What did your company do for Employee Appreciation day last year? For those of you who don’t remember, it was on March 6, 2020, and about 10 days before much of the country went into some sort of stay-in-place mode. Was it a happy hour? A company outing to a comedy show or a movie? Can we even remember?

This year Employee Appreciation Day takes place on Friday, March 5 and many companies might be looking for ways to make this day as memorable as possible considering the events that have taken place over the past year.

Ten Spot hosted more than 10K virtual events for companies in 2020 and, based on the data we collected, we wanted to share what the top three most popular events were so that you have some great ideas to get the creative juices flowing for how you can plan a fun, memorable, and meaningful virtual Employee Appreciation event in 2021.

  • Virtual Trivia Inspires Fun & Healthy Competition

Trivia competitions are our most requested virtual team event because it is competitive, lighthearted and whether you compete as an individual or a group, it is an engaging experience. 96% of the virtual trivia events we hosted included personalized questions about the company, specific employees, inside jokes. It keeps the players engaged. Our most popular trivia questions were centered around pop culture, food, and image recognition.

While this is supposed to be a lighthearted, fun virtual team event, we did measure a 40% increase in engagement when there was a prize associated with the trivia game. Even if it was a $20 Amazon gift card, rewards are a great way to incentivize employees to participate.

Virtual Trivia Event Tip: There is not enough credit given to the trivia hosts. If you’re thinking this is something you are comfortable hosting yourself, that is awesome, but that is a big undertaking. Think about all the great MC’s or hosts that you’ve experienced. They are asking questions, cracking a few jokes, filling the silences, reading the virtual room, and more. It is a big responsibility.

2. Make ‘Em Laugh with a Comedy Event

People not only like to laugh, but they also need to laugh. Laughing helps reduce blood pressure, decrease anxiety and other negative emotions, and it boosts the immune system.

Unfortunately, comedy clubs are closed. That said, there are a ton of awesome comedians out there looking for work, and willing to tailor their acts to meet audience needs. This means whatever your company culture and values look like you can absolutely request PC versions and not so PC versions of what comedians have to offer.

The comedians we like to work with always ask for more information on the audience and company: Dog lovers? International? Will kids be listening? It is always good for a comedian to know a little more about the crowd.

While there is no two-drink minimum required to watch a virtual comedy set, over 50% of our comedy events hosted encouraged kicking back with a beverage.

Virtual Comedy Event Tip: This is an interactive experience. Our comedians, at least, like everyone to have their cameras on and to be unmuted so they can pause for laughter. Plus, you always laugh more when you see someone else laughing.

3. Get Shaken or Stirred with a Cocktail & Mocktail Crafting Class

We hosted over 4,000 cocktail crafting classes in 2020. And guess what? 100% of them requested non-alcoholic options.

Here, it’s important to mimic a bar vibe with these cocktail crafting classes. And a huge part of that vibe is the bartender or cocktail connoisseur. Similar to the trivia MC, a bartender is the social lubricant who asks questions, guides people through the cocktail or mocktail crafting steps, tells stories, cracks a few jokes, and gets people chatting.

For a 30-minute session, you can usually get through two standard cocktails or one more intricate cocktail. For a one-hour session, you can get through three. It is important to keep the cocktails diverse as typically people have their preferences and might only make one of the options because they like those particular ingredients better.

This is another interactive experience where cameras and microphones should be on so the host can interact with attendees and more importantly, so attendees can interact with each other!

There are a couple of ways to handle a cocktail crafting class. You can send the ingredient list ahead of time so employees can purchase the ingredients. Alternatively, you can purchase gift cards for alcohol delivery services that can deliver ingredients right to your door.

Cocktail Crafting Class Event Tip: Look at incorporating the Moscow Mule into the session–it was our most requested drink!