How to Plan & Host a Virtual Event in 2024

Whilst bringing your team together for a face-to-face event may be the gold standard when it comes to building relationships and boosting engagement, we appreciate at times, this can be tricky. Organising a virtual event can overcome challenges such as geographical dispersion, travel restrictions, budget constraints and the need for flexibility in busy schedules. Leveraging technology makes virtual events accessible and fosters inclusivity for all team members.

Planning Makes Perfect!

  • Define your Objective – Clarify the purpose of the event, whether it’s a team meeting, training session, conference, a team bonding event or purely a social gathering. Questions to ask yourself include: why is the event occurring and what do you want to achieve from it?
  • Set an Agenda – We do it for in-person events/meetings, so why would a virtual event be any different? This will allow those involved in the hosting of the event, to stick to the plan and stick to the allocated timeframes!
  • Choose Wisely – Where possible, try and utilize a platform that your team is familiar with, this will reduce any issues attempting to log in or navigate the platform during the event.
  • Build Anticipation – Promote your virtual event! Let your team know what to expect and how they can get involved.
  • Spell it Out – Team members need clear instructions on how to join the event, particularly if this is a new platform. Provide a step-by-step guide on how to download any required software and details on how to log in and join the meeting.
  • Test the Tech – Test out the functionality of each component of your event beforehand. For example, are you sharing your screen with audio to show a video, are you organising your team into smaller groups in breakrooms etc.? All of these things should be practised ahead of time, to minimise the chance of glitches!
  • Have the End in Mind – As we have mentioned in a previous article, evaluating an event and providing appropriate follow-up to your event is crucial. Ask your audience, they have the answers! What did they like, and what do they want to see more of in the future, asking for feedback and actioning this in will help to enhance any future events.

Take to the Stage, It’s time to Host

  • Have Support at the Ready – Having tech support on hand will minimise any downtime should any issues arise for either the host or individual participants.
  • Incorporate Offline Aspects – This might include sending catered lunch boxes, branded merchandise, or post-event vouchers to attendees’ homes. Such gestures, especially for larger or milestone events, can reward and engage participants, fostering a sense of inclusion and appreciation and really enhancing the individual experience.
  • Facilitate Engagement – Make the event as interactive as possible. Utilise the functionality of the platform whether that’s polls, the chat box, breakout rooms for small group discussion etc. If you are planning an extended online event like a conference or training session, consider breaking up the content with some interactive games or even team bonding experiences – more on that below.

How to Implement​

By asking relevant questions and maintaining a concise, anonymous survey format, employees are empowered to share their honest perspectives on their individual experiences within the organisation.

There are a number of third-party employee survey companies you can utilise, which will create a survey for you, collate the results, analyse the data and provide you with the feedback, or you can do it yourself in-house.

In order to create a DIY Employee Engagement Survey remember these things:

  • Ensure anonymity – use a specific online tool/software program or simply utilize Google Forms. With Google Forms enter your questions into the template to create your survey, and by opting not to collect names/email addresses from participants, this will allow the survey to be conducted anonymously.
  • Unbiased questions – keep your questions simple and ensure you aren’t unconsciously imposing your views in the way you word your questions, remeber this is a chance to let the employees do the talking.
  • Communication is key – provide information to your employees that you will be conducting a survey ahead of time, and when to expect the email to arrive. Outline a time frame as to when the results need to be in, and when to expect the results to be discussed with the wider business. This could also be a great time to incentivize employees to take part. Maybe the first 15 people to complete it get a free coffee – that definitely has our vote!

Virtual Team Bonding Activities

Virtual team bonding activities are a great well to elevate an online conference or workplace training, they also work well as their own standalone event. These types of activities work to improve team dynamics by boosting collaboration, problem-solving and teamwork in a fun and unique way.

The Virtual Amazing Race focuses on harnessing creativity and innovation whilst challenging teamwork and the group’s communication skills. From home, participants embark on a scavenger hunt-style adventure, tackling tasks that include photo challenges, brain teasers and more.

In this ultimate whodunnit challenge, your team must race against time to unravel the mystery, working collaboratively to identify the killer, weapon, and motive before they strike again, requiring effective communication and critical thinking to decipher the truth hidden beneath the surface.

Virtual Social Activities

These can be the perfect add-on to your virtual event, they work to break the ice, inject some energy into the day and are all-round a good time!

So, while nothing beats the buzz of an in-person gathering, diving into the virtual realm can be just as rewarding. Remember, planning makes perfect (or something close to it) and utilising various tools or adding in additional elements like what we offer here at Team Bonding, can really level up the experience for those in attendance.

This is also a great way to bring an offline element to your event (as we mentioned earlier) as each participant will receive all necessary materials delivered to their home, then they join a live class with an expert art coach, fostering interaction and bonding over artistic endeavours.

 A fully hosted online trivia event that can be tailored to a theme of your choice! An opportunity to get people thinking and create a bit of friendly competition.

So, while nothing beats the buzz of an in-person gathering, diving into the virtual realm can be just as rewarding. Remember, planning makes perfect (or something close to it) and utilising various tools or adding in additional elements like what we offer here at Team Bonding, can really level up the experience for those in attendance.