This winter, virtual celebrations are a “must-have” to reward employees and build corporate culture. Elements can include online live or taped entertainment with musicians and comedians, online multiplayer quizzes, and goody boxes with wine or food delivered or given out in socially distanced drive-throughs.
Even the Times Square Alliance created the New Year’s Eve 2021 app. This software gives audiences a chance to listen to musical performances, see digital artwork, play augmented reality games, and view a live broadcast of the ball drop.
Beth Lockwood, president of Details NYC DMC & Events, a New York City-based destination management and event company, shared what it takes to create online experiences.
“We did not have a virtual team pre-pandemic because we were only producing live events here in NYC. We had to quickly pivot to virtual and work with many of our partners depending on what clients wanted,” said Lockwood.
Lockwood said for the 2020 holiday season and early 2021, Details NYC saw a significant increase in business from clients around the world.
“They want to host virtual holiday events that are also kid-friendly. The technology makes it possible for far-reaching companies to get a slice of NYC without having to travel,” said Lockwood. “People are looking to have fun and unwind with something very festive for the holidays. Some of our most popular events have been Broadway holiday performances, interactive dance workshops with a famous Rockette, or culinary events like holiday cookie baking or gingerbread house making,” said Lockwood.
Clients can request team building options in which guests have the opportunity to engage and compete using a variety of apps. Details NYC makes sure the backdrop fits the theme.
“If we hold a culinary event, it will be the chef’s kitchen. If it is Broadway, it would be the actor’s dance studio. For the Radio City Rockette dance workshop, we used a Radio City backdrop for the MC,” said Lockwood.
Many participants look forward to a virtual awards ceremony.
“This can be the entire reason for the event or part of an event which we would produce at the end as a grand finale. If a client wants to do something more fun than just the standard award, they can offer prizes to the individual achievers,” said Lockwood.
Companies should consider keeping holiday parties short. Usually a one and half hour slot between Tuesday and Friday typically works best. It is also suggested to make sure employees have the resources to fully attend and participate in an event.
“There should always be a customer service or help desk email for employees to be able to contact. We encourage all attendees to download and test out an app a day or two prior to the event to ensure it is all working,” said Lockwood.