Are you planning a virtual holiday party or team engagement event? Here are the Top 4 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid when planning your virtual celebration:
Mistake #1: Underestimating the Importance of the Emcee… or Not Having One at All
The host or emcee sets the tone for the event. They know exactly what’s supposed to happen and when. They greet your guests and are there to ensure your event runs smoothly and on time. A friendly, upbeat hosts makes SUCH a difference!
Mistake #2: Not Preparing a Run of Show in Advance and Expecting to “Just Wing It”
Unlike a live event where you have more flexibility, with a virtual event you can’t make last-minute changes as easily. Logistics to iron out in advance include:
- What platform are we using?
- What time will the entertainment log in?
- When will the room open to all guests?
- What’s the meeting link?! Do the guests have it?!
- When are we starting the event?
- How long is each part of the event going to take?
- What about company announcements – are there any and if so, who’s talking?
- Is anyone doing a presentation requiring A/V?
- Does the audience need to be muted? And should people be encouraged to have their cameras on?
- Do we need breakout rooms?
- Who is introducing whom, and what’s their preferred intro?
Pro tip: Meet with your emcee/facilitator one week in advance to iron out all the details.
Mistake #3: Not Picking the Right Entertainment or Not Offering a Variety of Entertainment for Your Group
Consider your group dynamic. Is your team competitive? How about including a game – like music bingo, team trivia, poker/black jack, or a team scavenger hunt? Is your group missing the water cooler conversations you used to have? Consider including breakout rooms to allow smaller groups to interact with creative, thoughtful prompts to help get the conversations started (i.e. What is one of your favorite things about the holidays?).
Mistake #4: Not Engaging With Your Audience
In virtual environments engagement is KEY. Utilize the chat function to ask questions and interact. Incentivize your team to interact by awarding prizes throughout the event – either through individual competition or group interaction (i.e. scavenger hunts, team trivia, etc.) Remember, attention spans are SHORT, especially in the virtual space – so switch up the entertainment or activities into manageable 10-30 minute chunks.
Here’s an example of an engaging virtual holiday party outline (abbreviated):
- 6:30 p.m. Emcee + Entertainment Logged In + Prepped
- 7:00 p.m. Event Start Time + Room Opens
- 7:05 p.m. Welcome – Company Representative, Announcements, Introduction of Emcee Lauren Ansley
- 7:07 p.m. Emcee Introduces Activities + Entertainment
- 7:10 p.m. Mixology – Step-by-Step Instruction of a custom specialty cocktail with Rachael Green (participants received the recipe and ingredients list in advance)
- 7:25 p.m. Introduction of Music Bingo + DJ Jeff (virtual music cards distributed) – 2 rounds of Music Bingo plus one Bonus Round (3 prizes awarded)
- 8:00 p.m. Introduction of Magic + Mind Control “Headlining Entertainment” with Chris Dugdale – interactive performance with heavy audience interaction and AMAZING finale
- 8:30 p.m. Closing + Thank You’s – Company representative
- 8:35 p.m. Event Ends
- 8:35 p.m. Room stays open for good byes and any remaining attendees to hang out afterwards (optional)
*Emcee is actively engaged in the chat throughout the event
*Cameras are encouraged to be ON
In summary, as you’re planning your holiday parties, attention to detail and thoughtful planning in advance will get you far. Engaging with a professional will get you even farther!
In December 2020, our team at Lauren Ansley Presents hosted over 25 virtual holiday parties for companies across the (snow)globe! Engage with us to help you avoid the mistakes listed above and ensure that your company has a successful, fun and engaging celebration this year.
For more information about our engaging holiday party offerings, please Contact Us. Happy Planning!