During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a struggle to stay involved with our payroll community. For the Virginia Statewide Payroll Conference (VSPC) Board, it was important to us that our local payroll professionals know we are still here for them and not just during our October conference. So why not try a virtual happy hour?The VSPC Board held its first Virtual Happy Hour on Thursday, May 7th. We did not know how many people would attend so we came up with many ideas to keep our attendees engaged and having fun. Since you can create breakout rooms on Zoom, we planned to split up a large group into smaller rooms if needed so people had better opportunities to interact.
Some of our ideas for the breakout rooms included:
- Scavenger Hunt – Attendees would be given a list of items to gather from their home and bring them back to see who found the most in the time allotted. Items would get more complicated as the game went on. People would be asked to find a new toothbrush, an empty wine bottle, a paperclip, a newspaper, a magazine, a can of soda, and more.
- Conversation Rooms – For attendees who did not want to participate in the scavenger hunt, they could choose to go into a conversation room which would have ice breaker questions to help begin dialogue. Conversation starters included:
- What are you currently streaming (on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.)?
- Crazy Parents – How are you managing with the kids?
- “Never Have I Ever” – See who has and has not done things while working in payroll and in life. Such as – I have never paid an employee outside Virginia. I have never had to escheat a check to the state. I have never had an Oreo. I have never traveled outside the U.S.
The first virtual Happy Hour for VSPC was a great success. We marketed the event through Facebook and our newsletter. There was no cost for the event because we simply wanted people to have some fun after work. Our first event had 16 people in attendance, and we enjoyed it so much we quickly scheduled a second happy hour for the next month, which had 13 attendees.
The Virtual Happy Hour event has been a great way to reach out to our past Virginia Statewide attendees and provide them with a venue outside their house to interact with people. I know the members of the VSPC Board would agree when I say we cannot wait to see who comes to the next happy hour!