virtual events

10 Virtual Event Sponsor Opportunities That Are A Win-Win

Virtual event engagement is a pressing challenge for nearly 35% of virtual event planners. Luckily, there is an easy and effective way to both boost your event engagement and help cover the costs of a virtual event—virtual event sponsors.

In 2021, event sponsorship was the number one source of virtual event revenues, but a shocking 22% of event planners were completely unable to generate revenue in a virtual setting. 

Event sponsors provide a vital way to help offset (or even cover!) your event costs. They can also be instrumental in creating a genuinely engaging and well-rounded virtual event experience for everyone involved.

To unlock the total value of your event sponsors, your team must understand how to develop an enticing virtual event sponsorship package to attract the best sponsors—let’s explore how. 

What Is The Value of Having Virtual Event Sponsors?

Virtual event organizers will elevate their attendee experience by partnering with event sponsors, but these engagements must be mutually beneficial to ensure long-lasting success.

By partnering with event sponsors, event organizers can more effectively meet their attendee needs. Complementary solutions providers and recognized brand thought leaders can lend a necessary third-party perspective to your event. These providers can also answer attendee questions and provide resources to meet needs that your team cannot support. 

However, you cannot expect virtual event sponsors to readily line up and donate their time and resources to support your event without some element of “what’s in it for me?” That’s why host organizations need to explain and deliver on the potential value that their event can provide to sponsors. At a minimum, virtual events can help boost a sponsor’s brand awareness, grant them access to qualified leads, drive social media engagement, and achieve several other marketing and business goals. 

10 Virtual Event Sponsorship Ideas

The best way to attract prospective event sponsors is to create a dedicated page on your event site that discusses sponsorship opportunities or sponsorship packages. Then, promote this virtual event sponsor page across your social media channels and through targeted email outreach.

The preliminary information you share should set the seed for 1:1 conversations with prospective event sponsors. In these conversations, you should discuss what the partner hopes to gain by sponsoring your event and explore potential custom agreements that will meet their goals and deliver on your attendee needs.

To help you get started, explore these virtual event sponsorship ideas either as standalone opportunities or group them in event sponsorship packages that will appeal to the range of your event sponsor goals:

  1. Attendee Email List: Virtual event hosts can offer sponsors access to the event attendee email list. Be sure to clearly communicate to your attendees that their information will be provided to partners if they check the box to opt-in to allow this permission.  
  2. Breakout Rooms and 1:1 Meetings: Virtual events bypass the physical limitations of in-person events. Provide dedicated digital space for your sponsors to connect with attendees, conduct demos, and discuss their product or solution. Be sure to explain to event attendees how they can access these rooms and what value they will gain by speaking with your sponsors. 
  3. Email Marketing: As you engage with your virtual event community through email, highlight your event sponsors. Include promotional messages, spotlight their event session or booth, or share their content that may be of value to your email subscribers.
  4. Event Branding: Promote your virtual event sponsors across your virtual event space. This is similar to the promotional banners, tablecloths, floor mats, and other in-person visual branding elements, just placed across every page and aspect of your event website and virtual event platform.
  5. Giveaways and Contests: Generate excitement with your event attendees by giving away event sponsor materials. These contests and giveaways can take place before, during, or after your event in exchange for your attendees submitting lead generation forms, engaging with event exhibitors or sponsors, or completing actions across the virtual event platform. 
  6. Polls: Host branded polls throughout your event as a way for your event sponsors to get direct input from your attendees. Partner with your sponsor to decide what questions you will ask and exclusively provide them with the poll results. Or, offer any sponsors the ability to access the poll results, but only if they opt for that sponsorship option. 
  7. Social Media Promotion: Promote your event sponsors across your event social media channels, with an increased number of posts that highlight your sponsors versus general exhibitors and partners. Consider creating promotional videos or other visual assets that will increase your audience’s likelihood of engaging with your sponsors’ social media content.
  8. Sponsored Sessions: Allow brands to sponsor your sessions or topic tracks with varying levels of exposure. At a minimum, promote an event sponsor alongside each of your event sessions by adding their logo and branding to that session. Depending on the arrangement, each event sponsor could directly engage in the session, such as introducing the speakers, moderating a conversation, or participating in a panel. At the highest sponsorship tier, you can offer for sponsors to create an entire conference session. Just be sure that the topic will be of interest and value to your attendees. 
  9. Swag Bags: In addition to giveaways and contests, swag bags are a great way to get company branding and products directly in the hands of your event attendees. Enable sponsors to provide materials for swag bags that will guarantee their brand exposure. 
  10. Virtual Sponsor Booth: Much like an exhibitor booth, offer your virtual event sponsors a space to engage with attendees and curate an experience within your virtual event platform.

Use a Modern Virtual Event Platform to Build Lasting Sponsor Relationships

Each of the 10 ideas we shared above can entice your prospective virtual event sponsors, but that’s only part of the event sponsorship equation. The virtual event platform you choose can significantly limit your ability to achieve your full event sponsorship potential.

Virtual event sponsors need dedicated space to engage with your attendees. A comprehensive virtual event software platform will allow you to fully customize the rooms and branding to maximize your sponsors’ value. Learn how Frameable Events can bring your dream event to life and help you cover your event costs through smart sponsor relationships.

virtual events

How to Build an Effective and Inspiring Virtual Sales Kickoff (SKO) Agenda

An annual sales kickoff (SKO) is intended to bring together your sales organization, rally them behind your team’s new sales or revenue goals, and build excitement for the year to come. But can teams deliver a successful SKO experience in an online setting? Of course!

With the proper planning, an online SKO could enhance the favorite elements of your traditional SKO and empower your team to crush their goals like never before. To start, ask yourself these key SKO planning questions, and then you can begin to build an engaging SKO agenda. 

What Should a Virtual Sales Kickoff Agenda Include?

A diverse mix of speakers and activities is vital to keep your sales reps engaged and offer them the tailored support they need during the SKO. You should also offer a mix of short and long sessions that can appeal to different needs and attention spans. 

One of the unique benefits of a virtual SKO is that there are no space limitations in the traditional sense. You can create as many or as few sessions for your team with concurrent breakouts that address your entire sales team’s range of skill levels and other considerations.

As you build your SKO agenda, be sure to include these elements:


Open your SKO with an engaging and inspirational keynote that sets the tone for the event. This is an opportunity for your company leadership to address the entire sales organization, or your team can bring in an outside keynote speaker. If your virtual kickoff platform allows, you can pre-record an introduction that involves high-value production elements. 

Annual Sales Goal Overview

One of the primary purposes of a sales kickoff is to define and expand upon your company’s annual sales goals, which then cascades to individual goals. Ensure that you set clear and achievable goals that reflect the conditions of our new reality. Traditional markers of success like the total number of in-person meetings should be replaced with more virtual and hybrid work-friendly KPIs.

Panel Discussions

Gather a mix of company executives, rockstar sellers, or customers to discuss a topic of importance in a roundtable fashion. These panels are a great opportunity for various departments at your company to host a session that showcases their overlap with sales. For example, you can host a panel discussion from your marketing department about how to support the brand through social media or ways to use existing marketing materials to support their sales efforts. 

Improv Sessions

Help your sales reps fine-tune their selling skills with improv sessions. These small-group activities pair salespeople to roleplay common scenarios or create a pitch based on an upcoming product release.

Lightning Talks

Provide quick, targeted lightning talks that reinforce one key topic or idea that your reps can immediately apply to their day-to-day work. These sessions provide a welcome mental break from the longer SKO breakout sessions and keynotes. 

Individual Goal Setting Opportunities

Provide a space for salespeople to meet with their manager or another sales leader to discuss the company’s annual sales goals, explore individual goals, and identify ways that the company can support them on their unique sales career journey.

Ask Me Anything (AMAs)

An ask-me-anything session is a perfect way to spotlight members of your team and let reps ask them about their role, how they view sales, and anything else that’s on their minds. AMAs can also be a great relationship-building opportunity that directly engages your SKO attendees.

Meal Breaks (With Activities)

Depending on how long your SKO will last, your team will need several breaks. They may also need food to keep them fueled through the day. Block time out from your event for any meals as needed. Make the experience special by delivering meals to your team through a catering service or delivery provider, or send your team gift cards to get food from their favorite local spot. During the meal breaks, consider hosting open networking rooms, “lunch and learn” sessions, or other activities that can engage your attendees and keep the energy high until sessions resume. 


What skills do your salespeople want to improve? Offer a variety of training options that address the most common sales team challenges. A few weeks before your SKO, poll your sales team to understand what their professional development priorities are and how your team can help them perform at their best. 

Awards Recognition

Yes, an SKO naturally has a forward-looking focus. However, it is a disservice to your team if you present new sales goals without taking a moment to recognize the strides they have already made and celebrate your team. Host an awards ceremony that recognizes outstanding sales team members for a range of accomplishments, such as largest or most deals made, best team player, or most improved. This is an essential culture-building activity that should not be taken lightly. 

Leadership Visions 

In addition to your keynotes and executive AMAs, it could be valuable to highlight a few of your executive leadership members and allow them to share their vision for the company and how the sales team is vital to realize that vision. These discussions can be held in small breakouts, as a panel discussion with multiple execs, or as a quick lightning talk, depending on how much time you have. 

Networking Opportunities

As your salespeople join sessions at your SKO, they are likely coming across team members that they have never met before. This is especially true in a virtual kickoff where separate regions or offices may be joining together for the first time. Your SKO should include opportunities for your team to get to know each other as a way to build your team culture. Consider hosting “speed networking” sessions so your attendees can quickly meet each other, and introduce networking opportunities throughout all of your sessions where possible to maximize the number of connections your team makes. 


Much like during a traditional in-person SKO, your team will want some sort of high-energy, fun, or simply awe-inspiring activity or experience that is solely focused on entertaining them. This can be something as casual as a virtual happy hour with small-group breakout rooms or a more structured activity like a virtual escape room or instructor-led class. If your budget allows, you could even book live music entertainment. 

Completing the Virtual SKO Experience

With the common virtual SKO activities we explored above in mind, your team can begin to build a fulfilling SKO agenda that addresses the range of potential sales rep needs during the event.

The final planning element, of course, is to select a virtual event platform that can support the diverse settings you need to host a fulfilling SKO. You need a platform that enables small- and large-group breakouts, an easy-to-navigate interface so no one misses out on their most anticipated sessions, and, above all, attendees need a way to connect and engage throughout the SKO.

Make this year’s SKO one that your team will never forget by hosting it on Frameable Events. Learn more about how the virtual event platform puts your sales reps at the center of the experience and get ready to host your best kickoff yet

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virtual events

5 Common Virtual Kickoff Planning Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

Annual company kickoffs are an effective way to build excitement for the year and help prime your team for success—especially as we transition toward the new future of hybrid work

Most teams will host online kickoffs this year, which are ideal for connecting teams of all sizes and can easily enhance the traditional kickoff experience. We previously detailed how to host an exciting online company kickoff, and there are just a few more considerations left to ensure your team hosts an amazing meeting. 

5 Virtual Kickoff Pitfalls And How to Avoid Them

We often see teams make several common mistakes when planning a virtual company kickoff. Be sure to keep these considerations top-of-mind as you begin planning your virtual kickoff experience:

1. Last-Minute Planning

A great kickoff will take weeks or upwards of a month to plan, especially as you coordinate with a variety of departments and team members. Form a planning committee two to three months out from your kickoff to start drafting an agenda and gathering the key resources. By starting early, you will also have time to test run activities and any technical elements to ensure you deliver a seamless experience on the day of the meeting. 

2. Hosting a Day-Long Virtual Kickoff

Traditional in-person kickoffs often span an entire business day. Or even multiple days at some of the world’s largest companies. However, a virtual kickoff should not last a full day. Just think about the inevitable screen fatigue. If your kickoff lasts more than four hours, consider hosting it as a series of meetings throughout the week. Or split it into two half-day sessions. 

3. Failing to Spotlight Team Members In Presentations

A successful kickoff celebrates your team and shares business intelligence across all levels—not just your C-suite leaders or company founders. Enable your team members to share their knowledge or spotlight their work by directly hosting a kickoff session or participating in a panel discussion. You should also invite your customers or company partners to address your team, which is much easier to coordinate in a virtual setting.

4. Only Presenting Pre-Recorded Content

Yes, an inherent advantage of a virtual kickoff is that you can pre-record sessions. But to host a truly engaging series of sessions, you should offer a mix of live and pre-recorded content to keep the energy high and avoid potential attendee fatigue. Another potential downfall of pre-recorded content is that your spokespeople may overly rely upon their scripted messages, which could result in inauthentic and robotic-sounding presentations. 

5. Skipping the Entertainment.

Traditional in-person kickoffs usually involve some element of surprise or entertainment, even if it is just a casual happy hour or team meal after the event. Offer opportunities for your team to network and engage with each other during or after the virtual kickoff. Don’t make it another thing to check off the to-do list —have a fun virtual activity everyone gets to participate in together.

Virtual Event Tech for the Best Online Company Kickoffs

You can easily avoid these common pitfalls by giving your team enough time to plan your online kickoff experience. This will, in turn, further optimize the meeting experience to keep your attendees energized—setting your entire organization up for success.

To get the most out of your virtual company kickoff, it’s essential to choose an easily customized platform that supports your intended mix of activities. We’ve built Frameable Events to connect groups of dozens to thousands for engaging virtual events. Learn more about why we’re an ideal platform for your company kickoff.

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virtual events

Virtual Company Kickoff Agenda Elements That Will Excite Your Team for 2022

To say that 2022 will be a busy year for most companies would be an understatement. The global workforce continues to grapple with the impacts of the pandemic, teams are hedging their bets on the best hybrid work arrangements, and The Great Resignation is forcing companies to rethink how they meet the needs of a distributed workforce. 

The start of the year—and this year especially—is a valuable time to realign your team and rally them behind your company’s goals, while also providing them much-needed reassurance. An annual company kickoff can effectively meet this goal, but what will kickoffs look like in the age of remote work, and can they capture the same energy as an in-person kickoff?

Don’t worry. You can still host a fulfilling online company kickoff that will reinvigorate your team and help address their anxieties about the future of work. So get started with planning your kickoff today by exploring these must-have kickoff agenda elements that work great in a virtual environment.

How to Build an Engaging Online Company Kickoff Agenda

Design your kickoff experience as an all-virtual event, regardless of if there is an in-person element. This approach will keep you focused on what matters—building a seamless, intuitive, and fun digital experience for your team. Then you can adapt the in-person components to blend with the online platform and virtual experience.  

Lean into the advantages of the digital kickoff environment. Features like pre-recorded videos, in-platform messaging, and small-group breakout rooms can all replicate many of the beloved elements of your traditional kickoff event. 

Keep in mind that your virtual attendees need a healthy mix of session types and lengths to stay engaged. Sustain excitement throughout your virtual kickoff by hosting these types of activities:

  • Awards & Recognition: Celebrate both team and individual successes. It is crucial to acknowledge accomplishments from the last year and spotlight team members for their contributions. These awards ceremonies should be fun, personal, and all about your team’s success. 
  • Company Executive AMAs: Spotlight company executives and leaders to share their goals for the year and explain their priorities. Allow your kickoff attendees to ask questions through your virtual event platform and collect questions ahead of time, too, to kickstart the Q&A. 
  • Customer or Client Sessions: Your company customers or clients can offer a valuable perspective to your team, including why they love working with you, what they look for when seeking solutions providers, and how you have helped advance their brand. These sessions are ideal for a virtual environment because they require no travel (just be sure to express gratitude for your customer’s time after the kickoff). 
  • Hands-on Virtual Training Sessions: Help your team work more efficiently by hosting virtual training sessions, either as an entire company or in small group breakouts. These training sessions can troubleshoot common tech challenges, explain how to use company tools and software, or develop skills like time management and conflict resolution. 
  • Improv: Develop your team’s skills in a fun way by facilitating quick improv sessions. These short activities should involve no more than 5-10 minutes of prep before your participants present in front of the whole group or a small breakout group. The activity should align with your company in some way, such as asking team members to create a promotion for a new product, roleplay a customer interaction, or envision their day-to-day experiences if they worked in a different department. 
  • Speed Networking: Kickoffs are essential for connecting team members that usually do not interact. Set up small group breakout rooms for five-minute speed networking. Pose a question for two team members to discuss, and then shuffle everyone to a new partner once the time is up. Use pop-up notifications in your event platform to facilitate the transition.
  • Team-building: A kickoff should strengthen your team’s trust in each other and align them with your brand values. Host a series of team-building activities or sessions that solely focus on helping your team get to know each other better, understand each teammate’s strengths, and reinforce your team culture.
  • Entertainment: After your team finishes your core kickoff content, it’s time to let them have even more fun. Coordinate an exciting activity or experience, such as a group cooking class, live musical performance, virtual escape room, or a happy hour with pre-sent cocktail mixers. Don’t treat this as a box to check in your planning—actively seek input from your team to understand what type of entertainment would be the ultimate way to finish your kickoff.   

3 Virtual Company Kickoff Best Practices

Your online company kickoff will delight your team if you host a mix of the sessions we explained.  

We have three final tips to ensure you truly hit the target on delivering a fulfilling virtual kickoff:

  • Poll your team ahead of time to understand what they hope to gain from the meeting. This will help you fine-tune your agenda and balance your executive team’s needs with your team’s hopes. 
  • Mail supplies to everyone ahead of time so that they have everything they need for the kickoff. These supplies can include workbooks and activity sheets, as well as company swag or other goodies.
  • Coordinate food to be delivered to everyone’s house, or mail gift cards for them to order from their favorite local spot. Plan some informal lunchtime activities or open networking rooms to keep the energy high.

Online Company Kickoff Platform Essentials

As seen by the variety of activity ideas that work great for an online company kickoff, companies need to pick a virtual kickoff platform that can facilitate a blend of networking spaces and presentation stages to maximize the kickoff success.

Frameable Events is a virtual event platform that hundreds of organizations have trusted, and we’re ready to help you host your best kickoff yet. Learn more about our customizable lounges and stages and intuitive features that are sure to delight your team.

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virtual events

12 Virtual Sales Kickoff Planning Tips To Energize Your Salespeople

Sales teams often meet the start of the fiscal year with a healthy mix of excitement and trepidation. On the one hand, a new year with new goals symbolizes fresh potential and a clean slate to work from. But, on the other hand, there is a natural anxiety that can come during this time, especially as teams continue to navigate the uncertainties of the future of work

An annual sales kickoff (SKO) is a vital way to get ahead of your team’s challenges and set a positive, encouraging tone for the year ahead. At its best, an SKO will rally your sales reps and effectively empower them to crush their goals in the coming year—but there are some unique considerations for crafting a compelling virtual sales kickoff. So, let’s explore how you can host a fulfilling SKO that makes full use of a virtual environment. 

12 Virtual SKO Best Practices 

As your team starts planning its online SKO and building your series of activities, follow these best practices to fulfill your team’s needs through a virtual event: 

  • Survey Your Team Before the SKO. Poll your organization in your early planning stages to help shape your SKO activities. Seek to understand what your sales team would like to learn during the kickoff, including what training types they are interested in and what skills they would like to develop. This is also an opportunity to determine which team members are interested in leading an SKO session. 
  • Set Online SKO Goals. Like any company event and activation, define clear goals for your sales kickoff. Ideally, these goals should ladder back to your organization’s annual goals. 
  • Plan Virtual First. To host an incredible online SKO, your team needs to plan the virtual experience thoroughly. This will require you to rethink how you structure sessions to keep attendees excited and primed to gain the most value from the digital environment. For example, if you plan to provide something identical to your in-person SKO, just pre-recorded, you are unlikely to keep attendees engaged. This, in turn, will likely fail to deliver on your team’s needs. 
  • Pick a Sales Kickoff Theme. Much like a traditional SKO, your team can pick a virtual SKO theme to help guide your planning and create a cohesive experience for all attendees. Note that if you have an annual company theme, your SKO theme should complement this theme to reinforce your team’s goals further. The best virtual event platforms will allow you to brand the experience and keep this theme top-of-mind throughout every session. 
  • Balance Your Session Lengths and Setups. Employ a mix of large- and small-group sessions and activities. Your salespeople may become fatigued in a digital environment if you force them to watch back-to-back recordings with no opportunity to engage with the content or their peers. Instead, offer a mix of short 15-minute sessions and longer 45+ minute sessions with a conscious focus on attendee engagement throughout the experience. 
  • Appeal to All Education and Skill Levels. Create content and offer sessions that directly address beginner, intermediate, and advanced knowledge needs. Your pre-SKO team surveys should provide some guidance on your team’s professional development needs. The benefit of a virtual environment is that you can easily host multiple concurrent sessions, all of which can be made available for replay and future consumption.  
  • Showcase Diverse Speakers. Your sales kickoff should spotlight speakers from almost every department in your organization, including marketing, customer success, product development, and, of course, sales. Select speakers that represent a range of experiences and needs at your organization. This includes offering speaking spots to rockstar sellers, regardless of their position or tenure with the company, and customers who are willing to share their perspectives with your sales team.   
  • Provide Educational Materials Ahead of Time. Explain how your salespeople can access the SKO’s educational and preparation materials a few weeks or up to a month in advance. This gives your team the chance to digest the materials at their own pace and come to the SKO in a better position to take full advantage of the sessions. 
  • Mail Swag and Supplies Ahead of The SKO. Help your team members prepare for the SKO by mailing them team activity and swag bags ahead of the event. These SKO care packages should include any materials that attendees will need to use during the meeting, plus company swag, snacks, and even a small personal gift. 
  • Gamify the Experience. Salespeople love friendly competition. Consider hosting a competition or gamifying your experience in some way to encourage engagement throughout the event. This can be something as simple as a BINGO board with a series of activities to check off, or a leader board that tracks how many sessions a rep has joined, how many comments they’ve shared through the virtual SKO platform or a similar tracker. 
  • Build a Knowledge Hub For Ongoing Education. Extend the value of your SKO by creating a knowledge hub that captures all the key information. This way your sales reps can revisit sessions, access helpful documents and how-tos, and continue to engage with your sales content throughout the year. 
  • Celebrate Sales Year Round. After the SKO, continue celebrating your team members that exemplify the ideas discussed during the SKO. Recognize salespeople during team meetings, through email, and in other ways to reinforce behaviors and encourage continued sales innovation. 

Finding the Best Virtual SKO Platform

If you follow the virtual sales kickoff best practices we explored above, your team will be better equipped to empower your sales reps and help them engage with your ideal buyers. 

There is just one final tip to help you host an incredible virtual SKO: choose a virtual event platform that will elevate the experience and make planning a breeze.

Many virtual event platforms fail to provide the essential networking and engagement features that your sales reps need for a fulfilling SKO experience. Features like small- and large-group breakout rooms, live-streamed or pre-recorded content, popup messages, and attendee profiles are just a few must-haves for your SKO.

We’ve built Frameable Events to put your team at the heart of any event experience. See why we’re trusted by hundreds of organizations and learn how we can support your sales kickoff here. 

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virtual events

How A Virtual Company All-Hands Can Improve Your Meeting Experience

How teams work together continues to evolve as we enter another year of the pandemic, and so should the way that they come together as a company.

While the pandemic may have been the impetus for brand leaders to transform traditionally in-person, high-profile meetings like the annual company kickoff and sales kickoff into virtual events, the benefits are clear. In addition to keeping everyone safe and usually costing a fraction of the cost of their in-person counterparts, virtual meetings allow everyone in the company to join in one space.

A virtual company all-hands can drastically improve the meeting experience for your team and more effectively fulfill the meeting’s goals. Still not convinced? Let’s examine three benefits of virtual company all-hands meetings and why they are the best option for your team. 

Three Advantages of a Virtual Company All-Hands

A virtual-first meeting strategy provides your team with the necessary flexibility to conduct their work. Given the continued uncertainties around in-person work, it simply makes sense to opt for a safer meeting option—and there are clear benefits of holding a virtual company all-hands. 

These are some of the ways that virtual all-hands meetings improve on the traditional in-person experience:

A Mix of Pre-Recorded and Live Sessions Provides Flexibility

A virtual company all-hands can more readily blend pre-recorded and live sessions. This helps your team better manage the timing and delivery of your meeting elements.  

Luckily, you don’t need significant resources to produce and edit your all-hands videos (unless your team is skilled in video production and can dedicate the resources). A great video can be filmed with just a smartphone or webcam as long as you stay authentic with your message.

A less-obvious benefit of pre-recorded content is that you can add captions to maximize your team’s ability to consume the content. This is especially useful if you have a global team that will need video translations.

Additionally, you can share recorded sessions with your team after the all-hands so they can revisit key points. Select videos can also become part of your new hire onboarding process throughout the year, making them a valuable asset to create. 

Breakout Rooms Enable Engagement

The biggest limitation of an in-person all-hands is space. Great all-hands meetings offer a mix of large and small-group activities, presentations, and breakout sessions. Unfortunately, you rarely have the budget to rent out a venue that combines a central auditorium and enough smaller rooms to give everyone in the organization a space to connect. A virtual meeting platform, on the other hand, is optimal for creating this space. 

Breakout rooms are also perfect for networking after your meeting has finished. We recommend you create spaces with leaders from key areas like HR and department heads to answer team questions and expand on the meeting content. If you have employee resource groups and committees, make spaces available for them to come together and discuss how they can put the content they’ve consumed throughout the meeting into action.

Built-In Virtual Meeting Features Maximize Meeting Success

A well-built virtual meeting platform will significantly enhance the attendee experience. With the right features, you can directly address many of the shortcomings of an in-person meeting. At a minimum, we recommend you find a solution that offers these features: 

  • Mute attendees when needed. Side conversations and background noise can distract meeting attendees. An ideal virtual all-hands platform will enable you to control who can speak so that only the presenter has the stage.
  • Engagement is the primary concern during all-hands meetings. You want your team to contribute actively. Non-verbal reactions like thumbs-up or applause can encourage speakers. In-platform messaging helps attendees submit questions or comments without needing to take the entire team’s attention. 
  • Live surveys. Polling your team is easier than ever during a virtual all-hands meeting. Use live polls and quizzes throughout your all-hands to engage your team in the content and gather insights to help you support everyone’s experience. 

The Future of Company Meetings is Virtual

No matter what your hybrid work arrangement will look like, it makes sense to design all your meetings for a virtual-first environment. That way, everyone in the organization can participate regardless of their global location or comfort level with large in-person gatherings. 

The key to hosting an engaging online town hall is to pick a meeting platform that puts your attendees at the heart of the experience. Find out why hundreds of organizations have trusted Frameable Events to create engaging virtual event experiences, and start planning your online all-hands today.

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4 Virtual Sales Kickoff (SKO) Planning Questions To Ensure a Fulfilling Experience

An annual sales kickoff (SKO) is possibly the most critical meeting your sales organization holds all year. Companies often spare no expense to host an extravagant offsite event that rallies the sales team, fine-tunes their sales strategies for the coming year, and empowers them to crush their goals. 

This year’s sales kickoff will look different for many organizations, though, with many face-to-face meetings being canceled in favor of safer, distanced gatherings. However, don’t let the absence of an in-person connection discourage you. 

A virtual SKO can still achieve the goals of your previously in-person annual sales meeting, with the potential to further benefit your team given the advantages of a digital meeting. That is, of course, if you know the do’s and don’ts of planning a virtual SKO.

Let’s explore how to effectively host an online SKO that delights your salespeople and positions your sales team for success through the year. 

What is a Virtual Sales Kickoff?

A sales kickoff is an annual event where companies unveil their sales goals and build excitement within their sales team. A sales kickoff is designed to unify your sales organization and empower everyone in a customer-facing position to support your brand and drive sales.

A virtual SKO will feature many of the same discussions, activities, and elements as your in-person SKO. However, you cannot create an effective virtual SKO by filming your usual sales kickoff elements and posting the videos on a shared platform for your salespeople to view. Instead, you must think of this as a virtual-first experience, keeping in mind virtual event engagement best practices.

In-person sales kickoffs can be as short as a few hours or span an entire week at some of the world’s largest organizations. Within a digital environment, however, you need to offer a diverse array of activities, at differing lengths, to fight off potential video call fatigue and keep your attendees engaged. 

Who Should be Invited to a Virtual Sales Kickoff?

Smart organizations understand that every team member, regardless of role or department, can help or hinder the company’s ability to sell to its ideal customers. The best customer-focused solutions arise when cross-departmental teams combine their knowledge, align their efforts, and chart a path for success.

Your virtual SKO should not be limited to your sales organization’s members. Instead, include an array of employees who regularly partner with and support your sales team to foster a well-rounded discussion and benefit multiple teams’ needs.

Ensure that you invite all of the following attendees to your SKO:

  • Sales managers/leaders: Your salespeople will be most familiar with the sales leaders on your team, and these leaders usually have the most prominent role in planning and hosting the SKO. Strategically build on their individual relationships and influence to strengthen camaraderie during the event. 
  • C-Suite executives: It’s one thing to have sales leadership discuss what salespeople need to know. However, it is much more impactful to have your C-suite leadership discuss their goals for the year during the kickoff. Their presence also reinforces the importance of the meeting and can serve as a key culture-building opportunity.
  • Product managers: The people who lead your product development should join the SKO. They can discuss the product roadmap, explain how these new features or updates are designed to help customers, and answer questions from the sales team. The SKO also provides a valuable opportunity for the product team to get feedback from sales and customers that can help prioritize product improvements.
  • Customer success managers: Anyone with a direct customer-facing position can provide a wealth of knowledge about the challenges a company’s customers face post-sale. Invite a few customer success managers or the head of Customer Success to join the event and discuss how the company can better support its customers through their entire lifecycle.
  • Marketing leadership: Multiple marketing team members are essential for sales enablement. Product marketing can help make sure that sales teams have the collateral and product benefits information to succeed in the sales process, while also keeping up to speed on sales initiatives. The content marketing team in particular can help solve many customer challenges and help sales overcome prospect objections. Partner with the marketing team to understand their goals for the sales kickoff and craft an agenda that will help break silos and uplevel strategic priorities for the sales team that can also benefit marketing. 
  • External thought leaders/guest speakers: Everyone on this list so far has been inside your organization. However, many SKOs feature thought leaders such as authors or motivational speakers and industry experts or analysts who can lend a brand-neutral perspective and share their expertise or drive team motivation in ways that your sales leaders simply cannot. 
  • Partner team leaders: If your company has brand partnerships, strategic alliances with other organizations, or is deeply enmeshed in partner or reseller ecosystems, invite representatives who are close to these partnerships — or even the partner liaison themselves— to explain how they can assist the sales team in meeting their goals.
  • Customers: Your SKO content will talk a lot about your customers, so why not let them have a seat at the table? Pick a few high-profile, deeply satisfied customers who can join panel discussions or provide case study examples of why they love using your product or service, ways that the sales organization has helped them succeed, and what they look for when making purchasing decisions. 

4 Questions to Guide Your Virtual SKO Planning

Now that you have a clear understanding of what a virtual SKO is and who should be involved, you can start planning the kickoff.

There are four key questions you should ask to effectively plan an online SKO:

What is our goal for the SKO?

Like any company event or activation, you need to determine what success looks like. Set three to four clear goals to help guide your planning. As we’ve discussed, sales kickoffs are vital for communicating the coming year’s sales goals, strengthening your team’s ability to sell, and building camaraderie. Have your SKO planning committee align on their top priorities for the event to then guide the rest of the planning. 

For example, if employee professional development is the primary goal for the event, then you can focus on providing educational sessions and identifying the skills that are vital for sales success. Or, you may prioritize employee retention and craft an agenda that focuses on individual employee needs and addressing their concerns. 

How will we measure the success of our SKO?

After your SKO is done, how will you know if you’ve met your goals? These measurement opportunities can extend well after your SKO is finished, such as measuring the number of material downloads one month, three months, and six months after the event. It is also important to understand what tracking systems you need to implement to effectively measure your success.

What tools do we need to achieve these goals?

Once you have your ideal list of goals, you can assess what tools and resources you will need for the SKO. This includes deciding your must-have features for a virtual SKO platform, such as the ability to live-stream sessions or offer pre-recorded content, as well as features like attendee profiles or nonverbal reactions during sessions. 

What is our SKO budget?

Now that you have a general idea of what you want to accomplish with your SKO, what you’ll need to pull it off, and how you’ll measure your success, it’s time to think through finances. Assess what budget you can work with to then refine some of your goals if needed.

Build a Complete Virtual SKO Experience on Frameable Events

After your team addresses the above planning considerations, you are ready to design your online SKO experience. Fine-tune your kickoff by following these 12 SKO planning tips and best practices.

At a time when employee concerns are potentially at an all-time high, it’s vital for you to provide an excellent sales kickoff. If you rush the planning or hastily pick a platform solely on price, you could fail to engage your sales reps, which hurts your chances of meeting your team’s goals.

Rally your team on Frameable Events to maximize your chance for success this year. Learn more about why we’re an ideal virtual sales kickoff platform.

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virtual events

6 Proven Ways To Spark Virtual Event Engagement

As marketers have matured with their virtual events strategies, many of the initial challenges they faced have become significantly easier to solve. 

Most event planners know that it’s essential to set clear goals to guide their planning and support those goals with effective virtual trade show agenda elements. The best event planners collaborate with their exhibitors and sponsors to additionally ensure the planned schedule of virtual activities meets their needs. 

But there is still one major challenge that even the most experienced virtual event planners struggle with: attendee engagement

Cracking the code to engage your virtual audience is a significant opportunity for marketers and event planners. This post discusses current best practices for virtual event attendee engagement, drawing from recent successful virtual or hybrid trade shows and industry membership association experiments.

How to Engage Your Virtual Conference and Trade Show Attendees

Every successful virtual event includes a conference hub that facilitates interaction between all attendees and enables them to access key event details. Create a page for your event site and event app that outlines how attendees can engage with each other and speakers throughout your event. 

These opportunities should include live chat and messaging capabilities in your event platform, social media communities tailored to your event community, dedicated rooms for attendees to network 1:1 or in small groups, and interactive exhibition halls where attendees can meet with vendors. 

Expand on these essentials to deliver a truly engaging virtual event experience for your attendees by following these best practices to garner engagement:

1. Promote attendee engagement opportunities throughout—and leading up to—your event. 

As simple as it may sound, an essential step to garner engagement at your event is to prime attendees for these opportunities in all pre-event communications and during the event. 

Spotlight your event engagement details in a series of pre-event attendee emails. In these emails, further explain how attendees can actively participate during the event. In addition, we recommend you share at least one email exclusively dedicated to answering questions about the engagement opportunities available at your event. 

During your event, ask session speakers to encourage attendees to submit questions in the virtual event platform messaging interface (as appropriate). Conference speakers should also guide attendees to their next experience after that session, including the open networking spaces that attendees can join to keep the conversation going. 

2. Offer gift cards. 

Incentivize attendees to register for your event, join sessions, meet with exhibitors, or engage in sessions by offering a gift card. For example, we’ve seen several conferences incentivize registration by offering as little as a $5-$10 gift card to major retailers (frequently Starbucks) or randomly selecting a few attendees to receive $100-$500 gift cards.

However, you do not want to set an expectation that every attendee interaction will reap a reward. Instead, you want to provide an incentive to encourage attendees to engage, with the potential for a surprise. 

If your event technology allows, track how many times individual attendees join sessions or exchange messages within the platform to enter attendees into your raffle. Your team could also randomly give gift cards to attendees who actively talk about your event on social media, which could, in turn, encourage more attendees to post for a chance to win. 

3. Host partner and exhibitor raffles. 

Alongside (or in place of) gift card giveaways, partner with event sponsors and exhibitors to give away swag, product demos, or other items from those event partners. This builds a more authentic and immersive experience for your attendees compared to providing random giveaways.

An example of this was CXEnergy2021 Virtual Conference’s Tech Showcase, where attendees received prizes for joining and engaging during presentations. In addition, after every demonstration and Q&A, vendors held brand raffles, such as a one-year subscription for their software. These giveaways will likely boost lead generation and brand awareness efforts for your event partners, too, which will elevate their event experience.  

4. Coordinate a scavenger hunt or BINGO board.

Encourage attendees to explore every part of your event platform and use each feature to its fullest by hosting a scavenger hunt or BINGO board of actions to complete. Ask attendees to snap photos or take screenshots during sessions, visit specific event pages, or complete activities that you can track.

Reward attendees with gift cards or partner raffle items, or create exclusive prize packages—such as registration for next year’s event—that build additional excitement for the game.

5. Enable attendees to pre-submit questions.

Set the expectation with attendees that they can ask questions both before and during event sessions. Enable attendees to pre-submit questions to help speakers finalize their session content and help Q&A moderators prioritize questions.

At the end of each session, address a selection of the pre-fielded questions, and encourage attendees to submit more questions via the chat app. This way, your moderators can organize new questions while the speakers address the pre-submitted ones. Not enough time to get to all the questions? No problem! Give the speaker the list of all the submitted questions, and encourage them to create their own content to address those elements.

6. Strike up conversations on social media. 

Use an easy-to-remember hashtag to help your social media moderators actively find and engage with attendee Tweets and other social media posts. Ask attendees to share their favorite breakout session takeaways, and be ready to answer their event questions. Amplify their Tweets to encourage them to keep posting throughout the event. 

Post polls and quizzes to directly encourage engagement, and use event videos, GIFs, or visuals to stir up excitement for the experience. 

Choose a Virtual Event Platform That Enables Attendee Engagement

By thoughtfully creating opportunities for attendees to engage with your virtual event content and activities, you transform them from a passive audience to active participants in your event. 

But even the best-planned engagement opportunities can fall flat if your event platform is not up to par. You need a virtual or hybrid event platform that enables built-in messaging capabilities within sessions, as well as a way for attendees to find and connect with each other. 

With Frameable Events, you can deliver the engaging virtual trade show experience that your attendees deserve. The platform includes audience polling capabilities, robust chat features, and essential metrics that help you keep attendees engaged and uncover ways to improve their experience. Learn more and get started today.

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virtual events

How To Decide If A Hybrid Holiday Party Is the Best Idea For Your Team

If your company is planning a holiday party this year, one of the first questions you will face is whether to host it online or as a traditional in-person celebration. But why not offer both in one experience?

That’s right, we’re talking about a hybrid workplace holiday party. The ultimate way to provide your team total autonomy in how they celebrate the holiday season with their colleagues, either online or in-person. 

A hybrid holiday party could be a great choice for your team, but there are unique hurdles and considerations involved when planning any sort of hybrid gathering. 

To help expedite your holiday party planning, let’s explore if a hybrid holiday party is right for your team and our tips for hosting a hybrid party will delight everyone. 

How To Decide If You Should Host a Hybrid Holiday Party 

What is the true purpose of a company holiday party? To celebrate your team, of course.

Your team members and their preferences should be top-of-mind throughout every step of your holiday party planning. A hybrid party could give them the much-needed freedom of choice for how to engage in the festivities. This is even more important if your company has a number of geographically dispersed locations that usually didn’t get to celebrate the end of the year together.

To understand if a hybrid holiday party is a good option for your team, we recommend you directly ask them. Gauge whether they are interested in a remote company holiday party, if they’d rather celebrate the season from the comfort of your office, or if they are flexible for either option. Also, check on their preferred activities during a holiday party in their preferred format. 

Beyond your team preferences, the following considerations will also impact whether a hybrid holiday party is a good fit for your company. Of course, these questions are also valid when planning a virtual holiday party, but they are amplified in hybrid settings:

  • How geographically dispersed is your team? You need to find a time that works for your whole team to meet, which could be difficult if your team spans multiple time zones.
  • Will in-person attendees drop out on the day of? Unforeseen circumstances like extreme weather or individual team member needs could lead to last-minute cancellations for the in-person event. 
  • What is your holiday party budget? Virtual parties can be more affordable than an in-person equivalent, especially if your team is known to host extravagant parties at exclusive (and expensive to book) locations. 

3 Tips for Hosting a Hybrid Holiday Party for Work

If your team decides that a hybrid holiday party will best fulfill everyone’s needs and work within your budget, there are a few planning considerations to be aware of.

First, familiarize yourself with the steps for planning an engaging virtual holiday party, which we detailed recently on the blog. Then, follow these best practices to ensure you plan a hybrid party that creates a cohesive and fun experience for everyone

Create a Seamless In-Person and Virtual Experience

The worst way to plan a hybrid party is to prioritize the in-person experience and simply add an option for people to stream the experience—leaving them to sit and stare at their screen as the in-person guests mix and mingle.

Everyone at your holiday party should have the same activities and opportunities, regardless of how they choose to join. This starts with your lineup of activities, and we share 10 workplace holiday party games great for a virtual or hybrid holiday party

Further build this sense of cohesion by replicating your in-person experiences for an online setting. If you plan to serve food and drink at your party, mail your virtual guests gift cards to acquire their own snacks. Or, send them goodies beforehand. If you have a photo booth at your event, consider creating custom webcam backgrounds to replicate a photo booth experience for your virtual guests. 

Designate a Delegate for Virtual Guests

For your hybrid holiday party to work, you need at least one on-site team member dedicated to engaging with the virtual attendees and ensuring they feel part of the experience. This person can monitor for messages from the remote attendees, help them overcome any communication difficulties, and grab the attention of the in-person group when needed.

The delegate will also be vital in helping orchestrate any of the games or activities you choose to participate in. 

Create Breakout Spaces to Mingle

At a traditional in-person holiday party, your team members often flock to small group conversations that they casually hop in and out of at their leisure. At a hybrid party, you do not want your in-person attendees to completely ignore your virtual guests.

In your virtual event platform, create breakout rooms with conversation prompts and others with room themes for your virtual attendees to join. Then, set up a few laptops and webcams throughout your event space for the in-person guests to come up to, chat with the virtual guests, and move through the computers over the course of the event. Again, your virtual guest delegate will be helpful to encourage the in-person guests to engage with the virtual attendees.

Hybrid Event Technology Enables Fulfilling Holiday Parties

We expect many teams will explore hybrid workplace and personal celebrations this year, be it a hybrid Christmas party, Kwanzaa celebration, or general holiday shindig. These event planners will need to overcome an unfamiliar set of challenges, but the fact is that the future of work is hybrid. And the future of celebrations will likely be hybrid, too.

By hosting a hybrid holiday party, your team can learn how to best overcome the hurdles of these gatherings and build a foundation to plan all of your workplace gatherings in 2022.

One of the essential ways to enable a successful hybrid event is to invest in technology that was created with your team’s experience in mind. Frameable Events was built to enable genuine engagement, with the features and capabilities your team needs to host a successful workplace party.

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virtual events

How to Throw a Virtual Holiday Party Your Employees Will Love

What will company holiday parties look like in the post-COVID era? 

Despite an initial revival of in-person events this year, many companies still won’t host in-person holiday celebrations in an effort to protect the health of their teams. Instead, more brands will host virtual holiday parties this year, in which the usual festivities like a gift exchange, holiday games, and company messages are coordinated through an online event platform—and we expect to see some incredibly inventive celebrations.

To help you adapt your company holiday party for an online environment, let’s explore how to host a virtual holiday party that your team will actually want to join. 

How to Plan a Virtual Workplace Holiday Party in Seven Steps

We recommend you start planning your virtual holiday party at least three weeks out from your potential party date. If you have less time than that, though, don’t worry—these seven steps will fast-track your ability to plan an engaging online holiday party for your team.

Step 1: Designate a Lead

Just like any other event planning process for your team, you should designate one person to oversee the holiday party planning process. In most cases, this will be a member of your human resources or executive support teams.

This event planning lead will help manage deadlines, pull in team support as needed, and partner with various departments to gain the necessary approvals and resources (like a budget). 

If you are designated the lead for your holiday party planning—don’t worry, it’s easier than you might think, and you don’t have to do everything yourself. This leads us to our next step…

Step 2: Form a Holiday Party Planning Committee

Depending on the size of your company, the holiday planning lead should create a committee with at least one or two other team members. Again, these team members will most likely be from human resources or administrative support teams, because they typically have experience with workplace event planning.

However, encourage any member of your team to join the committee if they would like to. The holiday season may be the favorite time of year for some of your colleagues, and they can infuse a natural excitement and sense of delight into your planning.

Step 3: Survey Your Team’s Holiday Party Wishes

Do you want to know the not-so-secret way to ensure you host a great workplace holiday party? Use feedback from your team members to guide your planning.

The worst way to throw a holiday party is to force everyone to attend at an assigned day and time that they had no influence in choosing, especially if it is after normal business hours. 

Create a quick survey for your team through Google Forms or your preferred surveying tool. At a minimum, cover these essential areas:

  • Would you like to attend a company holiday party? Or would you prefer time off, a holiday bonus, or a charitable gift in your name instead?
  • What are your ideal days of the week and times for a holiday party?
  • What days or times can you not attend a holiday party?
  • Are you interested in a voluntary company-wide gift exchange or similar activity?
  • What would you like to do at the virtual holiday party? Select your top 3 preferences:
    • Open conversation with colleagues in a large group setting
    • Open conversation with colleagues in small-groups
    • Structured, longer group activities 
    • Short, high-energy activities that take just a few minutes each
    • Gift exchange
    • Hands-on cooking or crafting class
    • Other (please explain):
  • Is there anything else we should know to make this event great for you? 

In addition to your survey results, have 1:1 conversations with team members to further explore their hopes for the holiday party. All of this information will help you understand how many team members will attend, gather ideas for the best virtual holiday party activities to host, and the technical requirements to accomplish them.

Step 4: Pick a Virtual Holiday Party Platform

The technology you choose to host your virtual holiday party can easily make or break the experience. Keep your attendee wishes top-of-mind as you explore options, and find a solution that enables your attendees to meaningfully connect and mingle. 

You will ask many questions similar to what you’d ask when picking an ideal virtual conference platform, including:

  • What type of customization is available?
  • How many attendees can this platform support?
  • Does the price scale with attendance?
  • Are there custom breakout rooms for attendees to network? Is there a limit to the number of these rooms?
  • Are there built-in networking components?

Step 5 (Optional): Designate a Theme

If desired, you can now pick a theme for your holiday party to influence the activities you host (we’ll dive into that next), what your team will wear, and how you design your invitations.

A theme is a “nice-to-have” element that is completely optional. If this is your first year hosting a virtual holiday party, it may be best to skip the theme and focus solely on meeting the needs of your attendees (unless a theme is a must-have for them). 

If you’re looking for inspiration on what theme to pick for a holiday workplace party, this article has a handful of themes and activities you can explore.

Step 6: Build an Agenda of Activities

This is where the real fun happens! Now that you have everyone’s feedback in-hand, and know what functionality is available to you, your holiday party planning committee can determine your holiday party’s activities.

Save the first 10 minutes of your holiday party for everyone to log-in and get familiarized with the platform. Then, kick off your celebration with a brief welcome from a member of your company leadership or your holiday party planning committee.

Depending on how long your party is and what your team has expressed in your pre-event conversations, you should offer a combination of open networking rooms and structured activities to appeal to the range of your team’s needs.

To help you, we’ve created a list of 10 workplace virtual holiday party games that work great online, with details on how to approach each of them. 

Step 7: Invite team members

You’re almost there! The last step to planning a holiday party is to get the word out to your team.

Ideally, you should send emails to each employee to personally invite them to the holiday party. Include the date, time, and log-in instructions, as well as any details about the series of events and how they should prepare. Send a calendar invitation to all team members once the email invitations are sent. 

Ask everyone to RSVP as soon as they know whether or not they can attend. Follow up with anyone you have not heard back two days after sending your initial email and invitations. 

Throw Your Best Holiday Party Ever on Frameable Events

By using feedback from your teammates to build your virtual holiday party experience, you are more likely to host an event that your team will genuinely love.

If this is your first time hosting a virtual holiday party, do not stress about making the experience perfect. Instead, focus on opportunities to celebrate your team and enable them to connect with one another in the capacity of their choosing.

We’ve built Frameable Events to support holiday parties for teams of any size, with fully customizable spaces that give your employees the flexibility and freedom they deserve at your party. Learn more about what makes Frameable Events the ideal platform for virtual workplace holiday parties and try it out for free today.

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Bring your next virtual event to life with frameable
Book a demo