Tips on How to Hold a Winning Virtual Town Hall Meeting
For the last quarters since mid-2020, Eastvantage has been holding EVA (Eastvantage Assembly), our very own version of a town hall, on hybrid set up. Because of physical restrictions, a majority attend virtually. The dilemma was always how to make the meeting more engaging to the virtual attendees. Our first this year was a success, and here’s how we did it.
1. As one of our objectives was to increase attendance, we thought of a catchy theme that would stimulate curiosity and entice more to attend the event. The theme, “Roaring to Soar in 2022,” was deemed apt for the occasion, 2022 being the year of the tiger in the Chinese calendar. This was especially befitting to the event because it was to be the avenue for the management to update the employees on its outstanding achievements in 2021 (like it doubled the gross earning of 2020), and announce this year’s plans on surpassing its stellar growth by being more aggressive, much like the tiger who stretches its energy to maximum potential.
TIP: For your own purposes, you can brainstorm on a theme that is reflective of your organization’s current situation and would be relatable to your rank and file.
2. In order to create hype, we came out with a pre-event game wherein employees were to enter by engaging with a post in our social media group page. Of course, prizes at stake were attractive enough to our target participants (not necessarily of high economic value, but something exciting to them).
TIP: A pre-event game with winners announced at the start of the event not only makes people look forward to attending the event but also works as an ice-breaker. It’s best when the game has a correlation with the event or its theme.
3. We further piqued anticipation for the event through teasers via email and on our social media group page such as save-the-date, fun activities, and countdown to the event.
TIP: Build a buzz through pre-event communications in a consistent tone. You can go either corporate or casual, depending on your company’s culture. If you have a cool top management like ours, then go for a “chill” or laid-back tone.
4. We played a short, highly interesting motivational video about the positive and winning traits of a tiger after the ice breaker. This was not only in relation to the event’s theme, but also served as a prelude to the reports of past achievements and announcement of targets and plans by management and team leaders (double the income and headcount!).
TIP: Surprise your audience with something new. It need not be something flamboyant, but something unexpected. Always tie everything within the program together. Stay within the theme.
5. We had our team leaders pick top performers in their respective teams and they were given special mention and awards during the event proper.
TIP: Employee recognition always sparks excitement, so include mini-awards in the program.
6. Of course, we served food to everyone who attended in person. We also sent gift checks to those who attended online in appreciation for their participation.
TIP: You can serve food within the theme. For instance, if you have a red theme, then maybe you can serve red-colored food. You can also have food delivered to those attending virtually so everyone can dine together after the program.
7. Our very able host not only is great at keeping the program within schedule, but also in chiding the audience to applaud every now and then. “Roar!” was the battle cry of the afternoon. It was an amusing way of cheering on the attendees in person and online to solidarity in meeting the growth objectives of Eastvantage for 2022.
TIP: Assign an administrator to mute and unmute participants within the right timing. This is to ensure speakers are heard well and the program goes smoothly, while giving the audience the chance to participate.
With a little creativity and resourcefulness, hybrid get-togethers can strengthen our company culture. By the end of our first quarter EVA, everyone was roaring as they were all raring to soar with Eastvantage this year, and the years to come.