It has now been over six months since the United States has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. At this point, work from home practices have become second-nature, virtual events are taking over the event industry, and many of us are used to meeting virtually with our co-workers. However, being in Zoom meetings all day can be draining, especially when meetings lack interactive and social components.
When working in-office, we often have more time to casually socialize with co-workers and to catch up on our lives outside of work. With the shift to remote working, these important connections happen less naturally and can lead to disconnected feelings for many employees. Luckily, many speakers and entertainers have adjusted and introduced unique and interactive programs to encourage engagement among co-workers. Check out these six unique and interactive virtual event ideas.
1. Murder Mystery Experience
The inability for group excursions and team-building activities in-person has created a new segment of virtual events geared towards connecting socially-distanced employees. Jack Pachuta, a workplace consultant and speaker, found that there are unique opportunities for coworkers to connect in meaningful, fun ways. In particular, he has developed a virtual murder mystery experience with hired professional actors to give your team an unforgettable experience. His program goes beyond just one-way Zoom structure, incorporating break-out rooms and other techniques that are sure to entertain your group, all while working towards uncovering the mystery.
2. Cooking Demonstrations
Being in quarantine has led many people to try out new hobbies that they may not have had time to experiment with before. Cooking and baking are the perfect things to learn about and improve on as many continue to spend most of their time at home. Bring the Food Network straight to your audience by booking a popular celebrity chef to do a virtual cooking demonstration for your group. This way, you will all be able to connect and learn in a fun way and end up with a delicious meal in tow.
3. Virtual Improv
Not only can you energize your organization through organized fun, but some activities actually build skills that one can apply beyond the workshop and into their day-to-day work. Improv comedy relies on collaboration, thinking on your toes, and creativity, all of which are great skills for employees to have and incorporate in their jobs. Actor and comedian Neil Mullarkey has developed virtual improv workshops tailored for all different kinds of industries and audiences. Touching on people skills, leadership, and team-building, this hands-on opportunity is a great way for your group to have fun while gaining valuable skills in the meantime!
4. Gratitude Experience
With the lack of in-person social interactions with the remote set-up of today, it can be hard to maintain and build relationships with colleagues and peers. Additionally, it can become easy to lose hope in the midst of uncertainty and have trouble staying positive. Chris Schembra invented an experience called “Gratitude and Pasta” prior to the pandemic, with the philosophy of forging human connection through sharing a meal together and practicing gratitude. He has since shifted his model to accommodate for virtual and has programs available to help foster meaningful connections and gratitude between peers, reminding us that we are all in this together. AAE Speakers had the opportunity to have our own Gratitude Lunch with Schembra, and it made all the difference in our outlook on connection.
Magic shows are a captivating way to engage your audience. Although it may be different than your average rabbit-in-a-hat, cyber-illusion can wow your group in a new way, virtually. Cyber-illusionist Marco Tempest combines magic and technology to bring positivity during uncertain times. Through mixed reality, storytelling, gestural sensing, and swarm robots, this experience will leave an impact and can demonstrate how innovative technology really is.
6. Virtual Games
Virtual emcees and hosts can moderate games for your team members to get everyone laughing and having some competitive fun. From scavenger hunts that encourage your team to look around their space for things in a new way, to playing Jeopardy on your topic of choice, these moderators will guide your group in an entertaining way.
These unique interactive virtual events remind us that there are still many ways to have fun together, even if we can’t be together physically. For more ideas, check out these experiential speakers and corporate entertainers!