Because of Corona, there will probably be no physical Christmas or new year parties again in many places in 2021. We have collected tips and solutions that will make your digital business parties a digital success.
The good news first: During the corona pandemic, the quality of digital events has increased significantly. As numerous companies have demonstrated with keynotes or entire in-house exhibitions, it takes a bit of effort to whisk visitors away from the home office atmosphere, at least virtually for a few hours.
However, social interaction is relatively poor at such events. There are hardly any digital alternatives to chatting with people sitting next to you, briefly exchanging ideas with a former colleague, or having a drink at the bar later. Not to mention celebrating in the hotel lobby after a successful day at the trade fair.
The situation is similar with in-house events: The top-down mode at Zoom, Teams & Co. works very well, such as announcing business figures, the new company strategy, etc.
The professional exchange in the team. But communication between colleagues falls by the wayside on the sidelines of such events or takes place via other channels.
Not necessarily the best conditions for events such as the company or department Christmas party, which currently shouldn’t take place in nature because of the high corona numbers. We looked around to see what options there were to be still able to celebrate together.
Using familiar tech tools from team meetings such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom for celebrations is generally not a bad idea for digital business parties.
Anyone who has not spent the last year and a half under a stone is familiar with the solutions and the functions offered; compatibility and bandwidth problems have already been identified and eliminated in previous sessions.
In addition, several providers and service providers have thought about how Christmas and other celebrations can take place on popular platforms.
The Google search for “virtual Christmas party” unearths numerous event companies that have adjusted to the conditions imposed by Corona and are now offering their services digitally via Zoom and other online tools.
The spectrum ranges from moderated escape rooms to cooking courses, gin or beer tastings, magic shows, and live DJs – a selection enough to give the separate get-togethers of companies or departments a special touch.
And if necessary, the organizers will send the appropriate package with the required utensils to the employee.
Or you can organize your digital Christmas party yourself and involve the employees in creating the Christmas platform for team building. For example, Microsoft’s Christmas Playbook, Germany, gives some suggestions on how to create a Christmas atmosphere digitally – all with functions from Microsoft Teams that are available “out of the box.”
The step-by-step instructions offer, among other things, an Advent yoga, a bakery, and a mulled wine room. It also explains how you can also integrate a self-created Power App or Sharepoint page. Microsoft also gives tips for team-friendly board games.
Is everything too complicated, too expensive, or are you just running late? No problem: If the primary aim is to celebrate in a small group under social distancing criteria, creating smaller chat areas, or breakout rooms, is already sufficient.
A corresponding function that enables the organizer to split an online meeting into sub-rooms and automatically assign participants to individual rooms is offered in almost all video conference solutions for business reasons.
In this way, speed dating can ensure that employees from different departments can talk to each other and do not always form the same groups.
Wonder comes up with an interesting concept: The startup enables platform the creation of virtual rooms in which guests can meet spontaneously and communicate via chat and video – almost like in real life before Corona.
Up to 15 people can form a “circle” and exchange ideas via chat and video conference. At the same time – and this is what makes it unique – it is also possible for only two or three people to talk to one another undisturbed. Whoever wants to join must knock to gain access to the circle.
However, the otherwise beautiful and free one is also a solution not immune to technical problems. At least some participants in our tests had difficulties entering the room or getting the audio and video to work despite a good Internet connection.
It’s a shame, but try it yourself. It’s also a shame that the concept has not been further developed since last year.
Remo Conference has something different – more significant – at its eponymous platform implemented the idea of relaxed, informal conversations in digital space.
The solution is a conference room with a stage, whiteboard and – depending on the selection – tables for two, four and six. At these tables, the participants can chat in a small circle on the sidelines of a possible main event – with their table neighbors, or by – if there is room – switch to another table.
Because of the seating, the whole thing is a little more cumbersome than with Wonder and reflects more of a conference than a standing party. However, one must not forget that Remo is also primarily intended for digital meetings and is offered from 100 dollars a month due to its many features.
However, a free trial version for 14 days supports events with 50 guests and five hours duration. And once you have survived the registration as a participant, the video and audio transmission work largely without any problems – at least that is the conclusion from our test.
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