We are heading into officially Summertime! After years of quarantine and isolation, the world has been reopening and a summer event for your team is just the thing they need to energize staff and boost morale. But there’s a catch! Many companies are still utilizing work from home strategies for some or all of their employees. Perhaps you have permanently converted to a remote or hybrid working environment.
So, how do you host a summer outing that brings your team together? Hybrid events! While some employees attend from one venue or participate from your office, others can engage in the same experience from far, far away or right down the street. There are many ways you can bring your team together while hosting a live, virtual outing.
As streaming video conferencing has become more common, virtual and hybrid company events have gained in popularity. They offer reduced costs and a way for companies with workforces based across the country to create a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. Apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams make including your at home team members in your company event a snap! Here are some tips to help you plan the ultimate hybrid summer outing for your company.
1. Get Everyone On The Same Page
Find a day and time that works for all (or at least the vast majority of) your employees.
Finding a day that everyone can attend your event is an important first step. Consider your company’s work style and schedule when planning your event. Are your teams’ workloads heaviest at the beginning or end of the week? It’s a lot easier to enjoy yourself if you don’t feel the pressure of work deadlines. Ask your team to give you feedback on what day of the week and month is best for an event. Tools like Doodle polls can help with this.
The time of day is also an important consideration. Do all of your virtual employees work in the same time zones? If not, try to find a time that is convenient for the whole group. If you are asking some employees to attend during work while others are attending off-hours, consider how you can compensate for that time.
2. Have Broad Appeal
Choose an activity with something for everybody to enjoy.
While an online Dungeons & Dragons tournament might be right up the alley of some of your staff, it’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea. Or perhaps it is…Choose an activity each team member can get something out of. This is another key element to a great hybrid summer event. People are looking to get “out” and get engaged with each other.
Museums or zoos in your city may be offering virtual tours. Including a hybrid picnic or BBQ would allow everyone to have a similar experience that is virtual and immersive. You can organize food to be delivered to your employees, both at home and at the office.
Each of your team members will receive their own complete chocolate making kit, with all the ingredients and tools to make beautiful, delicious chocolate truffles. During your hybrid summer outing, everyone will participate in a live class with a master chocolatier. They will learn how to make their own custom chocolates utilizing their kits, and take part in exciting games and competitions. Your employees will be able to recharge their creativity and bond with their co-workers in a fun and relaxed setting. In the end they will have some great memories and some decadent chocolates to share with family and friends. With reasonable prices and packages for different group sizes, tinyB Chocolates are a perfect fit for your summer virtual outing.
3. Can You Hear Me Now?
Find the right software and hardware to stream your virtual event.
All your planning for your hybrid event will go right out the window if you don’t have a reliable way for everyone to stream and participate in it. If you are hiring an organization to deliver a hybrid activity or presentation, inquire what their suggested software is, as well as bandwidth for your wifi. You might need to upgrade it to ensure smooth streaming. You may also need to check in with employees working from home to make sure they have the support they need. This can help you identify challenges with tech accessibility that has been impacting work, too.
Incorporating other virtual elements, aside from streaming, can also help employees engage with each other during your summer outing. Coordinating different online and social platforms can be confusing and time consuming. Luckily, there are some great tools available to help you with this. Curator (which does have a free version) is a social media platform aggregator which helps you organize and sync up your live and virtual events into a clean and easy to use landing space. You can customize the interface with company colors and logos, giving your event that extra flair. Your employees will be able to log in and take part in your event with ease.
4. Get Your SWAG On
Customized gifts and keepsakes can complete your awesome virtual summer outing.
Everyone appreciates free goodies, and giveaways are a great way to show your team how much you value them. Custom company items like shirts, hoodies, and thermos cups are always great ideas, but if you want to stand out, there are a variety of creative options.
One of the advantages of a tinyB summer outing activity is that you are already sending your team the gift of chocolate, which they can enjoy themselves or share with friends and family. You can easily add even more corporate chocolate gifts with a personal touch to your plan.
And what goes better with chocolate than wine? Check out the tinyB Wine + Chocolate kit for a more seamless fulfillment of this perfect pair. A tinyB Chocolatier will host an experience of storytelling and teaching participants how to make and decorate their own Brazilian chocolate brigadeiros while sipping delicious wine.
La Colombe Coffee Roasters and the L'Occitane spa and hand cream store offer other tasty and handy additions to any team outing gift bag. You can create a care package with a variety of items, or match the contents to the theme of your event. The possibilities are endless.
5. Have Fun!
Company outings and events are about appreciating the people on your team.
In the end, your summer company hybrid event is an opportunity for you and your employees to relax, strengthen your team bond and cooperative spirit, and most importantly, have fun! With the right theme, tools and planning, you can put on an event your employees will never forget.
Taking the time to understand what kind of activities will work best for your company, and energize your team, can make all the difference in the success of your event. Seize the day, summer won’t last forever!Feature Image: Nenad Stojkovic