Last year has completely changed the way we design corporate events. In-person events were, for a while, not only difficult but also impossible to carry out. Some of the first attempts to recreate the dynamics of social interactions resulted in halfway fun events, but the novelty soon wore off, and companies had to look for innovative ways to keep their staff engaged through this new work scenario.
We have learned, first, that a successful online event requires as much planning -or even more- as a face-to-face one. You just can not expect people to “show up and talk”. There have to be activities, encouragement, and surprises. You may need to design hybrid events, where some products are delivered to employees to their homes and they can use them at the event. You also have to consider the living environment of your staff: do they have kids at home? Will the family also be involved in the event?
The platform you choose is also important: Zoom, GoToMeeting or Google Meet are fine for some video calls, but, could you get more creative? Tools such as Kahoot, Mentimeter, or even online games such as Among Us could be great places to create engaging and innovative events. Some companies, such as Intel, have even implemented online escape rooms as training tools.
Not long ago, our People Care team at Virtualmind organized a virtual event to celebrate the Programmers’ day, and it was a blast! How did we achieve that? We hosted an event where all Virtualminders were invited to have a great time, with several activities and incredible prizes! It started with some fun icebreaker games to get everyone excited and engaged, - which is always a good idea, especially while you wait for everyone to get settled! During the call, we also shared a delicious snack (virtually, at least), provided by Virtualmind! Everyone shared a picture of what they were having and it was awesome to see the wide variety of tastes among employees (without leaving aside the fact that those who at that moment hadn’t ordered their snack yet could take ideas from the others). Since we have collaborators located all over LATAM, this was an excellent way of comparing cultures and highlighting the added value of belonging to a multicultural team. I believe we don’t even have to mention that the results were more than successful!
Just to mention some, here are a few of the things our programmers highlighted after the event: “The call was super fun and the voucher was a really great addition!”, “The synergy among the staff and the great attitude of the organizers'', “I loved the trivia game, the call, the wallpaper and everything!”, “Receiving the voucher to order a meal during the event was a great idea”. And we could go on! Our People Care team planned something new for us that our Virtualminders enjoyed and felt comfortable with, despite the difference with our old way of doing events.
We are seeing that face-to-face events are slowly returning, but, at the same time, remote work has come here to stay and companies need to find creative ways to boost commitment and teamwork. With good preparation and creativity, the possibilities for online events are endless, especially if your team members are located all over the continent! Do not limit yourself to meetings and presentations: this is a great opportunity to create new ways of interacting and learning. And even the smallest event can always be improved. Always keep this in mind: The sky's the limit!