How and Why Should eCommerce Businesses Offer Virtual Parties?
Ever since the pandemic started, people have been looking for ways to connect with their dear ones. Holding a virtual party is among the most popular solutions.
In office settings, celebrations for company milestones or product launches are now also going online. When done right, such events can help employees de-stress and have fun.
To the company’s advantage, virtual parties can increase job satisfaction and encourage employees to perform better. Therefore, organizing online celebrations should be on every business’s to-do list, especially those that offer remote working.
This blog post will present how to host a virtual party and why employee entertainment is important. Let’s dive right in.
How to Host a Virtual Party
A virtual party is an excellent way to celebrate special moments when you can’t get together. Here are the four handy steps to host a virtual party:
1. Plan the Virtual Party
Brainstorming the perfect theme and activities is an essential step for throwing any party. After all, proper planning always helps ensure success.
Before getting into the party details, it’s vital to figure out why you are holding the event. For an eCommerce business, an office party can be about celebrating a signature product launch, shopping spike, or the first 1,000 customers.
Next, determine the date and time for the virtual party. Although it will be online, it’s still recommended to ask your employees which day suits them best.
Once determined, it’s time to list and schedule exciting activities based on your party’s guest list size. Here are some interesting ideas:
- Trivia games. Throwing around questions about fun facts can be entertaining. After all, who doesn’t want to find out that male cats are most likely left-pawed?
- Background contest. Seeing team members popping up with either creative or silly backgrounds can be a great icebreaker. During the event, participants can vote to decide who has the best background.
- Online demos. You can invite a cook to and encourage your employees to cook along. Featuring a painter, beauty guru, or yoga instructor can also be a fantastic idea.
In addition, you may need a party theme to create context. Some of the popular themes to try include wild west, Arabian nights, and tropical.
2. Prepare Your Platform
Many companies opt for video conference services, like Zoom and Google Meet, to host their virtual party.
Apart from offering easy accessibility, both platforms are very beginner-friendly. All users need to prepare is a mobile device or a laptop computer. With such platforms, companies can save some dollars as they don’t need to hire a vendor.
On the downside, users may need to buy such services’ premium plans to unlock some features. For example, Zoom’s free plan limits the conference time to 40 minutes, and Skype can only support 50 participants.
Alternatively, companies can use a website to host a live stream. Depending on your hosting plan, here are some benefits of holding your virtual party on your own website:
- No time limit. By hosting the online event on your website, you’re free to take how much time you need for it.
- Unlimited guests. If you have the required server resources, you can invite the whole company to join the virtual party.
- Reduced costs. Using your website, you don’t need to buy the premium versions of any video conference services. Especially for bigger companies, upgrading such a service often means buying premium accounts for many employees.
Whichever platform you choose, make sure it can accommodate your eCommerce business’s virtual party.
3. Send Your Invites
After finalizing the party plan, it’s time to spread the word about it. In this stage, you can get creative with the invitations to get your guests excited. Therefore, avoid sending meeting requests alone and just wait for the event to come.
If you throw a themed celebration, you may want to send the invites with party decorations, such as cone hats, noisemakers, and paper garlands. Also, don’t forget to include food, drinks, and company swags to complete the package.
Digital invites can be another perfect option to let your employees know about the office party. Paperlesspost is one of the excellent platforms to create e-invitations. With it, users can browse through dozens of party categories to find the perfect customizable template to use.
4. Conduct a Technical Check
Nearing the D-day, conducting a technical check helps minimize technical hiccups and ensure a smooth virtual party experience. Here are the four factors to review:
- Internet connection. As it’s the most crucial part of any online event, try to find a location where your connection is the most optimal. Usually, it’s near your WiFi router.
- Camera. Make sure your device’s camera works properly. If feasible, connecting an external webcam is a great way to ensure higher video definition. Also, you may want to create excellent lighting set-ups so that your frame looks appealing to your guests.
- Microphone. Speaking too close to the mic may result in excessive breathing sounds, which most people find unpleasant, whereas if you talk too far from the device, your voice might not be completely picked up. Thus, try your microphone before the event.
- Background. If you’re providing a digital backdrop, make sure it’s in line with your party theme. Also, check if you need to mirror the image, tagline, and other visual elements contained in the background.
Once you’ve checked all the above aspects, your eCommerce business virtual party should be ready to amuse your employees. That said, you should always prepare a backup plan in case of an emergency.
Why Employee Entertainment Is Important
Providing a unique working experience for the employees should be every company’s priority.
An office party, like a work anniversary, OKR closing event, team building activity, or company milestone celebration, brings many benefits and helps keep its employees engaged.
For that, let’s see five benefits of organizing the most memorable employee entertainment:
- Boost productivity. As the common saying goes, happy employees are productive employees. Further, making them feel seen helps motivate them to perform better.
- Improve job satisfaction. Throwing an office party is one of the best ways to tell employees that they’re among the key parts of the company. Therefore, it may help build a feeling of fulfillment, validating their roles within the company.
- Minimize employee churn rate. Acknowledging employees’ take on the success of a campaign helps a company create a positive work environment. As a result, the situation may help retain employees and encourage them to promote their company.
- Build good team spirit. The relaxed party atmosphere may trigger team members to talk with each other casually. As they get closer, the chances are high that they become their own team’s biggest support system, which may increase the overall squad performance in the long run.
- Reduce stress. With all the deadlines, never-ending meetings, and customer demands, it’s fair to say that almost every job can be pretty stressful. Therefore, all employees may sometimes need to have is a time to unwind from the hustle and bustle of office life.
Throughout this article, you’ve learned how and why an eCommerce business should offer virtual parties to its employees. Apart from helping increase productivity and job satisfaction, online celebrations can help employees relieve stress.
To recap, here are four steps of hosting a virtual party:
- Choose the party time, date, activities, and theme.
- Prepare the perfect platform by considering the party duration and guest list size.
- Distribute the party kit and invites.
- Conduct a technical check which includes reviewing internet connection, camera, microphone, and digital background.
We hope this article will help you organize an awesome virtual party for your eCommerce business. On the final note, good luck with the online celebration, and don’t forget to take some screenshots to share with the world!
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.