You found our list of the best virtual event ideas for companies.
Virtual events are fun online gatherings usually held over video platforms like Zoom, Webex and Google Meet. Virtual social event ideas are specific ways you can use this time, for example by playing games or doing other activities. The purpose of these events it to help build relationships and familiarity between attendees, which can result in improved communication and work dynamics.
These events are a form of remote team building activities and virtual team event and support virtual employee engagement.
This list includes:
- virtual social event ideas
- fun virtual events
- online event ideas
- virtual corporate events
Here is the list!
List of virtual event ideas
From social media to pet visits to online education, here is a list of virtual event ideas for companies to unite and connect your remote teams.
1. Online Office Games (Most Popular)
Online Office Games is one of the most popular virtual social events in the world. This activity is fully hosted, and includes icebreakers, trivia and mini competitions. It’s fun.
Online Office Games is a 90 minute event, conducted over a secure video conference platform. We provide an energetic host to entertain and engage your team. We’ve run Online Office Games for Google, Apple, Amazon and many other organizations.
Learn more about Online Office Games.
2. Ultimate Game Show
Ultimate Game Show is a fully hosted virtual team building event. The games are run by an expert host, who will have your team smiling, laughing, bonding and having a darn good time. Plus, the game mechanics are competitive and challenging, so everyone can find a way to participate.
Ultimate Game Show is a 90 minute event, and run over a secure video conferencing line that we provide.
Learn more about Ultimate Game Show.
3. Virtual Cocktail Shake-up (Full Hosted)
If alcohol will be part of your next virtual social event, then our Virtual Cocktail Shake-up may be a great idea for your team. For this event, our master mixologist will teach your group how to make two prohibition-era style drinks, and lead a series of games and quick stories.
Virtual Cocktail Shake-up is a 90 minute event. The experience is BYOB, and we can send dry-kits with mixers to your attendees. All events take place over video, which encourages the strong social aspect.
Learn more about Virtual Cocktail Shake-Up.
4. Social Media Groups
You do not need to limit online socials to video calls. The average person spends two hours a day on social media, according to Statista.
For more virtual social connections, try creating private groups on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Then, issue virtual challenges to your remote teams.
A few suggestions:
- Throwback Thursday: Invite your teammates to share an old photo with the team. Questionable fashion choices encouraged!
- Dinner date: Ask your team to share drool-worthy meal photos, whether homemade or takeout.
- Never-ending story: One team member creates an Instagram story that ends with a challenge to another teammate. That teammate responds via story, prompting another colleague.
- Tag a teammate: Post pictures of famous groups such as The Avengers, Disney character, the cast of the Simpsons, or US Presidents. Ask group members to tag each character with a corresponding teammate.
This activity is one of the more flexible ideas for virtual work socials. Not only will your team gain online social time, your remote employees will also brush up on social media skills. Considering that social media is an increasingly powerful driver of customer service, brand awareness, and sales, knowing how to navigate different platforms is a plus.
5. Virtual Campfire
One of the best ways to bring people online is for a virtual campfire. We recommend sending s’mores kits in advance, so that participants can roast marshmallows over a tea-light candle during the event. Then, play a series of camp inspires games activities. For example, you could do online scavenger hunts or outdoors themed trivia.
Check out our list of ideas for virtual campfires.
6. Online Game Shows
A fun way to entertain guests and participants on video calls is to simulate game shows. You can play games like Jeopardy, Family Feud and Price is Right via online apps or DIY methods. These games are popular with groups because they are familiar, collaborative and often include prizes.
Here is a list of game shows to play virtually.
7. Do a Pet Event
The worst thing about offices may be that you don’t get to meet your coworker’s cats. Virtual offices allow you to enjoy these furry friends in natural habitats. So, try inviting pets to your virtual party.
Furry felines, fidos, and ferrets are always welcome on our team social events.
During your next video call, ask your teammates to introduce pets to the team. If the animals are shy, then your employees can embark on a “pet safari,” and search all the typical hiding spots. This activity is especially fun if any of your team members own unconventional pets, such as teacup pigs or llamas. All animals are welcome guests, however, even the common household pets like labradors and tabbies. Welcoming pets is one of the most effective and enjoyable free virtual social ideas.
Pro tip: To score points with your coworkers, mail goodie bags to the pets. Little snacks or toys in a cute package go a long way.
Here is our list of office-friendly pets and ideas for virtual take your dog to work day.
8. Internet Quests
Though your remote team may not share a geographical location, the whole crew can unite online in a matter of minutes. You and your team can tour cyberspace together and embark on an epic internet quest during your next virtual hangout.
- Complete a virtual scavenger hunt
- Break out of an online escape room, such as Oscar’s Stolen Oscar from the National Aquarium
- Discover the intriguing random Wikipedia entries together
- Play an online role-playing game, such as War of the Wizards
- Virtually tour a popular destination like Paris or Rome
- Hunt for funny sights together on Google Earth
Internet quests are fun virtual social ideas that add excitement to your together time. These activities give online hangouts a sense of purpose and eliminate any initial awkwardness.
9. Online Game Night
Bars host trivia, churches host bingo, breweries host board game nights, and friends host poker games. Many adult interactions center around games for good reason. These kinds of activities allow adults to gather and socialize with friends and strangers alike. Games provide entertainment and a shared sense of purpose.
Here are some ideas for virtual games:
- Online poker
- Virtual Team Trivia
- Remote Work Bingo
- Virtual Escape Room
- Drinking games
- Web games like Words with Friends or Uno
- Multiplayer video games like Mario Kart Tour or Call of Duty
There are also many other group games online and Zoom games you can adapt for your gathering.
I suggest scheduling a monthly game night for your crew, since setting a recurring event saves you planning hassle.
10. Learn Skills Together
Learning alone can be a scary and daunting task. When you tackle a new subject or skill with colleagues, you gain a support system and lose the misconception that you are the only one making mistakes.
You can turn your group social time into group learning time by taking an online course together.
A few suggestions:
- Coding bootcamp
- Creative writing workshop
- Self-defense class
- Leadership seminar
- Cooking lessons
- Guided meditations
- Photography tutorial
I recommend choosing either formal courses like EdX, Udemy, or MasterClass, or compiling your own syllabus with resources like YouTube.
Whatever the lesson plan, team learning turns other teammates into cheerleaders and coaches. Your group can engage in study sessions and celebrate each other’s wins. Teaching other team members helps reinforce the lessons, so every group member learns more than if pursuing a solo study.
You may want to work on your team building skills too.
11. Virtual Jam Sessions
Jam sessions are informal events where musicians gather and improv songs together. Virtual jam sessions follow this same format, except the players meet up on video instead of congregating in auditoriums, backyards, garages, or living rooms. This is one of my favorite virtual social event ideas for work because the session allows employees to riff together.
To host a virtual jam session, invite your employees to a video call and tell teammates to bring instruments. Be sure to mention that nonmusical teammates are welcome too; after all, performances benefit from an audience! Or, if your team contains few instrument-owning musicians, then you can follow comedian Jimmy Fallon’s lead and play songs on classroom instruments or office supplies.
Jam sessions allow employees to unwind and create together. These events encourage improvisational skills and improve teams’ communication and collaboration skills. Not to mention, jam sessions give the phrase, “my teammates are rockstars” a whole new meaning.
12. Remote Dinner Party
Although I now work remotely, I still attend dinners with coworkers. Now these dinners take place over video calls, not in restaurants. Remote dinner parties are a great way to gather teams and foster natural conversation.
To host a remote dinner party:
- Decide on a day and time.
- Send a meeting link to teammates.
- Decide on a theme like “pizza,” “international food,” or “comfort food,” or give employees free reign to pick the menu.
- Provide a stipend for food.
- Think up talking topics and/or virtual activities.
- Feast like kings and queens.
Cooking dinner instead of ordering out is one fun variation on the dinner party idea. You and your team can decide on a recipe beforehand, and then you can send employees an ingredient list or a box from a meal prep service. While on the call, you and your teammates can prepare and enjoy the meal together.
Another option is to set a theme for the party, such as “old Hollywood,” “history book heroes,” or “time travelers.”
One distinct advantage of remote dinner parties is that at regular restaurants, you can only talk to the coworkers sitting near to you, but on video call you can speak to any teammates at any point in the meal. Also, because attendees obtain food ahead of time, you do not waste time studying a menu or ordering, allowing teammates to interact as soon as the party starts.
Here are guides on how do to a virtual team dinner, how to do a virtual lunch, and how to do a virtual pizza party.
13. Digital Prom
My prom dress still hangs in my closet. Every now and then I wear it while vacuuming my living room or binging Netflix. Otherwise, I have no occasion to wear an elegant dress, which is a real shame. I often think, “if only my job held fancy dress dances.”
Digital prom gives employees the chance to dress up and relive high school nostalgia, using the common experience of prom to help teammates bond.
How to host a digital prom:
- Choose a day and time.
- Pick a theme like “under the sea,” or “80’s ball.”
- Send out virtual meeting invitations.
- Ask employees to dress up.
- Collect song requests, or allow teammates to create a group playlist on Spotify.
- Create a photo backdrop by making a custom Zoom background.
- Give employees an allowance for snacks and drinks.
- Hang out together on video call. Encourage employees to dance and participate in party games.
- At the end of the call, name a prom king and queen.
Like proms, work events can be awkward. Digital Proms offer a fun and campy way to overcome jitters and interact with peers. Not to mention, proms are a familiar concept to most folks. Teammates from other countries have probably seen proms in film and television, and may be curious about the event. Proms might be silly, but teams can benefit from silliness. After all, only the most comfortable teams dare to flaunt shoulder pads in front of each other, a whole new level of trust.
14. Virtual Dance Party
Perhaps your team does not want to get all dolled up; maybe your employees just want to dance. I love dancing. To me, there is no greater stress reliever than to let loose and start moving. Dancing is a great team bonding exercise because the act helps coworkers show each other a vulnerable and goofy side.
To host a virtual team dance party, you can invite your teammates to a video call, queue up a playlist full of groovy tunes, and bust a move.
Another variation on the dance party is to hold a silent disco. At in-person silent discos, each attendee dances to music played on a personal headset. At virtual silent discos, participating is as easy as muting the microphone on Zoom. Each teammate will dance to a song of choice, and other teammates can try to guess the song based on the sweet moves.
Virtual dance parties emphasize movement and help employees blow off steam. During virtual dance parties, teammates do not need to think up witty comments to connect with coworkers; rhythm can do all the talking.
15. Virtual Happy Hours
When I started working from home, I began attending virtual happy hours with colleagues. Honestly, I may never return to real bars for work outings. Virtual happy hours mean no wait for drinks, no line for the bathroom, and no shouting over a jukebox. Best of all, none of my coworkers has to drive home or call an Uber afterwards.
During virtual happy hours, employees share drinks and casual conversation over video calls.
How to host a virtual happy hour:
- Decide on a day and time.
- Send virtual invitations to your theme.
- Choose a theme like “1920’s speakeasy,” or “craft beer and crafts,” or keep it casual with a nameless hangout.
- Provide a stipend so employees can buy drinks.
- Prepare conversation topics and happy hour activities. Cocktail-making lessons are one fun example of a virtual happy hour activity.
Virtual happy hours allow remote employees to socialize in a comfortable setting. People that work from home often report feeling isolated, but virtual happy hours trigger connection and foster feelings of belonging. Coworkers have grabbed after-work drinks together for centuries. Virtual happy hours allow employees to toast each other from opposite coasts, continuing the tradition with a modern twist.
Check out our list of virtual happy hour activities.
16. Online TV Viewing Party
TV Viewing parties are events where party-goers gather to watch a special broadcast such as an awards show like the Oscars, a sporting event like the Super Bowl, or a season finale of a popular show like Game of Thrones. Online TV Viewing Parties follow the same premise, only instead of cramming onto a coworker’s couch, teammates gather on video call.
During an Online TV Viewing Party, teammates will chat on a video conferencing platform like Zoom while respectively streaming the show on a platform like YouTube or Hulu.
Online TV viewing party ideas:
- Host a pre-show and interview attendees. Ask colleagues to predict who will win the game/awards or what will happen during the episode.
- Ask teammates to dress up. For awards get red-carpet ready, for games don team colors, and for shows dress up like a favorite character.
- Prepare party games and conversation starters for commercial breaks.
- Consider covering streaming costs as an employee perk if you plan on making viewing parties a regular event.
Online TV Viewing Parties transform TV-watching from a passive activity into an interactive affair. Shared experiences help employees form bonds, and watching special events together helps teammates find common ground. After all, if remote employees cannot recap the show at the water cooler the next day, then team members might as well watch and comment together in real time.
17. Digital Breakfast in Bed
Breakfast in Bed is workday’s answer to brunch. While weekends are perfect for sleeping in and catching up with friends over eggs benedict, french toast, and mimosas, weekday breakfasts normally consist of a bagel or granola bar and a cup of coffee to go.
You can give your employees the chance to start the morning slowly with a digital breakfast in bed.
How to host a digital breakfast in bed:
- Send a video call for the start of the work day.
- Ask team members to arrive in pajamas. Encourage fuzzy slippers.
- Allow teammates half an hour to lounge in bed, eat breakfast, and talk with teammates.
Because some brains need morning warm-up time, you can spark conversation with talking points like “describe your most vivid dream” or “do you have any morning rituals?”
Here is an entire list of fun icebreaker questions you can use.
Connecting with coworkers is a great way to start the day. Some companies have daily morning meetings, but remote workplaces tend to lack those kinds of rituals. Digital Breakfasts in Bed jump-start the remote work day with stimulating conversation and companionship, motivating employees by improving morning moods.
18. Virtual Karaoke
I love karaoke. I used to live near an Asian-style karaoke house where I could rent a private room, sip a fancy punch out of a fishbowl, shake a light-up tambourine, and sing my heart out. Ever since I moved to a new city, Virtual Karaoke has taken the place of the parlor. Sometimes, I even invite my coworkers to join me.
Virtual Karaoke is a great social event for coworkers because the activity breaks down barriers and comfort zones and encourages employees to take risks.
How to host virtual karaoke:
- Collect song requests.
- Using Watch2Gether, create a playlist of YouTube karaoke videos your teammates will be able to stream simultaneously.
- Send attendees a video call invite, along with the link to the Watch2Gether room.
- Designate group numbers and solo songs, or give team members permission to join in anytime.
You can also host the event entirely on Zoom by queuing up a YouTube video playlist and sharing the screen. Just be sure to check the “share computer audio” box.
Here are some of our suggestions for epic karaoke songs:
- Respect by Aretha Franklin
- Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
- I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
- Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
- Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonny Tyler
- Happy by Pharell Williams
- Single Ladies by Beyonce
- Closing Time by Semisonic
Karaoke is a great fit for all kinds of team members. More outgoing team members can belt out a solo like Adele while shy teammates join the group rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Music is a form of communication in itself. If your team is at a loss for words, then you can help coworkers connect through the power of 80’s pop lyrics.
19. Virtual Birthday Parties
To me, office birthday parties are a blessing and a curse. On one hand, free cake! On the other hand, free cake… My pants fit tighter on months with multiple coworker birthdays.
You can celebrate birthdays in virtual work-spaces too, often in much more waistline-friendly ways. When I turned thirty earlier this year, my remote coworkers commemorated the milestone with a birthday email chain complete with a photoshopped pic of me in a party hat.
Ideas for virtual birthday parties:
- Ask teammates to sign an ecard or record a short video message
- Allow the birthday teammate to pick a party theme
- Encourage attendees to wear party hats
- Sing Happy Birthday
- Play virtual party games
- Allot a “birthday fund,” to buy a sweet treat like a cupcake for the guest of honor
Online birthday parties are one of the simplest but most often overlooked opportunities for virtual social events. Birthday parties can be fun and meaningful whether held in a break room strewn with streamers or hosted on a video call. Celebrating special occasions as a group helps team members to feel seen and appreciated, thus boosting employee morale.
Check out our list of virtual birthday party ideas for more inspiration.
20. Virtual Mixers
Mixers are events that unite different groups. A Virtual Mixer unites disparate departments on a video call.
To plan a virtual mixer:
- Reach out to other team leaders to spread the word and check interest.
- Poll interested parties to determine an optimal day and time.
- Send out video call invitations.
- Initiate introductions.
- Play virtual games or facilitate fun discussions.
This example is one of the more appealing virtual social event ideas for large groups because the format allows far-flung colleagues to hobnob. The Zoom breakout rooms feature allows meeting leaders to break groups into smaller teams, meaning that you can divide attendees into mixed groups to allow for optimal mingling and game play.
You can encourage employees to integrate even further by messaging these new acquaintances on Slack after the mixer ends.
Here is a list of questions for getting to know people.
21. Virtual Speed Dating
Speed dating is an event where singles switch seats every few minutes, meaning participants speak with several people in a short amount of time. Virtual Speed Dating pairs employees up for quick five minute conversations. While the point of regular speed dating is to find love, the aim of Virtual Speed Dating is to get to know many different coworkers.
To host virtual speed dating, use Breakout Rooms in Zoom to create separate rooms in which pairs or small groups can carry on side discussions. This video from Zoom explains how to use the Breakout Room feature. You can either pre-assign users to certain rooms prior to the meeting, or you can number the breakout rooms and then have attendees count off in the meeting to determine the room. Allow each pairing five to eight minutes to talk before regrouping and splitting into new pairs.
If you would like to enact a slower version of virtual speed dating, then you can use the Donut app in Slack. Donut pairs employees with random coworkers, reveals the partners, and encourages the participants to meet up for coffee or a chat. You can set the frequency so that Donut matches teammates daily or weekly.
Virtual Speed Dating introduces employees that might have never met otherwise and expands a remote employee’s circle beyond the normal network.
Here is a list with more fun networking event activities.
22. Online Fitness Classes
I tried an online dance workout the other day and immediately thought, “thank goodness no one else is here to witness my terrible rhythm.” The plus side of solo fitness is that nobody can see your awkward moves. The downside is that nobody is around to yell at you when you abandon the workout to loaf on the couch ten minutes in.
Online Fitness Classes promote healthy habits through group accountability. Plus, these classes are way more fun than a solo slog on a treadmill.
To host a virtual fitness class:
- Pick a workout. Consider your team’s capabilities. For instance, a high intensity routine may not be inclusive
- Find an online routine or a fitness professional to guide the session.
- Plan a video call.
- Exercise together with your team.
There is no need to limit your team to traditional workouts such as kickboxing, spin classes, or cardio routines. Feel free to explore unusual options like Bollywood dancing, aerial yoga, or hoola hooping. You can even spice up classics like pilates by adding non-exercise elements like painting or heavy metal music.
While sweating solo has its advantages, group fitness offers perks such as finding a community to cheer on your efforts. Online exercise classes provide a great way to meet and bond. Employees who dread stepping into sneakers will look forward to spending time with colleagues during an Online Fitness Class.
Learn more about team building workouts to maximize the benefits.
23. Virtual Coffee Breaks
Virtual coffee breaks are one of the most common virtual social events. Virtual coffee meetings are video calls where remote employees chat about non-work topics. Informal conversations help remote employees build rapport with colleagues and lead to more effective collaboration.
To host a virtual coffee session, you will decide on a day and time, send out video call invitations, and then talk and relax with teammates. You can either host a group social evvent with the entire team or encourage individual members to take regular coffee dates with each other. Of course, no Virtual Coffee Date is complete without coffee, so you can treat your teammates to a gift card, send a coffee sample, or instruct the team to brew a favorite blend.
More virtual coffee meeting ideas:
- Try unusual coffee flavors like rose latte or spicy taco.
- Decorate custom coffee cups.
- Learn how to make a fancy coffee drink together.
- Prepare interesting talking topics such as “what is the strangest coincidence you have ever heard of or experienced?” or “if someone narrated your life, who would you want to be the narrator?”
Check out our list of virtual coffee meeting ideas for more.
24. Digital Craft Night
I descend from a long line of arts and crafts enthusiasts. Growing up, glitter, ribbons, and construction paper constantly covered the dining room table. Chatty crafters gathered around that same table, teaching me that crafting can be a communal event.
You can spark your team’s creative and social sides by throwing a virtual craft night.
To host a digital craft night, you will plan a video call, pick a craft, gather supplies, and mold your masterpieces.
Ideas for virtual craft night projects:
- Paint or etch a beverage glass
- Bead bracelets
- Repurpose containers into planters
- Fold origami
- Sculpt play-dough
- Arrange mosaics
- Craft cards to send to each other
- Mix slime
Project possibilities are endless. The internet is full of awesome projects that take little skill. You can check out sites like Pinterest and Instructables for more ideas.
Crafting occupies my hands and mind, preventing me from feeling self conscious around strangers. Digital Craft Nights are good fits for socially anxious team members who want to participate but struggle to break into conversations. Tactile learners love this type of virtual event too.
Digital Craft Nights offer a social outlet and a creative outlet. These kinds of virtual events help teammates relax and spark a “let’s-produce-something-together,” mindset.
Here is a list of art classes you can do online.
25. Virtual Casino Nights
Virtual Casino Nights are events where coworkers gather online to enjoy entertainment and games of chance. Casino events have long been a staple of corporate culture. Remote workplaces can join the fun with web-based versions of typical casino activities. Online casino nights are one of the fancier virtual social event ideas for companies.
Gambling is the center of any trip to the casino, and you can play classic games online. The team can join online poker games or download collaborative game apps. While some sites let you play for real money, I recommend finding for-fun-only versions in order to avoid legal or interpersonal issues. The group can meet via audio call while playing the games. Alternatively, you can video call and play games like roulette and blackjack by sharing the host’s screen.
More fun ideas for virtual casino nights:
- Ask teammates to dress up in fancy apparel
- Raffle off prizes throughout the night — here is a list of office raffle ideas
- Allow a stipend for an upscale meal and/or a beverage
- Invite a performer such as a comedian or singer to entertain the team
Casino nights let teammates test out luck and skill in low-stakes but high-fun environments. These events are a great opportunity to uncover the team’s best bluffers and calmest poker faces, aka the prime persuaders and crisis fixers. Plus, these events let employees blow off steam and mingle, so really, all attendees win.
26. Virtual Story-time
Each December, my undergrad college president read “The Night Before Christmas,” in the campus center on the last night of the semester. You might think that college kids have no interest in hearing a bedtime story, but students in pajamas packed the lobby every year. Turns out, adults like story-time every bit as much as children.
This may be one of the most nostalgic virtual social event ideas for college students, but chances are, your work team will enjoy story-time too. You can recapture the magic of reading by planning an entertaining and interactive Virtual Story-time for your team.
How to host a virtual story-time:
- Choose a story.
- Ask for volunteer readers.
- Email all readers the text ahead of time.
- Send a video meeting invitation to all group members.
- Read the story as a group. Allow commentary during the reading and discussion afterwards.
If your team feels inventive, then you can always turn story-time into a storytelling event by asking team members to write and share personal pieces. Either way, story sharing helps employees develop valuable work skills such as persuasion and presentation.
27. Online Improv Night
Growing up, one of my favorite shows was “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” The show is a collection of improv games, or exercises where comedians make up routines on the spot. Inspired by this program, I signed up for an improvisational theatre class in high school. Improv tested my quick-thinking abilities, developed my communication skills, and brought me closer to my classmates. For these reasons, improv serves as an excellent team building exercise.
Improv teaches flexibility and is a ton of fun. You can host an Online Improv event for your teams over video call to develop the ability to think on the spot.
Online improv activities:
Scenes from a chat – Attendees private message scenarios to the leader, such as “unlikely crimes,” “if reality tv stars performed normal jobs,” or “bad things to say to a wedding planner.” The leader selects a scenario and two or three teammates to perform the scene.
One word story – The leader assigns a title such as “The Worst Trip to the Zoo Ever,” or “What No One Tells You About Unicorns.” Each player contributes one word at a time to create a group story.
Rhyming Fools – The leader sets the scene with situations such as “divorce hearing,” “kindergarten interview,” or “sale at the mall.” Two to four attendees act out the scenario, but all lines must rhyme.
Party People – One teammate plays the party host; all others are guests. The leader picks a strange characteristic like “snowman in the summer,” “trying to frame the host for murder,” or “a sloth” for each guest. The participants act out the party scene, and at the end the host must guess each guest’s quirk.
To Your Right – Every attendee picks up the nearest object to the right. Participants must tell a story that incorporates every object into the tale.
There are plenty of other improv games you can play. Feel free to search for more improv activities online.
Improv engineers strange social circumstances that compel employees to adapt. Online improv nights are customizable and inclusive, as employees who do not feel comfortable acting out scenarios can contribute to the event by suggesting scenes.
Here is a list with more improv games to play.
28. Virtual Open Mic
Open Mics are events where participants sign up for slots to share a talent like reading a poem, playing an instrument, or performing a comedy set. Virtual Open Mics move the venue from a coffeehouse stage to an online meeting.
How to host a virtual open mic:
- Send out a video meeting invite.
- Set guidelines for content. You do not want to alienate any coworkers.
- Ask teammates to sign up for five or ten minute slots.
- Designate someone as emcee to announce each of the acts.
- Enjoy your teammates’ performances.
For extra credit, you can send a recap or review of the open mic to the team after the event to serve as a reminder.
Virtual Open Mics exhibit teammates’ non-work talents and help coworkers value colleagues on a more personal level. Performing in front of others takes nerve, but Virtual Open Mics prime teammates to function in full view of the team. After all, if Gustav can nail that accordion solo or Rochelle can freestyle that rap verse in front of the group, then presenting that PowerPoint will be a cinch.
29. Virtual Garden Party
As remote employees, we do not always spend enough time outside as we should. Office workers commute every day, meaning these folks spend at least a couple of minutes in the fresh air. Yet those of us who work from home can shuffle from our beds to our desks back to our beds, and like coal miners, not feel the sun shine on our face for days.
Virtual garden parties force employees to get outside. Instead of streaming the meeting from our living rooms, we bring our computers into the great outdoors, or, you know, our backyards.
Fun ideas for virtual garden parties:
- Arrange flowers or succulents.
- Craft a planter or garden decoration.
- Take teammates on a tour of your backyard.
- Have a hackysack contest. Last teammate to drop the ball wins!
- Mix up fresh flower & herb based cocktails. Feel free to share recipes beforehand.
- Host a “coolest sunglasses” competition.
- Send seeds to teammates and plant a patch during the call.
One of the benefits of remote work is that employees can work anywhere, including the patio. Yet few of us seize advantage of the opportunity to regularly get outdoors. Virtual Garden Parties inspire employees to connect with nature and connect with coworkers, plus remind us how fun it is to play in the dirt.
30. Digital Barbeque
Like a virtual garden party, a Digital Barbeque urges employees outside. Yet while virtual garden parties center around plants and nature, Digital Barbecues focus on food.
Ideas for a virtual barbeque:
- Collect each teammates’ favorite BBQ recipes and share with the group
- Consider buying each teammate a personal grill. Mini grills can cost $10-$20 and are worth the investment if you plan on repeat BBQ’s.
- Or, provide each employee a stipend to buy takeout from a local favorite spot.
- Hold a rib or wing eating contest.
- Build ice cream sundaes or make s’mores.
- Send employees kits with bubbles, pinwheels, sunglasses, sunscreen, sparklers or confetti poppers, and other fun summer toys. Learn more about confetti events.
Barbeques are the quintessential good-weather gathering, and there is no reason these events should not get a virtual counterpart. You can get your team’s mouths watering and moving by throwing a fun, summer themed virtual event to help teammates relax and reconnect with coworkers.
31. Explore Other Parts of the Home
Most online meeting software like Zoom and Skype is available as smartphone apps. Your team members can call from anywhere. Though you may not be able to gather in the same physical location, you can still leave the home office behind and enjoy an out-of-work experience together.
A few suggestions:
- Move the meeting to the backyard.
- Call in from a favorite coffee shop and give a tour.
- Discover a new spot in town, perhaps on the recommendation of a colleague.
Internet speed and imagination are the only limitations on your potential meeting places in terms of virtual social ideas. If your employees start to feel like shut-ins, then feel free to shake up your routine and move the gathering to a new locale.
32. Celebrate Unconventional Events
Remote workplaces offer fewer opportunities for getting together. While you may rally together in an office for many reasons, in virtual offices you may only gather for regular meetings, occasional online socials, and perhaps virtual Christmas parties.
So, use unconventional holidays as an excuse to get together.
A few suggestions:
- Celebrate National Donut Day (June 4th) by enjoying Bavarian creams via video call.
- Observe Administrative Professionals’ Day (April 21) by asking staff to send a kind message to the assistants.
- Enjoy World Wildlife Day (March 3) by watching a zoo livestream together, like the webcams at the San Diego Zoo
- Provide your team a stipend to order from the local Mexican restaurant on National Taco Day (October 4th). Encourage your team to write and share a review!
Your gatherings could be as simple as a short ten minute video call break, which means you can schedule regular online celebrations.
These virtual social ideas are also a chance to share non-American holidays with the team.
33. Include Family & Friends
Housemates and family sometimes crash a Zoom call. Because your virtual office lacks in-person parties and picnics, your coworkers may never meet these family members.
Instead, get intentional about building relationships and invite these folks to your next virtual event.
A few ideas:
- Schedule a playdate with kid-friendly activities like video conference games or sing-a-longs.
- Turn icebreaker questions into a version of the Newlywed Game by asking significant others to answer for the employee.
- Encourage parents to share endearing stories about the employee as a child.
With this friendly overlap of work and personal life, employees will not feel as pressured to split time between home and the virtual office, and may opt to attend more optional social events.
34. Virtual Comedy Show
A great way to connect with people and laugh at the same time is to attend a virtual comedy show. You can invite a comedian to your event, or attend an organized show.
Here is a list of virtual comedy shows to start with.
35. Virtual Amazing Race
Hosting an amazing race is a fun and popular virtual event idea for online socials. For this activity, you divide your participants into small teams and have them compete for points and prizes. For example, you might do scavenger hunts, rapid-fire Bingo, and other games that incorporate elements of collaboration and competition.
Learn more about virtual amazing race.
36. Virtual Thank You Party
A great way to show your employees and coworkers you care is to throw a virtual thank you party. You can share praise, gifts, kind words and more. The spirit of this event brings your people together and shows them you care.
Learn more about doing a virtual thank you party.
You can use the virtual social event ideas on this list as a springboard for your next get together. Your employee’s preferences can also guide your online event planning. If your team expresses an interest, then feel free to capitalize on the opportunity for social time.
Next, check out our list of online volunteering ideas, this one with virtual murdering mystery games, these virtual team outing activities, and these virtual activities for groups.
We also have a list of the best virtual event platforms, list of the best fun Friday ideas to do virtually, and free team building activities for conference calls.