Once your company realizes the benefits of hybrid work, it’s easy to think in asynchronous terms. Virtual worlds are always on, and team members from around the world can bring their best work at any hour.
As company cultures become more agnostic, there are still ways to transition into new cycles together. In virtual worlds powered by Virbela, parties are a big part of the appeal.
To celebrate a summer well-spent and usher in the goals and moods of autumn, Virbela recently hosted a beach party. Here are a few of the highlights to use as inspiration for your own seasonal events.
Every Event Needs a Good Hook
All great event planners know that an excellent party is full of delights. You need a hook, something that gets people talking in the days afterwards or amplifies your social media efforts.
For Virbela, that hook was a scavenger hunt that ended at the beach.
The virtual beach features waves with a speed boat team members can drive out to the horizon or around the edge of campus. When the sky turns to night, we set off fireworks for an incredible show.
It’s just a fun place made even more fun by its novelty. We always encourage clients to include the playfulness of the beach in their worlds.
“Our holiday party with DJ Jazzy Jeff was such a success; we knew we needed more entertainment to keep interest high. In Virbela, we have a beach with a stage, so we traded our club attire for beachwear,” shares Blair Boyer, Marketing Associate, Events at Virbela. “It's easy to change your avatar’s outfit directly in the platform, so that everyone can express themselves while having fun together.”
Gamify Your Company Culture
In this instance, Virbela’s unique virtual features let us have a lot of fun by gamifying the event experience.
Gaming has captured the imaginations of far more types of people than ever before. GWI reports console gamers are shifting their purchasing power to online games. Gamers aged 55 and up are growing by leaps and bounds in the past two years.
What used to be reserved for zonked-out kids is now a highly engaging way of bringing larger groups of people together for greater purposes.
“We wanted to incorporate a little friendly competition, so we decided on a scavenger hunt around campus,” confirms Boyer. “Each clue guided you to destinations around campus to grab a ‘selfie’ of your avatar climbing to the top of the lighthouse or heading to the soccer field for a match, for example. The last clue brought you to an office with a webboard that had instructions to upload your selfie with a chance to win the grand prize, an Oculus Quest 2 that could be used in FRAME.”
Something for Everyone
The scavenger hunt was a great time, but at Virbela, we know that each team member has their own work rhythm or interests. Some people have approaching deadlines or are immersed in a project (our FRAME designers come to mind).
For them, scavenger hunts are appealing, but they’re more available for a classic mixer. Here’s more Event Planning 101: Make sure you have something for everyone.
At our beach party, that was live bingo, plugged in from a third party, and a DJ for some on-the-sand jamming.
“We linked up with DJ Graffiti, a Detroit-based DJ who figured out how to get a party started even from home,” explains Boyer. “He live-streamed his set to the beach, spun customized Virbela themed vinyls, and even took requests from the audience. Everyone had a blast.”
Entering New Cycles Together
In the real world, the shifting of seasons becomes apparent by changes outdoors. In virtual reality, the changes are configured by administrators, who can swap out decor to reflect what's happening in the physical world.
Creating these touchstones for your team is important. You don't have to just welcome new seasons together. You can also transition into new sales cycles, prepare for product launches, welcome guests from other companies, or celebrate other milestones that signal new ground for your company.
“An exciting addition to our beach party was turning on the ‘desert theme’ on campus, which includes palm trees and sand,” says Boyer. “We felt like we were dancing next to the swaying palm trees—a realistic setting for a virtual event, and one that really helped bring seasonality to life.”