6 ideas to liven up your video calls

There are lots of ways to make your next Zoom meeting more entertaining, says director of Sternberg Clarke.

We're all used to that feeling by now. It's your seventh video call of the day. Six of the same people were on the last one. What new stuff can you say? What have you been up to? Absolutely nothing, same as everyone else. 

However, Adam Sternberg, the director of event entertainment agency Sternberg Clarke, has some ideas to liven up your next meeting. 

"While Zoom has defined working from home in isolation, staring directly at multiple colleagues’ faces (not to mention your own!) without being able to daydream for even a minute can take a lot of getting used to," says Sternberg.

"Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams often have functions that enable you to change backgrounds to spice things up but you can do better than that by offering virtual entertainment options. 

"Not only will these make meetings and their contents more memorable, but can also facilitate learning or just lift spirits at a time when morale may be low, and days potentially repetitive."

Here are Adam's six tips for more entertaining video calls:

1. THE SHOW CAN GO ON

"Various acts can be used for 10-15 mins to just break up the business side of the meeting, to energise people and to add some light relief," says Sternberg. 

"Magicians work very well online and are as impressive as in real life. Singers or pianists can be used to do a short piano bar experience with a sing-along at the end." 

2. FORESEE THE FUTURE

"If you feel that a glimpse into the future might be useful in these uncertain times then either a numerologist or graphologist is great online."

3. ONLINE DRINKS PARTY

"When the work has been done it's time to grab your own drinks and have a bit of banter. Well, why not enhance the mood by adding a cool sax player or a Café del Mar-style DJ? And if you are really feeling in the mood, there's always karaoke." 

4. TEAM-BUILDING

"There is a whole range of team-building experiences that work well online. From wine and cheese tasting (where the wine and cheese are sent to the participants in advance), through to live music quizzes where musicians host a music quiz featuring not only recorded snippets but live music. Or a visual artist can be used to create a 'Catchphrase'-style version of Pictionary." 

5. TALENT SHOW

"You could have your own Britain’s Got Talent with three different acts. You vote for your favourite and the winner returns for a final performance. They could be acts you book for the occasion or why not unearth some hidden talents among your team?" 

6. FAMOUS NAMES

"Famous names who are used to working in live settings are just as unable to work as the rest of us, so there is an opportunity to use them online at a price that would be much less than conventionally booked. 

"You could use actors or sportspeople for Q&As or have a comedian like Al Murray host your quiz night."

For more features and breaking news sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in

Why Prague should top your post-pandemic Czech-list

This fairytale-like capital offers the perfect blend of city style, sophisticated hotels and a wealth of green spaces to enjoy

RSVP podcast Ep2: Afterparties, swarms of bats and a masked vigilante

RSVP podcast Ep2: Afterparties, swarms of bats and a masked vigilante

This week's special guest is Elena Clowes, co-founder of Event First Steps.

New commercial director for Production Bureau

New commercial director for Production Bureau

Norfolk-based agency adds to its leadership team in preparation for a business rebuild after COVID-19.

Working hours have increased by 22% for those still at work

Working hours have increased by 22% for those still at work

Majority of event professionals say their employer has 'not taken an active role' in improving their wellbeing, finds Stress Matters survey.

LIVE UPDATES: IBTM Americas goes digital

LIVE UPDATES: IBTM Americas goes digital

Find out which countries are on partial or national lockdown, what travel restrictions are in place and what size gatherings are allowed.

Will IMEX America go ahead in September?

Will IMEX America go ahead in September?

The annual event industry trade show takes place in Las Vegas, which is reopening its casinos today.

#BlackLivesMatter: The event industry needs to wake up

#BlackLivesMatter: The event industry needs to wake up

C&IT’s editor calls for the industry to respond to the issues raised by George Floyd’s death.

Bright lights, big city: A three-day immersive event in Shanghai

Bright lights, big city: A three-day immersive event in Shanghai

BCD Meetings & Events organised a conference for the APAC leadership team of a lighting manufacturer.

How to prevent video-conference fatigue

How to prevent video-conference fatigue

All Zoomed-out and WebEx-hausted? Here's some advice from the president of the International Association of Speakers Bureaus.

'Being bold involves risk and that’s OK'

'Being bold involves risk and that’s OK'

Creative director Robert Dunsmore says drive-in cinemas are a great example of repurposing old ideas to meet new challenges.