With spring fast approaching, now is the perfect time to go outside and take advantage of the warmer weather. Over the past couple years, working conditions and the entire professional landscape has shifted to be a lot more virtual, which can present challenges to connecting team members and building a tight knit community.
Here are some event ideas that will bring some flare into your employee teams in a socially responsible manner and build on company culture!
TL;DR: With many employees returning to the office, it’s important to involve the entire team when planning internal events this year. We have put together a list of best practices and spring event ideas for running and planning in-person, hybrid and virtual events.
In-Person Spring Events 🐣
Best Practices 🙌
- Monitor COVID guidelines and protocols for the location leading up to the event, and remind employees to follow them at the time of the event.
- Create a list of rules and guidelines for those who are coming to the event, such as mask guidelines, safety measures, parking instructions, etc. Send them to employees before the event and post them in the event location.
- Plan events outdoors whenever applicable to allow employees to be more spread out. Make sure to also have a backup plan/location if the weather does not cooperate.
- If your event is outdoors, make sure to provide items that would normally be at indoor locations like hand sanitizer stations and masks.
- If your event is indoors, make sure to follow the maximum capacity guidelines and try to have open airflow.
- Break your team into smaller groups or create time blocks throughout the day to give employees the option to socialize in a smaller setting.
Event Ideas 💡
- Tree Planting 🌳 — Head off to the local conservancy and plant some trees! Not only is this a great team building activity, it’s also a great way to get involved in improving the local conservation area or park.
- Outdoor Hike 🏕️ — Organize an in-person hiking trip for your team where everyone can come together and connect with nature. Since this event is outside, it gives the ability for everyone to attend at a safer distance apart. Find a trail or a path and go have fun!
- Spring Brunch 🍞 — After being cooped indoors all winter, it’s finally time to head back to the patio and eat with the team! Host a fun spring brunch with the rest of the team as a bonding experience (as long as distancing rules and employee preferences allow). Make sure to eat outside to take advantage of the warm weather and lower the risk of COVID!
Hybrid Spring Events 🦔
Best Practices 🙌
- Ensure all employees have access to the physical location address and the virtual link so they can decide how they wish to attend the event.
- Make sure to follow the local COVID guidelines and protocols for the in-person aspect of the event. Provide items for employees like hand sanitizer and masks.
- For the in-person aspect of the event, if it is outdoors make sure to have a backup plan and location if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
- Be prepared for all aspects of the hybrid event and ensure there is an event facilitator for the in-person experience and an event facilitator for the virtual experience, at the event location to ensure everything runs smoothly. Having a separate event facilitator for the virtual aspect of the event ensures remote attendees can access the event, see what is happening and monitor the virtual event discussion.
- If you are streaming the event make sure the cameras are set up and tested before the event starts.
- Make a point of ensuring the virtual audience feels included and is acknowledged throughout the entire event.
- If you are recording the event to share with remote employees afterward, ensure they know where and when they can find the event recording link. To make the virtual attendees feel more engaged and included, host a showing where everyone can watch the event recording together and have a discussion.
Event Ideas 💡
- Outdoor Hike 🌲 — The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and spring is in the air! Host a hybrid outdoor hike day where the employees close to the office can meet and hike together, while remote employees can go on a hike at their respective areas. To make everyone feel connected and like they are all doing one hike together, share some pics in Slack or get your team on the Strava app to share their hiking routes. Don’t forget to use sunscreen!
- Walkathon/Bikeathon 🚶 — It’s time to get active! Host a company wide walkathon/bikeathon where employees can either walk/bike together or explore their own neighborhoods. To make everyone feel connected and to make things a bit competitive, share some pics in Slack or get your team on the Strava app to share their routes. Don’t forget to use sunscreen!
- Hybrid Office Tour 💼 — With many teams returning back to the office this spring, an office tour is the perfect way to showcase the new office changes and celebrate the return to work. Those who feel comfortable can attend in-person and those who would like to watch from home can join the virtual tour.
Virtual Spring Events 🐢
Best Practices 🙌
- Send a calendar invite out to all employees and include relevant information such as the video platform link, event description, agenda, and/or virtual event etiquette.
- Test out the event link prior to the event to make sure it works.
- During the virtual event, remind attendees to stay muted unless they are speaking.
- Create a place where attendees can have a discussion and ask questions before the event. Usually, a designated Slack channel for the event works well as event information can also be posted there for all attendees to see.
- Promote a discussion during the event either on Slack or in the video platform chat.
- Share the event recording afterward so those in other time zones who couldn’t attend can watch the event.
- Be mindful of Zoom fatigue and think of other ways to engage employees virtually off-screen.
Event Ideas 💡
- Gardening Workshop 🌱 — Host a cute, online gardening workshop where one of the team members or an external gardener can lead the group in planting some flowers! Great way to build culture in the virtual workplace and engage plant-loving employees!
- Spring Mixology 🍹 — Now that it is Spring, why not celebrate the warm weather by making fruity and tasty cocktails? In this Mixology class, participants will learn how to create two spring themed cocktails, while also perfecting their bartending skills.
- Scavenger Hunt 🐛 — Split off into groups to complete a spring scavenger hunt! Create a list of common, local plants and animals for groups to find and snap pictures of. First team to complete their collection wins a prize! This event is also family-friendly, so encourage team members to include their family members.