The virtual world has become the “new normal”, and we have developed and transformed our engaging and fun team building activities to fit your computer screen! When clients come to us with requests for virtual programs, we have noticed some hesitation and questions like, “Will this still be fun?” and “How does this even work?”. To quell your fears, we will walk you through the process from start to finish and share a few things to consider when planning this type of experience for your team.
From the very beginning of meeting with a client, our goal is to take the work off your plate. We get it. You have always been in charge of your quarterly team building activities and you had it down – the perfect happy hour, your favorite caterer, the best bowling alley. But now… you have to figure out how to do this online?! That’s where we come in. We transitioned to virtual activities very early in this pandemic, and our operations team has now run multiple types of team builders on various platforms. Consider your plate cleared!
We have learned that the virtual world does come with new considerations in your planning process. Here are some of the key things we have found make or break a virtual program:
- Keep your virtual program between 1 – 2 hours. No matter how exciting or engaging the program, anything longer than 2 hours staring at a screen starts to melt your brain.
- Pair programming with a happy hour. Many of our clients have chosen to host their virtual sessions around 4:00 pm, when people are ready to unwind with a refreshing beverage and snack in hand after the workday. It also ensures that participants are more likely to relax if they don’t have to go back to work afterward.
- Ship some shared joy. Some of our favorite clients have been those who put a lot of forethought into bringing their team together by sending everyone something to share together through the screen. Whether that is ice cream sandwiches, pancakes or a bottle of wine, it makes people feel closer. If this sounds like a logistical nightmare for your planning team, add that to our plate! We are happy to create and ship care packages for you.
- Combine causes. If your company is celebrating its birthday or some big wins, pair that level of excitement with a virtual program. People will be happy to gather around a shared achievement and spend some much needed social time with each other.
- Consider how to make your teams. All of our virtual programs include breakout rooms, meaning that we divide your larger group into smaller teams in separate rooms. We most often do this randomly, but if you have a lot of new additions to your group or would like to break up some cliques, consider purposely creating teams. This allows people who might have never mixed before to get to know each other!
- Prizes go a long way. Bragging rights are always a fantastic and eternal option, and we understand if anything other than that is outside the budget. However, even the simplest prize spurs the competitive spirit! Some of the favorites that we’ve seen are points awarded through internal company merit systems, online gift cards and a free lunch delivery.
Our sales team will help you select the best program for your team, whether that is an Escape Room, Scavenger Hunt or a Trivia Night. Once selected, they will introduce you to our operations team to coordinate the nitty-gritty details. It is with your operations manager that you can customize and tailor the program to ensure it will be exactly what you are looking for! Many of our programs incorporate a mobile app so they will also provide your team with all the information they need to come to the program prepared.
When it comes to the virtual program flow, we have found that the following format works well:
- 3:45 PM | Planning team meets briefly in the virtual meeting room before participants arrive
- 4:00 PM | Welcome participants
- 4:00 PM – 4:05 PM | Group leader shares a few words with participants (President, CEO, etc)
- 4:05 PM – 4:15 PM | Emcee introduces program and runs icebreakers
- 4:15 PM – 4:20 PM | Emcee presents brief slide deck with activity overview/instructions
- 4:20 PM | Divide participants into teams and sent to breakout rooms with a designated staff member to support with facilitation/questions/scorekeeping
- 4:20 PM – 4:30 PM | Have designated staff member prepare teams in breakout rooms for the activity and provide any additional instructions
- 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM | Teams work together in the breakout room
- 5:30 PM | Teams are brought back together in the main room
- 5:30 PM – 5:35 PM | Emcee hosts debrief with all participants
- 5:35 PM – 5:40 PM | Share final scores and interview the winning team
- 5:40 PM – 5:45 PM | Client representative and/or Emcee closing words
- 5:45 PM | Emcee passes program off to participants to continue their social hour
The virtual world has taken some time to get used to, but we are confident in our ability to host your team with an engaging event. Now more than ever we need to stick together, so let us help you stay connected!