Virtual Team Parties for Teams and Organizations
The What, When, Where, Why, and How of Having One
14 people dressed in festive sweaters, reindeer antlers, and holiday hats join a Zoom meeting. This group, representing their department, are about to be treated to a virtual holiday party set up by their manager. After a quick welcome, the Game Show Hosts start with interactive Icebreaker games as a warmup. It’s then onto the main activity, Holiday Trivia where a raucous few rounds leads into the Ugly Sweater contest. The contest brings a whole new level of laughter and good-natured fun as the hosts facilitate the judging while the team members vote.
Four improv troupe members prepare for a virtual Spring Break Party for a small company. The company owners booked a Mystery for the whole company as a change of pace to the regular Friday “happy hour.” As part of the theme, the employees wore a tropical outfit and set up a tropical virtual background on their webcam. The company sent tropical drink mixers to all the employees to add to the fun. With a mystery to solve, the players gathered clues and interacted with the improvising characters to find the suspect. The big reveal brings forth a few knowing nods and laughs from the players.
These examples are options for holding a virtual party. But they don’t need to be for a certain time of year or for a specific purpose, they can just be for fun and a break from the mundane of our virtual work environments.
At times those regularly scheduled happy hours may seem like a work function obligation versus a special event. A virtual party can super-charge those happy hours or fun lunches.
In providing several virtual events over the last year, here are some ideas for booking a virtual party or event.
Why should I have a virtual party?
The simple answer is because it’s fun! Having fun can boost morale, positive thinking, and get employees to bounce back from their daily routine. You will also show commitment to your employees by looking for opportunities to support them during times of stress, or by celebrating accomplishments, or just by having a nice surprise to liven up the day.
How do I hold a virtual party? Who does this sort of thing?
Similar to an in-person party, identify a time for your team then contact an entertainment provider to discuss some ideas for your virtual event. Be sure you let the provider know all the remote locations your team is in, how many people are expected to join, and how long the event should be. 45 to 60 minutes is recommended for most single activity events, and 75 to 90 minutes for multiple activity events. If your team or department is large, generally over 25 employees but also dependent on the activity, there may be special issues the provider will discuss with you. Once the entertainment is decided on, let your team members know the details and reserve the time. Much of the logistics, including the connection information, is handled by the entertainment company. Ensure the video conference technology the provider uses is one your team has access to, or will need access.
As a comedy improv performance troupe, Monkey Business Institute (MBI) can handle the varied entertainment and performance needs of all types and sizes of organizations. The troupe has been performing virtually for much of the past year and will continue to offer virtual events for organizations and teams that work remotely.
What type of virtual party should I have?
This is the fun part of party planning. Do you have a theme or topic, or are you celebrating a completed project? Is this part of a company meeting, awards ceremony, or is it for pure fun to get away from work for an hour or two? Your entertainment provider may be able to offer many types of games and performances to fit your event. Trivia “night”, parodies of TV or board games, improv or sketch performances, mysteries and friendly competitions are just a few ideas. The type of virtual party may be determined by the number of people who will join the party and how interactive you want it to be.
Don’t think the “party” has to be an hour or longer or needs to be a competitive game. Virtual parties can also extend to improv shows, sketches, instant surprise poetry, and even singing telegrams to teams or individuals. Recently MBI performed a Zoom Meeting “bomb” (think photobomb for virtual), by having a special guest speaker that was a science “expert.” The possibilities are endless for virtual performance!
When and Where should I have my virtual party?
Choose whether a virtual versus hybrid event makes the most sense. Understand where people may be located when they join the virtual event and how that might impact their engagement. MBI has performed events where children are present in the same room as the employee. As for when to have your virtual party, be familiar with your team members’ meetings before and after the event. If your team is spread across time zones, find a time amenable to most. Mid-day events are still great to break up the day and week, and morning events are good for pre-meetings. Be aware of a party that may run into the evenings as many employees value their personal time.
Putting together a virtual party has many advantages for your remote teams and companies. From boosting morale to celebrating accomplishments to just needing break from the daily stuff, a virtual party can strengthen your team or organization through engaging and fun activities. Be sure to look for an entertainment company with experience in your type of virtual performance and objectives. They will know the right questions to ask and what it takes to hold a successful event. You will know the event was a success when your team continues to talk about how much fun they had.
Monkey Business Institute are experts at virtual events for a wide range of organizations. Contact us at 608-658-5153 x701 or fill out the form below.