Stay Social: Best Virtual Happy Hour Practices

At TeamBonding, we are experts at mixing work & play to create team building events, both virtually and in-person globally, for businesses looking to positively impact their company culture, employee engagement and retention, on-the-job effectiveness, and job satisfaction.

Can’t Stop #ThirstyThursdays

Remote and hybrid team building activities are here to stay for some teams. Throughout the past 3 years we have gathered all our resources to expand our Virtual/Remote program category for teams who may not be going back to the office. One of our favorite program additions? A TeamBonding Virtual Happy Hour and a Holiday Virtual Happy Hour! But of course we still offer our in person Team Mixology. Here are the first few steps you need to think about when planning your virtual happy hour with coworkers.

  1. Work out the details.
  2. Prepare.
  3. Choose a platform.
  4. Use your platform tools.
  5. Have fun!

Read more below on how to stay social using our virtual happy hour best practices.

Work out the details.

What should go into a virtual happy hour? Ideally, a meeting invite should be sent out to all participants in advance with details on when, how / where to join the virtual happy hour, and an agenda, if any. Having some structure to a virtual happy hour is strongly recommended so that all attendees are sure to participate and be engaged. To ensure the happy hour starts on time, all participants should be encouraged to download any software (like Zoom) and test it out in advance of the call.

Prepare for your happy hour!

Make sure you are fully prepped with all the ingredients for whatever cocktail or cocktail you want to make.
With TeamBonding’s Virtual Happy Hour and a Holiday Virtual Happy Hour, learn how to craft and enjoy classic cocktails at home. Using our signature cocktail kits, our expert mixologists will be your personal host for your team event with the right ways to perfect your drink.

The first step is choosing your cocktail. We offer two different types of kits, Luxe kits, and Mini Kits. The Luxe Kits include everything you need (including alcohol) to make 2-4 delicious specialty cocktails or mocktails, start to finish. The Mini Kits include everything you need to prepare up to 4 cocktails, you just need to add your favorite alcohol. 

Luxe Kits currently available are:

  • Mint Julep
  • Mai Tai
  • Hurricane
  • Margarita

Holiday Luxe Kits currently available are:

  • Fall Seasonal Harvest Hayride
  • Halloween Seasonal Witchcraft
  • Winter Seasonal Cozy Cabin
  • Winter Seasonal Winter Wonderland

Mini Kits currently available are:

Drink with co-workers for a Virtual Happy Hour, share with friends, or share with your significant other! Follow our page on Facebook to watch our previous LIVE happy hours.
You can join using the ingredients you have at home, or if you would like to purchase a Cocktail Kit, visit the Cocktail Kits page. Each kit makes 4 drinks, cocktails OR a mocktails! (Make sure to order ahead of time to allow for shipping.)

Choose a platform.

Are there other virtual meeting apps to try other than zoom? All participants will have a level of familiarity with a certain platform, or have restrictions on the platform they can use, so make sure to cater to whatever platform works best for your group. There are many video meeting apps out there. In addition to Zoom, here are a few more you can utilize to increase communication within your team:

• Skype
• Slack
• JoinMe
• Go to Meeting
• Google Hangouts
• Jitsi
• Uber Conference
• BlueJeans
• Microsoft Teams 

The mute button is your friend.

Is there a recommended amount of people for a Virtual Happy Hour? How many people is an “ideal” number where it won’t just feel like talking heads talking over each other? There is no ideal number.. a structure can really help to ensure that people don’t talk over one another, particularly with groups bigger than 3-5 people. This can simply be done by monitoring the attendee controls, pinning one person speaking, or using other options platforms like zoom have to offer. Depending on the specific tool and/or the plan you registered for, some tools such as Zoom will have limits to the number of participants.

You may wish to have each person introduce themselves at the beginning of the happy hour, for groups under 15 people. Usually, for larger groups, they may wish to send a list of participants & bios in advance of the call to ensure that participants RSVP in advance by a certain date.

Have a fun Virtual Happy Hour with TeamBonding!

What exactly happens during a Virtual Happy Hour? Each virtual happy hour can take on the flavor of the group. As we said to Aly Walansky in a recent article on Forbes, having the details and agenda locked in, like making a signature cocktail together –  frees up more time for fun and lessens the chance of technical difficulties. Plus, having a moderator just enhances the group’s excitement and interaction.

Craft and enjoy classic cocktails at home!

At TeamBonding, we realize you can’t go for drinks after work right now, but having cocktails together hosted by our world-class mixologist by video chat can help fill that void. There’s never been a better time to learn a new skill and our Virtual Happy Hour & Mixology is the perfect blend of work and pleasure. We blend in tips, tricks, and trivia from one of the world’s leading authorities on bartending. To top it all off, we will ship each participant their own cocktail kit.

Feel free to contact us if there’s any other information we can share with you regarding virtual happy hours, team building in a remote work world, or otherwise!

Amanda Deiratani

Team Contributor

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