Company-wide conferences are a great opportunity to spread information, make announcements, provide training, and allow colleagues who don’t often see each other to socialize in an informal setting. Your company might also host an annual conference, networking event, or a Christmas party to allow for informal socializing. Just because more and more companies are taking their activities online and working remotely, this doesn’t mean that video webcasting with BlueJeans can’t offer the same benefits, even if people can’t always have a drink and a meal in the same room together. Here are just a few ideas for you next large online conference:
1. Movie Streaming
The great advantage of conferencing software is not only the ability to broadcast webcam images but to upload and play video clips during online meetings as well. Live movie streaming is a great way to present information, start a discussion, or provide a social activity. There are even options to pause the video or allow certain parties to give a live commentary while it is playing. Uploading videos is easy too, and they can even be uploaded to cloud storage for others to download and view later. Watching a movie together through a steaming site is possible too, although it is a little trickier to get everybody’s video playback to synch up perfectly.
2. Role Playing Games
Eventbrite lists many ideas for work parties, and one great one that can be utilized online is immersive role playing games. Games in general are a great way to break the ice and build rapport amongst colleagues, and role playing games are one particularly unique and memorable way to do this. This could be an online version of a Dungeons and Dragons type game or a virtual murder mystery evening. There are multiple options that you can even customize for your area or industry. Creating the immersive experience will make it all the better and encourage colleagues who don’t often see each other to interact and work together while still having fun. Fast Company says that an immersive experience is especially important as it creates a culture of inclusion. It works much easier online as people aren’t clustered around together in a circle (in a formation shaped like a bagel) and are instead open to including others.
3. Trivia Quizzes
Quizzes are another type of game that make for a fun bonding experience, and even help with skill training. You can make it either a general knowledge quiz or one tailored to knowledge of your industry. For instance, if you work in the entertainment industry, you could do a movie trivia quiz or try to guess the identity of movie clips. It is better if you can encourage people to work in groups and discuss the answers together, similar to a pub quiz. If your software doesn’t allow for this then having people answer questions as individuals through the ‘hands up’ feature can still work. No matter what format you use, make the trivia fun and interesting and offer prizes for the winners.
4. Parlour Games
Parlour games such as charades or Chinese whispers were traditionally played by families at Christmas time as a bonding activity, and still are in many families. You can use a familiar structure for fun socializing activities too. You could use either webcams or interactive whiteboards for games of charades, for example. Or you could try consequences, a game where each person makes up a different line of a story without revealing it to others, then telling the entire story at the end like a madlib. There is even a modern equivalent called Card Against Humanity which has an online version and has become incredibly popular in the past few years. Online versions of classic games such as chess, Monopoly, or snap can be found too. Many traditional games can be adapted for use online and provide fun and memorable activities.
Many people attend conferences for lectures or to hear guest speakers, but these don’t have to be boring or take attention away from the fun parts of the conference. You can invite influential people in your field to speak virtually, provide an interactive how to tutorial of useful information that people in your company need, or combine the lecture with some of the games listed above. A motivational speaker also makes a popular choice for the end of a conference as a way to wind things down and provide a memorable and influential ending to proceedings.
As you can see, there are many ways you can make your virtual parties fun, interactive, and even educational and bring together remote colleagues who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to socialize or perform non-work related activities together. Doing so will help them build strong working relationships that they will need to perform their jobs properly and work well together without conflict throughout the rest of the year.