll once the deadline has passed.

To provide additional information to your colleagues besides the competition question, you can include some general knowledge about the prize, e.g., a brief history of holiday dinners and the types of food enjoyed throughout the years. You are free to decide if and how much detail you want to include regarding the competition and the context surrounding the question.


Holiday story (for a weekend door)

For doors that fall on the weekend, you might want something less enticing but equally holiday-inspired. Give your colleagues a chance to relax to an audio production of the "A Christmas Carol" story.

You can use advanced mode when creating the blog article:


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