There has been a massive increase in virtual events as teams work remotely while trying to stay engaged.
But how do you make sure your event is successful? How can you ensure that it will be memorable for your team, and help build stronger relationships within your organization?
Here are five tips for preparing a practical virtual team-building experience:
1. Plan and get everything set up
The first step to planning a team-building afternoon or day is to create a plan and fill in the details for the entire event so that no one gets lost along the way. Then, think about what types of activities will be most engaging for your group. If they require physical movement or interaction with others, consider whether they can still take place virtually.
You can use Google Docs to co-create, engaging the Team by inviting them to take some ownership of the details. Make sure everyone's device is prepared for the event, ie. cameras and microphones are working, and the latest version of Zoom is installed. This will help avoid any last-minute hiccups or issues during the event. It also helps prevent people from being left out because they don't have access to certain things like laptops or tablets.
It doesn't matter whether you're hosting a one or a three-hour event. You should always have a plan in mind beforehand, so you know where you're going next. Make sure everyone knows how long the sessions are going to take.
2) Set up a schedule for each session
You‘ll want to keep track of who needs to take part in which sessions throughout the day.
If someone arrives late or misses an entire session, it can throw off your plans. An even number of participants may be needed for some activities, or that teams can only become stronger through team-building if everyone on the team turns up.
So how do we ensure that our remote employees are participating? How do we get them all together at one point during the day to have some idea what their attendance is like?
Take advantage of scheduling apps. You can use Google calendar to remind everyone of the schedule.
3) Use the technology that works best with the audience
The best way to keep people engaged during a virtual event is by using technology that they’re familiar with, and which will work on their devices. Thanks to technology, you have a lot of options to choose from.
Decide which app you'll use. Make sure the virtual room is ready before the event starts. Then, test it out with a colleague to see if they can see and hear you clearly. Make adjustments accordingly.
If you want to use Zoom for your virtual event, you can make it even more exciting with its new immersive features. Read about them here.
4) Have a backup plan in case something goes wrong
It's essential to always have a backup plan in case anything goes wrong. For example, if you're running into any difficulties, a backup would be of much help. It can be having a backup Wi-Fi source for internet problems, or having a second host in case one host encounters personal or logistical issues on the day. Whatever happens, you want to be prepared for it.
5) Get ready for questions
This might seem obvious, but many hosts forget to prepare their participants ahead of time. They assume that since they've planned out every detail, no questions will arise. But sometimes, even though you think you've covered everything, someone will ask a question that you didn't expect. So, be prepared!
You can do this before the event by simply giving space or offering for people to ask if there is any confusion. You can even show the plan and ask if the instructions are clear.
If you're planning something that requires more than just sitting around chatting, make sure it’s simple enough that people can participate from home without feeling overwhelmed. If possible, try to keep things low-tech.
Remember, this isn't just another business meeting. It's more than likely some of the participants will join you for the first time while others have met each other before. So, try to create a relaxed environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and learning from others.
In conclusion, I hope this has convinced you that having a good plan is essential when organizing any online event and has given you some helpful tips about how to do so.
Have you ever organized a successful virtual event? What was your experience like? Let us know.