Online events ideas for all-hands meetings make it easier to keep your employees aligned. Instead of a traditional event, online events allow you to optimize costs. Online events are also a key way to invite remote and hybrid employees.
What Is An All-Hands Meeting?
Think of an all-hands meeting as a crucial opportunity to bring together all employees at once. Also known as townhalls, this event includes different subjects and participants. An all-hands meeting may include a presentation from executives, a question and answer session with the CEO, and networking opportunities.
Organizing an all-hands meeting is worthwhile because it reduces misunderstandings and fosters trust. In an all-hands meeting, everyone has the chance to hear the same message from leaders at once. Meeting people from different departments and deepening relationships contributes to trust and ultimately drives higher productivity.
The Simple “Paint by Numbers” Way To Plan An All-Hands Meeting
Look at these online events ideas as different paintbrushes you can use to create images. Pick and choose from these event ideas to create variety for your employees.
1. Celebrate Wins
An all-hands meeting is a perfect setting to shine a light on your organization’s achievements. For example, the VP of Sales might recognize the highest performing sales representatives. In addition, look for ways to celebrate employees who have worked in alignment with your values (e.g., highlight a group of employees who demonstrate exceptional teamwork).
2. Plan An Ask My Anything Segment
On the website Reddit, the AMA (Ask Me Anything) segment is one of the most popular activities. Consider adopting this practice for your organization. This event is a great way to encourage leaders and employees to open up about their interests, hobbies, and lives.
Use a platform like Arena Live Chat to moderate the session to keep the questions focused.
3. Add “Breakout Room” Networking Time To Your Event
Imagine if you are one of hundreds (or thousands!) of employees attending an online all-hands meeting. You might feel disconnected, and the urge to work through a few work emails might be impossible to resist. There’s a solution to this problem.
Give employees a chance to connect using a breakout room. For the best results, there are two principles to use. Start by keeping the number of people in each room small: four to eight people per room is a good rule of thumb. Next, mix people from multiple departments and levels of seniority.
The randomness factor in a breakout room is vital. It is one of the best ways to approximate the serendipity of meeting new people in a conference room, hallway, or elevator.
4. Bring the fun!
Traditional company townhalls are composed of two elements: presentations and question and answer sessions. In an online event, it can be challenging to stay fully engaged through multiple long presentations. That’s why adding some fun to your all-hands meeting is so important. It gives your employees a chance to relax, smile, laugh, and get to know their colleagues better.
- Play a virtual trivia game.
Playing a trivia game is a great way to encourage friendly competition. Consider asking questions about company history and industry trends. A software company might pose questions like, “how many apps does our product integrate with?.” A Fortune 500 company might ask people about products (e.g., what is our best selling product in Europe?).
- Add a comedy segment.
Did you know that there are leadership trainers and corporate speakers who make comedy a crucial part of their style? For inspiration, browse the comedy-centric business speakers listed on the Executive Speakers Bureau.
5. Welcome new people
Joining an organization, especially a large one, can be a scary experience. Newly hired employees are less likely to feel connected to their colleagues. You can accelerate their onboarding by rolling out the virtual welcome mat in your virtual all-hands meeting.
The way you welcome new people will partially depend on how many new hires you have to welcome. If there is a small number – say five people or less – you can invite each person to appear on video to introduce themselves. A different approach may be needed with a more significant number of new hires, like a presentation slide showing pictures of each new person.
6. Train two moderators for online events
Running a significant online event with a large audience and employee attendees means managing many moving parts. Keeping everything moving smoothly should not be taken for granted. That’s where moderators play a significant role.
For larger all-hands meetings (i.e., online events with more than 50 people), it is best to have two trained and prepared moderators. This approach means you’ll be covered in the event of illness, Internet service problems, and other problems.
Moderators can keep your event moving effectively in the following ways:
- Set the event ground rules
Take a few minutes at the event’s start to review the event ground rules. For example, if the event will be recorded, make sure you tell everyone that fact at the start.
- Introduce each speaker
Before a new speaker comes onto the virtual stage, introduce them briefly. Introductions help the speaker feel valued. Further, introductions help your employees put each speaker into context.
- Run polls
Polls are an excellent way to gather quick feedback from your employees. Arean Live Chat makes it easy to run polls in your event.
How To Keep Employees Fascinated By Your All Hands
You can’t take employee participation in an all-hands meeting for granted. For example, sales reps might be more interested in focusing on closing deals than hearing company announcements. Likewise, software staff might be more interested in shipping new features.
The solution to these engagement challenges is twofold. Start by using the online events ideas for all hands covered above. There’s no need to start your planning process from a blank page. Once you have the right idea, it is vital to create an exciting event free of social media distractions.
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