Even if Covid-19 is largely in the past in most countries, many companies have chosen to conduct the majority of their operations online. And whether employees are still working from home or returning to the office, a lot of the business communication is still digital. This could be anything from Zoom meetings to online social events.
Yes, online social events like virtual happy hours are still going strong and are more popular than ever. However, many business owners are still left wondering how to throw a good virtual happy hour that employees will enjoy in the safety of their own homes.
We spoke to a few companies that are still hosting some great happy hours virtually and found out what the secret is. Let’s take a look.
Pick out a good theme
Many people think that themes for parties are totally overrated. But, the fact of the matter is that it really does get people engaged and involved in it.
You can choose from a very basic theme, like “wear a costume,” to a full-blown scavenger hunt. Here, you can even choose to offer some awards to motivate your employees further. But, it is important to also know your audience. Some people simply do not like dressing up, while others absolutely love it.
When organizing a virtual happy hour, think about a really festive theme to have. Something like an island getaway, sunset in Florida, or even the mardi gras theme is a really fun experience for you and your employees. Here, they do not need to excessively dress up. A flowered lei or a floral shirt will suffice for most employees, and you can share a festive background for them to change into during the session. You could even put a great playlist together and share it with everyone to play in the background.
Send guests drinks or snack baskets
If you have the budget and want everyone to have the same experience, you can always send goodies straight to their door. There are some great options when it comes to baskets from drinks to snacks and even small meals.
A lot of companies do end-of-month parties for their staff, which usually include snacks, pizza, drinks, or anything festive. In the virtual world, it is a bit more difficult. You can pick your theme, decide what your budget is and send the baskets straight to their doors.
It can be anything from a selection of beers to a cocktail kit, or even a wine selection. In fact, if you want to treat your employees to a great online experience, consider booking them for a virtual wine tasting. Here, you are sent the selection of wines and you will have a one-on-one session with the winemaker who will be taking you through the different wines. This is a great option if you have a group of people who are passionate about their wine, and who love to learn a little bit more about the winemaking process.
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We mentioned the scavenger hunt option a bit earlier, but let’s look a bit more into what else you can do. Activities are a great way of getting your employees online and interacting in the session. You can choose a variety of games and activities to do. From online yoga and workout sessions to fun, interactive games—the options are endless.
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Activities like trivia games, quiz hours, and song challenges are a great way to get all of your guests involved. Make sure that you include the activity in the invitation going out so that people know what they are in for. You will also want to make sure that they know whether their mics and videos need to be on or off during the session. But, if it is a fun, happy hour session, all videos and mics should be on regardless.
Make it as interactive as possible
In some cases, employees simply do not enjoy taking part in interactive sessions, especially online ones. We have seen numerous cases of employees simply logging on and not interacting during the session.
It is important for you to know who your audience is when you are planning your sessions. Everyone is different and preferences vary. Some absolutely love taking part and will throw themselves into themes and activities, while others feel like it’s the bane of their existence. Try and plan for both types of people.
The bottom line
While virtual happy hours mostly gained traction during the pandemic, nowadays they are still popular and a great way to build relationships with your employees. We hope our tips will help you organize and host a great virtual happy hour session that propels your business event forward.
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