Virtual cooking
4 min

Inspiration for virtual team events

The annual work Christmas party is cancelled. Ditto team drinks. But why not move your events online or use video conferencing instead? Five inspiring ideas for fun team events.

No Christmas party, no team drinks: coronavirus has taken all the fun out of Advent. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Of course, physical meetings aren’t popular right now. But why not recapture their spirit by moving online?

All you need is a video conferencing software such as Microsoft Teams, some imagination and enthusiastic employees. We’ve compiled some ideas for you on how to move company events online. And we invite you to share your own ideas in the comments.

Important: these ideas work best if all the participants have their cameras on, creating a feeling of togetherness.

Virtual drinks

This activity is a good introduction to the world of virtual meetups. All the participants join the video conference with a drink of their choice. That’s all you need! Let the conversation take its course. Anything is possible, from lively discussions to people showing off their pets and apartments.

christmas drinks online
Christmas drinks events can also be a success online – and introduce you to colleagues who live far away.

The advantage of a virtual drinks meetup is that everyone can take part, regardless of geographical distance. This is a good way of getting to know colleagues from other branches or from the field service.

The home cooking studio

You’re sure to have enthusiastic amateur cooks at your company – or perhaps even a trained chef who’d be happy to share their secrets. This activity is about sharing your cooking tips and favourite recipes with others. What’s the best way to chop onions? How can you keep meat juicy while roasting? Who has a vegan recipe that’s a surprise hit with carnivores as well?

The virtual cooking show works well when the amateur chef prepares a meal on camera and the others watch and ask questions. Cooking together, on the other hand, is better reserved for pros, since not everyone works at the same speed (as my family’s main cook, I know what I’m talking about here).

Virtual cooking
Virtual cooking: like cooking shows on TV – but more real.

The chef should make sure to find the ideal position for their laptop ahead of the live broadcast. It may be easier to use a smartphone and a (DIY) tripod. Spectators should also bring something to eat. And make sure to share the recipe!

The group wine tasting

At the moment, as we work from home and socialise online, real post is especially welcome. A virtual wine (or other beverage) tasting requires appropriate preparation: send the relevant drinks by post to all participants in advance so that everyone can take part in the tasting. A group tasting is just as much fun via video conference. And you’ll be amazed to discover how many wine buffs work at your company.

Wine tasting online
Put the virtual wine tasting on the big screen and it’ll feel like you’re in the same room!

An additional suggestion: why not support your local wine dealer and source drinks for a wine tasting or virtual meetup there?

Virtual board game night

Board games not only make for an entertaining evening, they also help with team-building. Many traditional board and card games now have online versions as well, allowing your team to play with – or against – each other with ease. One interesting option is the roleplaying game The Werewolves of Millers Hollow. The aim is to unmask the werewolves that stalk the village at night. Players have different roles to play. The appeal of the game lies in convincing others that you’re telling the truth – negotiating skills and credible lies are what’s required here.

Virtual board games
Want to bet that playing games like Werewolves will reveal hidden talents?

There are various online platforms where your team can play Werewolves and other games free of charge or cheaply, for example Board Game Arena. Enjoy!

“My favourite … is…”

This activity can easily be linked to a virtual drinks event or Friday night beer. And it can help integrate new members into the team – which can be challenging when everyone’s working from home. Just keep the group relatively small.

Everyone introduces their favourite song, favourite book, favourite animal, favourite holiday, etc. If others have something in common with them, a stimulating discussion quickly arises – similar to a physical lunch or drinks event. Admittedly, things are a little less casual at a virtual event. That’s why you should structure the conversation by giving each person five to ten minutes to introduce their favourites. They can also show photos and videos to illustrate them. And indulging in memories of holidays is probably the best therapy for itchy feet!

What virtual occasions are you planning? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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