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6 Virtual Event Ideas for Companies to Boost Employee Engagement

September 6th, 2023

Who doesn’t like quality team gathering? Whether it’s a happy hour, outing or an outright party, creating memorable events has never been so important, especially as today’s workforce looks drastically different than it did just two years ago.

Offices are closed, and employees are remote, meaning that getting people together for team building is an exercise in and of itself. But digital conferences, webinars and various virtual corporate events offer organizations the opportunity to bring teams together, no matter where they are in the world.

Not only that, but these tools are often more practical and cost-effective than face-to-face meetings.

But how do you hold a virtual event designed to build camaraderie amongst a remote-based team? Gamification and other fun activities are always solid tactics when it comes to creating successful virtual events for companies. Check out these six virtual event ideas that are guaranteed to boost employee engagement.

Six virtual corporate events to get your employees excited

A woman gives a presentation to a packed room.

1) Run a virtual scavenger hunt

man looking at computer

Who doesn’t love digging for digital treasure? Scavenger hunts are the perfect real-time team-building activity for larger groups, bringing teammates together from across the globe, making them one of the more interesting online event ideas.

The idea is to set your players time-limited tasks they can complete either online or offline. You can pit individuals against each other or organize your staff into teams to help forge new relationships (and strengthen existing ones). Get your staff to take a selfie with their pet; ask them to grab a certain item from around the house; tell them to unearth their most outlandish item of clothing from the depths of their closets, or even get them to bake a homemade cake as part of a bigger challenge.

If a player can’t find a certain item or complete a particular task, all they need to do is hold up a piece of paper to the screen marked with an “X” to signal they’ll need to sit this part out.

It’s easy to incorporate quizzes and photo/video capture tasks into the mix alongside the traditional ‘go fetch’ element of the game, too.

For the smoothest possible experience, you’ll need to choose a host responsible for monitoring points, answering questions, and keeping your virtual scavenger hunt on track.

Who wins? The person or team who completes all the challenges the quickest, or most creatively and entertainingly. That’s the beauty of a digital scavenger hunt: you can choose how points are distributed and what prizes are on offer from your virtual event.

2) Manage a murder mystery

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Whether hosted as a standalone social event or incorporated into a longer conference for some light entertainment relief between segments, online murder mystery game nights never fail to keep teams on their toes and strengthen relationships.

Invite your attendees to unravel clues and solve puzzles to piece together your story, all against the backdrop of a strong theme. Ask your staff to dive into the deep end and dress up in costume while on-screen for extra engagement and guaranteed laughs.

There’s no need to pack all the intrigue into one single murder mystery event, either. Murder mysteries work particularly well when the full story is told over multiple “episodes.” It’s an effective way to keep your employees coming back for more — and you can use different elements of the ON24 platform to keep the fun going.

Post-event-related content onto the ON24 Forums to keep the mystery alive; use ON24 Breakouts for smaller brainstorming sessions between team members or simply use the in-session chat function to drop hints.

3) Host a branded game show

Person waving hi to a laptop.

It may take a little preparation, but a virtual game show is guaranteed to engage and energize teams — especially when prizes are involved!

Pick an iconic TV show and follow a theme. Some fan favorites include Wheel of Fortune, The Price Is Right, Family Feud, The Weakest Link, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Customize each format for an on-brand experience and mix general knowledge trivia with more relevant questions to your company and the people on your call.

Another tip? Create timed breakouts for in-team discussions while the game is in play. By separating teams from the rest of the call for just a few minutes, you’ll give staff time to confer their answers and get to know each other better personally.

4) Arrange an awards ceremony

A woman gives a presentation to a packed room.

Who doesn’t love being recognized for their hard work? So, what better way to prove to your employees you respect and appreciate them than with a virtual awards ceremony?

It’s totally possible to recreate the buzz and excitement of in-person awards in a virtual space without the added stress of extra costs. Hold a date that works for everyone and send out personalized invitations before the event to build anticipation. Ask guests dress to impress for the occasion to encourage an air of sophistication. Free dinners always boost attendance, too!

For extra engagement, give your employees the opportunity to suggest awards categories and nominate their teammates. Encourage everyone to write heartfelt acceptance speeches before they log on; even if they’re not selected for an award, this process gives everybody a chance to celebrate their work and their co-workers, as well as add an additional layer of fun to the online event.

Don’t forget to post the results across your company’s social media accounts during or after your awards ceremony to give your staff the public kudos they deserve.

5) Organize a virtual concert

Man on a bench on his phone.

Give your team a short break from reality with a private virtual concert that’s pre-recorded, incorporated into your conference, or live-streamed directly to their devices.

Whether it’s a classical recital to stimulate creativity; a comedy act for some light relief; or a tribute act for a mass singalong, a digital gig will provide a welcome respite from the working week.

You could even arrange a virtual concert as a stand-alone treat for the staff – the ideas are endless. With virtual streaming platforms, there’s no need to worry about getting to and from a venue — everyone will have access to quality entertainment from the comfort of home.

You can enhance the experience by customizing ON24’s Speakers’ Gallery to include headshots and bios of all the performers involved. Doing so will give attendees additional content to engage with and allow them to learn more about the people on screen – almost as if they were at a physical venue. 

6) Indulge in a digital happy hour

Man looking at laptop with pen in hand.

You don’t need to spend hours planning your experience to run a digital hangout that creates genuine connections. Organize an online catch-up over drinks for a more casual alternative to a corporate virtual event.

Provide a stipend so attendees can stock up ahead of time or send pre-made kits out to attendees beforehand. Be sure to provide tasty options for non-drinkers in the group, too.

You can go with the flow and let your team take over the conversation for a more relaxed approach, or you can prepare ice-breaking games and activities in advance. Virtual cocktail-making sessions are popular events, but you could also try favorites like trivia, charades, kudos or conference call bingo.

And the best part? Nobody needs to worry about getting home after too many glasses! 

Plan unique virtual meetings and events that align with your goals

People looking at a laptop.

Whether you’re going all-in with a budget-busting pre-planned virtual event or hosting a fun one-off session to boost team morale, it is possible to use these kinds of digital experiences to engage your staff and achieve your corporate objectives.

Before you choose your next virtual event, consider what benefits it will bring to your teams. Will the format encourage strong communication between everyone on the call? Will your staff get to show off their problem-solving skills? And perhaps just as importantly, will everyone feel included and get a chance to shine?