Get 15 virtual event ideas for young professionals for team building, recruiting and more.
November 24, 2022
Offering virtual event ideas for young professionals is one of the most innovative ways to engage your younger employees. Attracting and retaining young professionals is difficult because talented people have more career opportunities in today’s tight labor market. Virtual events have an important supporting role if your organization has the basics, like offering competitive compensation and flexibility.
Selecting the right virtual event ideas for young professionals depends on a few factors. These event ideas take significant time, creativity, and effort. On the other hand, some of these event ideas are relatively simple and easy to implement.
Keep your organization’s familiarity with virtual events as you explore this list. Companies that are highly experienced in running virtual events, online conferences and live streams may be able to take on more complex events. If you’re getting started with virtual events, then focus your efforts on a more straightforward event concept.
For young professionals, producing networking events is critical. Put yourself in the shoes of a newly hired employee. They may have graduated a year ago and moved to a new city. They may not know many people or feel disconnected from others. Offering one or two virtual networking opportunities yearly is an excellent starting point.
This virtual event is best suited for companies that hire significant numbers of young professionals. For example, technology companies, professional services firms, and financial firms tend to hire large numbers of new graduates each year. In other words, this event is a good fit if your organization has a campus or college recruiting program.
Invite all young professionals who have been hired in the past five years to the event. Suggest an icebreaker game like two truths and a lie to spark the conversation.
Many newer professionals are ambitious to grow their careers. One of the best ways to grow is to meet people who have already accomplished your career goals. Offering a “meet the leaders” networking event is smart. Invite the CEO and another few senior executives to an event and randomly mix them with young professionals.
Who knows - your CEO might see untapped potential in some of your new hires and put them on the fast track to contribute more to the company!
As a young professional, it’s vital to network beyond your employer. After all, some of the best opportunities in life may come from partnerships and interactions with friends at other companies. With this event concept, consider crafting a guest list of young professionals from similar companies. For example, a young professional group at Deloitte might invite peers from other accounting firms like PwC, EY, and KPMG to a virtual mixer.
What if your prior efforts to organize networking efforts fell flat? It may be time to try a new strategy. This event idea involves inviting a special guest whose name recognition will draw in people. Depending on your network and budget, there are a few ways to execute this strategy.
Sometimes, it can be challenging to relate to people who are very different from you. For example, a 25-year-old new hire might not relate to an executive who has been in the workforce for 25 years! The alternative is to look for a professional in the 25-30 year age bracket which has been promoted or earned an award. Invite them to give a short presentation to spark interest in the networking event.
Young professionals, especially recent graduates, often look up to the expertise of professors and other academics. Reach out to your local college’s business school and ask if any of the professors are interested in giving a presentation to your audience. For the best results, suggest some topics like workplace communication, networking, or financial skills.
Young professionals have a lot to learn about how your company works. Tap into that desire to learn by organizing a book club. For example, a group of young professionals specializing in technology might be interested in discussing the book “The Personal MBA” by Josh Kaufman, which covers many different business topics.
Some companies, like Google and Apple, are overwhelmed with new job applicants every time they post a new position. The rest of us have to take a different strategy - offering to recruit events to connect with these potential hires.
While remote and hybrid working arrangements are popular, the office experience still plays an important role. Young professionals want to see what your office is like and the amenities and have a sense of what it would be like to work at your location.
A virtual company tour is a relatively simple event idea. In essence, you share photos and videos of your office location with virtual attendees. Depending on your comfort level, there are a few ways to execute this idea. For example, you could ask employees to submit a few photos of themselves at the office. Or you could take employees on a virtual tour by sharing a live stream video from a smartphone.
What if you have a small office? Combining this event idea with the next one on our list might be worthwhile.
Completing an internship or two is a valuable experience to start your career as a graduate or student. It lets a young professional take your company for a “test drive,” and you get the opportunity to see them at work. Assuming your company has an intern program or an interest in starting one, a virtual intern fair is a helpful way to engage potential talent.
To market your company’s internship program, keep the following tips in mind:
Competition for talent is heating up in many industries, including technology. It’s no longer good enough to rely on job postings or recruiters alone. Look for opportunities to partner with associations and programs. These organizations can also help your company achieve its diversity and inclusion goals. For example, reach out to organizations like Wonder Women Tech and LGBTQ Tech.
By partnering with a diverse professional organization, your company will have the opportunity to attract more qualified talent. This type of partnership event is most likely to succeed if your company can highlight relevant past hires and other efforts to engage diverse talent.
What if your company had the opportunity to see young professionals at work building something? That’s precisely what running or sponsoring a hackathon event can do for you! Many leading companies like Amazon, Capital One, Coinbase, Intel, and have previously sponsored hackathon events. It’s a powerful way to connect with ambitious creative talent in the technology industry.
There are two ways to execute this virtual event idea. The simple option is to partner with an existing program like Major League Hacking. Alternatively, if your organization has a substantive
Many companies have charitable programs and encourage employee volunteerism. These efforts are a great way to connect with community-minded young professionals. Traditionally, community service efforts were performed in person, like building homes or cleaning public areas.
To bring your charitable efforts into the digital world, look for opportunities to give back that can be performed online. For example, education volunteers can digitally help tutor students in math, science, and languages (e.g., English as a second language). In addition, you might partner with an organization that supports new immigrants entering the workforce.
The first few virtual events examples will help you recruit young professionals. Once they’re hired, employee engagement and growth become more critical. Use these virtual event ideas to help newer hires grow their networks, enhance team cohesion and bring fun to the workplace.
Gathering together to enjoy drinks and food is one of the most popular ways to build cohesion with your team members. With a hybrid or remote working world, gathering in person isn’t always an option. As an alternative, invite your young professionals to a virtual happy hour. To make the event even more appealing, offer a gift card so that your attendees can bring their drinks.
A virtual happy hour is one of the most straightforward virtual event ideas to organize because it is unstructured. The downside is that not all employees will be interested or available to join this event. That’s why we have a few more event ideas for you!
Want to give your young professionals the chance to channel their inner Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie? Give them the chance to exercise their problem-solving skills in a new way by organizing a virtual murder mystery. These group experiences have been brought into the online world with games like Red Herring Games’ Virtual Murder Mystery Parties. You can also work with a facilitator to make the event memorable.
Solving a mystery isn’t everybody’s cup of tea... But laughter is good for everyone! Mayo Clinic research suggests laughter can help with stress relief. There are a few ways to put together this event.
Young professionals don’t always get the chance to impact everyone at work. That’s why giving new hires the chance to share a comedy set can work so well. Of course, you might want to set a few ground rules, like keeping the company’s values and code of conduct, to keep the event safe and enjoyable for all.
Performing live comedy, especially when unfamiliar to you, can be stressful. If your employees aren’t interested in performing, there’s another way to bring comedy benefits to your company. Bring in a “corporate comedian” - these specialized entertainers know how to bring the laughs while engaging the needs of corporate audiences. Look at companies like Clean Comedians and Treuer Laughs to discover your options.
Sitting at your desk all day is a drag, so this virtual event can help to solve that challenge. Organize a fitness competition for young professionals and see who can log the most minutes of activity over a month. While most fitness activities will take offline, you can bring people together for a few virtual event touchpoints. At the start of the competition, invite participants to a kickoff event and explain how the event works. When the competition is over, organize another virtual event and give out awards for employees who log the best results!
Thanksgiving is one of the year's most significant events. Young professionals might need to travel to be with their families for this event. A few days before the holiday, organize a virtual worksgiving event. During the event, invite employees to share how they mark the holiday. In addition, you could also focus on the gratitude aspect of Thanksgiving - what do employees feel grateful for?
For more inspiration and ideas on how to run this type of event, see this resource: How to plan a virtual Worksgiving for your employees.
For your virtual event for professionals to succeed, communication and engagement are critical. Video chat is part of the story, but remember that not all employees want to use video all the time. Give your employees the chance to engage using chat! Learn more about Arena Live Chat.