Many of us are resistant to head back to the office, enjoying the balance of remote working. Others however are itching to get back together to revive that all-important company culture. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, it looks as though most 2022 annual kickoff meetings will be in a virtual setting or even, dare we mention, the metaverse.

To ensure professional teams, especially sales teams are primed and fired up for a successful year ahead, these kickoff meetings are scheduled to align your team with the company’s quarterly and annual goals.

Although they are important, they are not always engaging for all your employees. This may especially be the case with virtual meetings as many employees are beginning to voice their dissatisfaction with the time wasted for meetings that could have simply been emails.

What makes a successful meeting?

Important meetings such as these, should always be planned in advance for a successful outcome; mindful that they are structured in a fun and engaging way to break up the routine of work and make sure your team are fully invested in the upcoming 12 months.

Ideally, a kickoff meeting should serve many purposes. It should not only be a time to motivate your employees, but it should also be a space for them to bounce fresh ideas, concepts, and strategies, however innovative or wacky they may be. It should also be a time to celebrate together, big company wins as well as individual successes.

Previously before the pandemic, it was normal to include challenging and exciting in-person team building activities to cultivate team spirit, energise employees and help them understand how to work better together.

In the virtual space, there is no reason why virtual team builder activities can be less effective if done right. By using the right elements in your virtual meeting, you can bring out the best in each member of your team while fostering a sense of connection and community.

We’ve put together some tips for organising your own kickoff meeting, complete with creative ideas to leverage online capabilities to keep your team members engaged and reach even better results than with a traditional in-person kickoff meeting.

Keep reading to discover how.

1.) Decide on the length of your meeting.

Kickoff meetings can vary from being a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending on how much content you need to cover with your team. The benefits of longer meetings are that you can gain a good idea of how your team functions together out of their work routine setting. By including breakout room style activities in between intense presentations and discussions will give your team a chance to revitalise and reset for the next big topic.

Creative idea! Combat meeting fatigue with exciting breakout sessions.

Book a Growth Mindset Bolt-on Workshop: One of the most effective ways to help your sales team achieve more in 2022 is understanding their individual aspirations and personal goals and helping them to achieve them by boosting your employees’ personal development. The Blue Hat Growth Mindset Workshop will encourage your employees to define what success looks like to them and can outline tools and techniques that they can put into practise to realise their goals. By investing in your staff with this type of session, your staff will feel valued and content with the prospects of future progression.

2.) Create a clear, detailed agenda.

You want to make the most of your time during these meetings, so creating an agenda will keep you organised and productive the entire time. Here are four things to include:

  • Panel Discussions from The Company Leaders – It’s important to understand that employees want to be inspired by people at the helm of the company, they want to hear personal stories so they can learn and grow to achieve similar success. Organise for your highest performing staff to host an insightful panel discussion on their methods, systems, and ways of dealing with obstacles they may have encountered on their path to success.
  • Tactical Sales Training – Employees with determination and a growth mindset will always be the first to want to learn more. A tactical sales training session is a vital way to transfer over experience, knowledge, and techniques to fellow staff members to arm them for a profitable year ahead.
  • Speed Networking Sessions – There are plenty of advantages to meaningful networking sessions. It connects people and businesses, paving the way for successful deal collaborations, mentorships and innovations. These sessions can be hosted by your reps or externally by a professional team building company to help foster improved communication and build relationships.
  • High level content – Ultimately you need to include the fundamental aspects to your meeting such as last year’s figures including the pearls and pitfalls of the strategy. It should also include the strategy and goals set out for this year to ensure every attendee is on the same page and understands how their roles and responsibilities are essential to reach these goals.

Creative idea!  Networking is one of the key reasons why people attend meetings in-person; how can we best facilitate that when it comes to digital events? Try using a strategic virtual escape room challenge! Participants must piece together clues to solve puzzles and break out of a locked room. Good storylines feature the right mix of fun, team interaction and challenge to foster team building and communication skills. Prepare to witness your co-workers surprise each another with their intuition and skills that aren’t usually demonstrated in the everyday corporate setting.

3.) Use a fun theme to engage your attendees.

Using a theme within your meeting will make it more entertaining and memorable for your team. It will heighten the entertainment value by allowing you to include fun elements such as jokes, contests, and memes within your slideshows. Overarching themes also keep your employees engaged as it will keep your agenda on track, as after each point or topic, you can return to the central theme.

A theme should reflect your companies’ values and culture, it should never be random, and it should reflect the status of the success of your department. All teams, especially sales forces, go through high and low periods. When the team is riding high, why not go for an awards ceremony theme and when the team needs a boost, perhaps choose ‘The A Team’, theme as a way to motivate each other to “level up”, “raise their game” and work “harder, better, faster, stronger” as a team.

Creative idea! Get all your teams to produce a short video of ‘a day in the life of their team’. This can be a way for them to showcase their strengths, team dynamics and inject a little humour and competition in front of the other teams.

4.) Treat your staff to post-meeting team building.

You should always include non-work-related activities so that your employees can bond and have fun as a team. This is where real friendships are made, leading to a closer-knit team some companies can only dream about! When you have completed your meeting agenda and calling the meeting to a close, experience some of these recommended Virtual Team Building Activities to leave your attendees on a high.

Our Survey Says – The live family fortunes gameshow experience is guaranteed to give your team an entertaining and uplifting experience every time!

Mission Energise – A high voltage virtual session made up of a compendium of fun games and challenges, guaranteed to give a positive charge to your team!

Digital Masterpiece – let your employees create and project an inspirational company vision, via a super-sized selfie masterpiece.

Creative idea! Leverage the benefits of remote working by surprising your attendees with a pre-event personalised gift box delivered to their door to show that you care. Blue Hat create customised gift boxes to suit your company needs.

So, get started with planning your 2022 kick off meeting, it’s time to set the blueprint for this year’s success!

Written by Ben Parkinson

Published on 13 January, 2022

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