Posts

28.05.2021

Virtual celebrating has taken a big leap in the last year, but, how do you celebrate virtually? How do you achieve all the emotions we know from celebrating in real life and set a milestone? That’s where you have to go one step further. Dive into the world of virtual celebration with one of our projects.

The world of virtual celebration

Having circumstantially virtualized every communication with clients and also our workshops due to Covid-19, we were about to hold a graduation ceremony of a 24-month leadership development program with 34 participants in a virtual format. The graduation of such a great program deserves a celebration. The participants need a celebration. A great celebration. Virtual.

Normally, the graduation ceremony would have been a very festive event, with a dinner over several courses, a suitable wine accompaniment, a certificate award ceremony, and speeches held by the CEO and other senior leaders. But how do you “translate” such an interpersonal gathering together with all the important and also powerful emotions into the virtual world? The virtual celebration – one step further.

The organization of the virtual celebration

When we set about designing the virtual celebration together with the client, there were no limits to creativity. The only question was how do we achieve an event feeling in the virtual world?

Since the entire executive program was already hosted on MS Teams, we again chose MS Teams as the event platform. In order to be able to use all Teams functions, such as chat, access to documents, without restrictions, we invited the participants to our Teams environment. We sent out a detailed description with screenshots and conducted a technical check call with the participants to test all call functions.

With a caterer, the organization of a suitable exquisite setting took place: One menu. At home.

So that all participants can celebrate together with their family, we decided to let them participate in the dinner. The participants were sent pizza kits the weekend before the virtual celebration. The idea of having the whole family create and bake their own pizza was well received by both participants with children and singles who invited their friends.

Of course, the drinks were also chosen carefully – a survey on the participants’ favorite drinks was conducted in advance.
The virtual celebration – one step further!

The official part of the virtual celebration

In the finale of the qualification journey, the participants pitched on Best Business Practices. During the official part of the celebration, the 12 people on the shortlist and the 6 winners were revealed. The CEO, the Program Leader of Leadership Development and also the Operations Lead gave speeches that emphasized the appreciation for all participants and the importance of the program for the company.

…And finally it was time to open 34 boxes. There were always 9 names called, who opened their box live in front of the camera and also held their gifts in the camera. The joy evident on the faces was great. And what was in the box? – A personalized certificate, a glass pylon specially designed for this program, and each participant’s individually preferred drink for the occasion.

Pride, enthusiasm, joy, applause, emojis and shining faces – all of it visible at the same time. Screenshots upon screenshots were taken – the photos of the new world. The emotion was there, you could almost touch it. The virtual celebration – one step further.

The informal virtual celebration

After the formal ceremony was over, all program participants had time to reflect on their impressions and change into smart-casual. Then the virtual celebration started. Time and location: 7 p.m., with a drink, in the main room. Music was on from the start.

Six rooms were prepared on MS teams, each with different motto: The Lobby, The Irish Bar, The Open Air Lounge, The Late Night Terrace, The Modern Beer Garden and Light Forest Open Bar. Everyone could “hop” from room to room throughout the evening and spontaneously meet with other participants.

In order to create a realistic visual experience, each participant had received a picture of the respective location in advance, which they were to upload as a background image and change depending on the room they were in. In addition, a drink in the hand, Snacks from a Snackbox beside, much laughter, fun and joyful memories.
That’s how it works: the virtual celebration – one step further.

 

May we also assist you with your virtual celebration?
Please contact us. We are here for you.

 

You shape the future.

This is something we are good at.

30.11.2020

On our Company Journey, which will be shaped by COVID for a considerable time to come, adaptation has become a key factor. Not just a key to survive, but a key to succeed. And although this refers to anything and everything, we are focusing on virtual – virtual meetings and remote working.
A technology boost is obvious, and according to a McKinsey research, it has brought us almost 5 years ahead. Virtual technology – fast forward.

Into the virtual world with MS Teams

TCJG has a few years of experience with virtual formats. With the first lock-down, we immediately switched to digital formats. And tested a lot of tools in the process.
Microsoft Teams have quickly gained a central place, as they are well represented in the world of our customers. We design interactive virtual workshops with this tool with over 70 participants in the plenum. Within a few minutes the participants change into small groups to work on individual tasks and to exchange ideas. Here, both ideas and files are exchanged. It’s like going from one meeting to another and then seeing your colleagues again in a large conference room. Only digital. The power of break-out rooms. Virtual technology – fast forward.

Arrive in virtual format – before the actual session

In order to ensure that the virtual workshop runs smoothly for each participant, we encourage so-called “technical-check calls” before the actual virtual workshop. We have learned how valuable it is that all participants feel familiar and comfortable with their (virtual) environment, both in the main room and in the breakout rooms. And also with all the collaboration tools we want to use in our workshop, such as a whiteboard or survey tools. In short, the options and possibilities of Microsoft Teams are presented by the facilitator and immediately tested by the participants. In case of a problem, this can then be solved before the workshop starts.

And then in the actual session – there’s some action going on

By adapting the technical aspect in the Microsoft teams, we ensure that the workshop itself runs smoothly. We can now focus on participants and content and offer a real virtual experience.

Apart from seeing each other on a screen, we are able to quickly exchange links, data, ideas, questions or a smile simply by using the Microsoft Teams Chat option during the workshop.

Various plug-ins allow us to tailor our meeting or workshop to our exact needs. By adding a Wiki tab or a OneNote tab, you can quickly take notes, create documents, share thoughts with your colleagues and then present your ideas graphically by adding whiteboard tabs such as InVision or Conceptboard. In our workshops, the Conceptboard has proven to be a great collaboration tool – user-friendly and with great presentation possibilities. Together with the use of the Mentimeter, we encourage participants to get involved and be active in a workshop.

Not as observers, but as participants.

And then, after a few exercises and the exchange of ideas, it is time for a break. And what would that break be without a little music or a nice video on the screen, just until we meet again and continue with the workshop. Virtual technology – fast forward.

Our tip: If you are a presenter, there are some great new options such as Spotlight Option – choosing a video (including your own) as the main video that all participants will see. Pretty cool.
Virtual technology – fast forward.

It goes even further – there is always something new  happening.

There are also some quite interesting announcements about current Microsoft Teams developments, such as Meeting recap option – which allows recording the meeting, transcribing, chatting and sharing files in a meeting chat for all participants of the meeting.

The new Together Mode and Custom Layouts option should take this virtual experience to a much higher level. By creating new visuals, we should feel like we are actually in a workshop, seminar or café. And with Custom Layouts we will be able to see a video feed and the presenter at the same time. In this way, participants can follow the material and see the facial expressions of the presenter as well.

The existing Together Mode is available for a minimum of 4 people in one session. As soon as 10 or more participants are present, a large gallery option can be selected.

Virtual technology – fast forward.

We have to agree that our routine, our daily life, has changed. With each day we discover more and more possibilities. New, incredible developments in the virtual world are happening fast forward. The future is happening now. And the question is – is reality changing into virtual or virtual into reality?

You create the future!
This is something we’re good at.