You don’t want to burn out the attention spans of employees, so make sure that no segment is longer than 90 minutes without a break
Allow at least 10 mins where people can mentally log off for a moment to refresh and then re-engage. Employees can step away from their computer for a bathroom break, to refill their coffee mug, or just stretch their legs. You can create a collaborative music playlist to fill the silence for a few minutes of entertainment and maybe even a little dancing.
Bringing in an external professional as a host can be a simple way to elevate an awards ceremony, raise the entertainment factor, and make the event feel extra special.
For light assistance, Happily can provide some on demand support in whatever capacity that you may need for the kickoff preparation and/or on the day of the event.
For example, bringing in a Producer to tighten up the agenda and keep the run of show on track. A Streaming Engineer to ensure no awkward technical difficulties and clean audio and stream, as well as to manage integrating any media, such as music, slides, videos. An Assistant can also keep the chat lively, with polls and prompts, as well as be on standby for any last minute or in-the-moment troubleshooting that may come up.
Don’t be shy to sprinkle in some ‘safe for work’ lighthearted humor. Use some inside jokes to keep the spirits high and encourage that sense of solidarity. Along those same lines, you could also include some on-the-fly awards to curate some good-natured fun, such as ‘Most Likely to Get Zoom Bombed by Their Kids’, ‘Most Likely to Get Zoom Bombed by Their Pet’ ect.
Take advantage of virtual breakout rooms to create smaller focus groups or workshop environments. This can be an ideal space for role playing sale scenarios for employees.
Depending on the nature of your organization and product, you can consider including trusted consumers, clients or general members of the public. You could host this live during the kickoff with a basic Q&A format. Another option could be having those questions pre-submitted by customers - either written or pre-recorded - to use as a training session tool.
It’s tough starting a job during the pandemic - especially if they haven’t yet had the chance to meet the team in-person. Ensure that the newbies get their moment to be seen and make connections with their fellow employees. An example of this could be including some quick interactive ‘ice-breaker’ games to get the sales kickoff started.
Not only can having an overarching theme make a memorable experience, it can also heighten the entertainment value and bring unity to the kickoff. It is worth noting that the theme or mantra you choose should depend on the organization and what feels right for the morale of the team at that time.
Some ideas could be:
And for something a little closer to pop culture:
Back to the Future: The salespeople can be presented by the loyal, smart and resourceful ‘Marty’. Managers can be the wise and brainy ‘Doc Brown’. While the villainous ‘Biff’ can represent a rival company.
Spy Movies (eg. The Pink Panther / James Bond): The ‘gadgets’ are employees' phones, laptops, CRM, etc, and their mission is to hit or exceed their annual quotas.
Survivor: Divide the teams into ‘tribes’ and have ‘challenges’ to test their product knowledge, sessions engagement, etc. Towards the end of the kickoff a prize can be (dramatically) given to the ‘tribe’ with the most points.
Music can be an excellent motivator for a team. It can keep them pumped during the kickoff and then afterwards throughout the year. The right songs can provide a classic anthem that connects the team back to the goals of the sales kickoff. You can select a single motivational anthem, or create a whole playlist for the team.
Here are motivational song ideas to get you started: