Five tips to elevate your virtual staff event this season

STAFF EVENTS: When it comes to hosting staff events in the new Covid era, HR teams are quickly learning that not everything translates directly into a virtual platform. Adam Piperdy, Chief Experience Officer with Unearthed Productions offers these tips to wow, and truly engage your staff this holiday season.

Tip #1: The build up and aftermath are just as important as the actual event

Physical events used to be one day affairs, but that is not the case with virtual events, says Piperdy.

“The excitement in the lead up to the event has become as important as the event itself. But the most important thing is that after the event is over, that is when you can really capitalise on the content you have created.”

The key message here is to make your content omnichannel. This means making parts of your event available on different channels so that people can enjoy them in bite sizes.

Tip #2: Content, content, content

Content is king, and that definitely applies to online staff events.

“When you are crafting out a hybrid or virtual event, you must understand there are different audiences that you must cater to,” says Piperdy. “Some people are there to network, some are there to learn, and some are there to be entertained.”

Piperdy’s advice for HR is to make the content engaging and relevant, and focus on telling a story that will help to drive home key messages to staff.

Tip #3: Forget live polls, think interactive games

Enjoyable interactivity and meaningful engagement are key here. One creative way of doing this is through the use of a virtual photo booth.

Ubersnap, Snapbar and Outsnapped: these are just three of the many virtual photo booth solutions available that can help to break the ice between your staff, and turn your event from a dry, serious affair to one that is fun and lively!

Otherwise, you can consider introducing point- and team-based virtual escape rooms, scavenger hunts and trivia quizzes to make things more challenging and competitive.

Tip #4: Technology matters

The last thing you want is for the event to come to a standstill because of bandwidth or connectivity issues.

Ensure that your vendor will be utilising a platform that is capable of hosting a large number of participants without the live stream freezing or becoming unstable. Ask beforehand if past clients have experienced technical issues, and how they were solved.

Tip #5: Let your people have a say

Involve your employees in parts of the event planning process.

From the choosing of vendors to the curation of topics and activities, you could consider leaving certain decisions up to a vote.

Now that’s not to say that you include every person in every little decision, but the idea here is to help your staff feel like their opinion matters and that they helped contribute to the event in some way.

These tips were extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's report on Staff Events and Engagement. For further coverage, and access to the full report, please see any of the below links:

The distanced social: How employers are approaching staff events in 2021 (full report)

Staff events forced to get creative: Chief of Staff report (news highlight) November 2, 2021

Staff events suffer from the ultimate disruption (feature) November 4, 2021

Taking staff events into the virtual stratosphere (feature) November 8, 2021 Prudential's PLAYful take on virtual staff engagement (case study) November 10, 2021

Five tips to elevate your virtual staff event this season (Tips for HR) November 12, 2021

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