How to host engaging corporate virtual events in the new normal
With the Covid-19 situation holding out longer than we expected, companies are looking or should look for activities that substitute company parties and team building events as they were before, to keep the corporate fabric alive, motivate staff and reward staff.
Companies that have staff working remotely as a result of the new normal should work harder at having events that will bring teams together to interact and have fun.
The solution is embracing periodic virtual events that are engaging.
For a better turnout, the event planners need to think of activities that can be done pre-event to create excitement. This could include competitions (photo/video) that could be submitted to HR for a shortlist, which will be aired on event day for viewers to vote for best submission(s). As Discmen Entertainment, we have simple to complex ideas based on the tech-savvy average of different corporates.
Just like in physical events, where a lot of thought went into décor and set-up, in the virtual space, the same attention to detail is needed for best results. It is the experience that your staff will get, and also help maintain their attention. It needs to wow them.
You need to invest in good production guided by your set design and vision for the event. It starts with the basics, like good sound and lighting. Progressively, thought goes to the number of camera angles, to differentiate it from your normal webinar; from a single laptop camera view to ultimately web platforms that go to the extent of creating virtual tables that staff can sit at and interact per table when you have a very good budget.
A good MC with the right qualities will keep the staff logged on for longer. The MC could be a professional hired, a staff or a mix of both. Some of the simple things they can do are to encourage participation on the comment section and reading out some of the comments, amongst other things.
From reviewing the tough lockdown period to date, it is clear that music forms a large aspect of escape or unwinding, hence the reason a lot of online live DJ performances had good viewership during said period. The ideal DJ for your virtual function should be able to theme a playlist based on event and play music that transcends different age groups as well as demographics effortlessly.
It is also a good thought to spice your event up with live musician acts, from simple one-man band solutions such as a saxophonist to bigger bands based on your budget. Corporates that previously engaged celebrity artistes in their physical events can still plug them in for virtual gigs. It adds experience to the event as a whole.
It is not enough to just have the ideas mentioned above as part of the event. You need to come up with activities that allow the viewers to participate, which even include a form of gifting to reward effort, increase staff participation, and generally encourage attendance and maintain attention throughout the event. The event planner should be able to guide on activities that are suited for small corporates with few staff, and those that would work for bigger corporates with staff that run into hundreds and thousands, which can be facilitated online.
The virtual space creates an opportunity for corporates with large numbers beyond the government/health guidelines of events to host activities for their staff. It also creates an unprecedented way for regional companies to host a single event with all their staff in attendance i.e. companies that have branches in different cities previously probably held physical events in each city to manage costs and avoid travel, but are now able to have one event, which can be magnificent because of a combined budget.
It appears that it will take a bit of time before we go back to ‘normal’ life, if at all, and we need to embrace the virtual space to keep staff motivated and united in purpose through socially distanced events and parties.
As Discmen Entertainment, we have been privileged in the past, and more actively the last year, to work on projects in different capacities for corporates and conferences with a national, continental and inter-continental reach, in regards to virtual events. We look forward to engaging you about your event and continuously learning about the virtual space.