Corporate events and team outings are an important way of fostering team spirit and communicating new strategies and ideas. Sociabble can make organizing and communicating around these events easy.
Corporate events and activities have always played an important role in boosting morale and making sure that everyone is on the same page. And with more and more people working remotely, their role within the corporate calendar is even more important—employees truly benefit from time together, to get to know one another and learn about the current and future plans of the company. Communicating around these events, however, and coordinating information so that everyone has what they need and can share it online, can be a different matter. Sociabble as an Employee Communication tool is perfect for this. And in fact, we’ve used it to promote and organize our own events, including our recent Global Week in the south of France, with great success, achieving all three of our primary objectives: introducing new employees to the team, outlining the positive steps of the past year, and preparing the team for the journey ahead.
In this article, you will learn:
1. The Communication Challenges around Planning an Event
2. The Crucial Steps for a Successful Team Seminar
3. Communication Before the Event
4. Communication During the Event
5. Communication After the Event
6. Ways to Learn More
Planning company events is crucial. But it comes with unique challenges.
There are a host of reasons to plan company-wide events that combine fun activities with discussions of company news, strategy, and business. Of course, they’re a great opportunity to bring everyone together, foster a sense of belonging, and promote team spirit. And they also serve as a way to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to the direction the company is going in. But they also can help with recruitment, by showing the human side of your organization, and help your existing employees know that they’re appreciated and listened to—which increases retention.
Our own Sociabble Global Week in the south of France provided a great opportunity for new employees to meet the team, as well as a chance to get the company together after almost two years apart, to discuss the past year’s progress, and to plan for the future. And to have a little fun, of course!
There are, however, challenges that come with the planning of company outings, surrounding almost every aspect of the event. They include:
Getting people’s attention. Making sure employees are aware of the event, and are excited to attend. Creating buzz.
Gathering information from attendees. Getting all the information about attendance, preferences, and booking.
Encouraging people to share their experiences. Providing the means and materials to share their experiences on social media, and with their fellow employees.
Lack of information centralization. Ensuring that information is not lost because it’s coming from too many different sources.
To ensure that it is a success, there are unique steps you can take.
When thinking about corporate events, whether it’s a holiday party, a strategic planning session, or a weekend retreat, it pays to think of them in terms of steps that relate to how they will unfold. There’s more to the event than just the event itself. You can almost think about it like a meal: there’s the shopping for ingredients, the preparation, the sitting down and enjoying the meal, and then the organizing and discussion afterward. Corporate events should unfold in a similar fashion, by thinking of them in the following way:
Before the event: Get employee information, and fill them in on details. Get them excited about it.
During the event: Create engagement around activities, keep participants informed throughout the sessions of the seminar.
After the event: Gather all relevant files and materials, get feedback on event, and process content production.
And throughout every step, it’s important to encourage sharing, and to provide materials to facilitate that.
Step 1: Before the Event
You have to build awareness and excitement in order to host a successful event. There is prep work involved, and information both to be dispersed, and gathered. A good place to start is with a survey, which will allow you to personalize your seminar or event, and adapt it to employee needs and expectations.
Things to include in your surveys:
• Confirming the number of participants, like with our own example: Get on board to the south of France!
• Choice of preferred activities (i.e. sports activities, lectures, craft projects, types of food, etc.)
• Votes for team building activities (i.e. things that everyone will do together)
• *Use of notifications and content pinning to make sure people provide information
After conducting the initial confirmations, follow it up with informative posts on a dedicated channel:
• Present the program so that participants know what to expect
• Include logistics (i.e. Covid test, timing, transportation, things to bring)
• All supporting files (i.e. PDFs, Excel links, images, PPTs, etc.)
Step 2: During the Event
Communicating during the event is important, both to keep people in the loop about logistics and changes in starting times, but also to get them sharing photos and details about the event. This will help create a sense of team spirit and community, and it will also generate positive brand awareness online, demonstrating that your company is a fun place to work at, where employees enjoy interacting, and are listened to by management.
One way to do this, we’ve found at Sociabble, is with a fun photo/video challenge. For example, at our recent Global Week retreat in the south of France, we enjoyed a truly fun photo challenge that got everyone involved and sharing. Participants gathered in teams of 7-8; each team created a chat room, with a team name and logo. For each team, a category was created to properly tag their posts. Everyone had access to the sharing challenges (i.e. take a photo with 3 people from different departments, sharing a good memory you had at Sociabble, etc.). The challenges were worth a certain number of points depending on their level of difficulty, and all important information regarding the challenge was pinned to make the information quickly accessible and easy for everyone to participate.
Additionally, the Sociabble mobile app also proved extremely useful for managing the workshops held during the event, to give guidelines, provide reminders, etc. At the Sociabble Global Week, more than 10 alerts were sent, covering everything from group photos, to volleyball matches, to Covid testing. Additionally, 7 chat rooms were created, with 3 key posts pinned to the top of the designated channel each day, so participants could easily find important information. And the results of this enhanced communication speak for themselves.
At the Sociabble Global Week Retreat:
• 50 people participated
• 168 photos/videos shared on the designated channel, with 15 idea categories
• 1,761 likes on related content, an increase of 755% compared to normal activity
• 168 comments generated, an increase of 644%
The Sociabble employee communication tool was the perfect way to keep our own employees up to date on the corporate event in the south of France, with updates, challenges, surveys, and real-time notifications.
Step 3: After the Event
The communication around corporate events doesn’t end when everyone goes home. It’s important to let everyone know what was accomplished, collect feedback about the event, and gather photos and documents for future use—and also to encourage sharing. Steps to take following the event include:
A wrap-up message/document. Share with the team a summary of what was accomplished, and next steps moving forward, to keep the momentum going.
A survey for feedback. It’s important to know what worked and what did not, and how to make company events even better and more effective and fun. Listen to your employees and see what they think.
Creation of a shared file. Put all the media related to the event, including photos, videos, presentations, even songs, all in one place for easy access. Encourage the sharing of appropriate, approved content across the employee networks.
Do this, and you’ll wrap up the event right, and create great memories for employees in the process!
Keeping a shared file with all of the photos, videos, and presentations from corporate events is simple with Sociabble, giving easy access to all employees.
Planning your own company event? Sociabble can help spread the word.
If you’re planning on hosting a corporate event or company seminar, Sociabble is an Employee Communication tool that can help—with this, and so much more. If you’d like to learn how Sociabble can assist your company with its Employee Communication, Employee Advocacy, and Social Selling needs, get in touch. We’ve already helped companies around the world perfect their communications, including industry leaders like Coca-Cola CCEP, L’Occitane, and Group Renault.
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