During these hectic times, we know that human interaction is something we all miss. Our Customer Success team decided to do something fun for our customers! Hosting a virtual happy hour did not come without its challenges. How do we convince people it won’t be awkward? What incentive is there for them to join a Zoom meeting for an hour? To address all these obstacles, we compiled a list of the top 3 things we found crucial for a successful digital happy hour in this time of working remote.
1. Nail Down Your Happy Hour Marketing Schedule and Details
Nailing down your email messaging and your campaign schedule is crucial to hit people at different times. We recommend sending one email in the early morning, a possible lunch message, and of course a “day of” reminder blast. Don’t forget to include the following in each message for outreach:
a) Be specific about time, date, and location
With an in-person happy hour everyone knows what time to meet. However, when sending out an invitation for a virtual happy hour to people in different time zones, it is important to specify.
b) Always include what they will get out of it
Why should your customers attend the happy hour when they have already had a long day? In this current day where online orders have skyrocketed, we decided to incentivize our customers with gift cards to places like Amazon, DoorDash, and Starbucks. We even included bigger ‘grand prize’ giveaways, such as an iPad and Apple Watches. For a virtual happy hour, when you’re saving on more than just the drink tab, you can go all out for prizes.
2. Always Do a Run-Through with Your Team
Our team dedicated ourselves to four run-throughs. This allowed us to figure out the logistics with Zoom, including who would be the host at their designated times; getting the breakout rooms right for our ice breaker; and learning the chat feature for anyone who had audio issues. You will want to consider having someone emcee the happy hour and someone who runs everything behind the scenes with technology. In this instance support helped with making sure breakout rooms were assigned accordingly, being on standby to answer questions for anyone who has technical difficulties and making sure your team sticks to the agenda and schedule. You also want to emphasize the importance of improvising to your team. Wi-Fi connections can go wrong at any time so make sure everyone is ready to take over, should they need to.
3. Have Fun
To get the party going, we decided to use Zoom breakout rooms for a more intimate setting and have everyone interact in Drawasaurus – a ridiculous and fun virtual Pictionary. This game didn’t come without trouble, but we made sure that each customer success member was engaged and interacted with every guest on the call. We received several emails post- happy hour requesting the link to Drawsaurus because people enjoyed it so much! Following the game, we saved our big raffle for the end and when we regrouped everyone had a big smile on their face.
Our team initially had hesitations on how successful a digital happy hour would be, but we were shocked at the turnout and how much fun we had with our customers. At the end of the day, we had more attendees on our virtual happy hour than an in-person happy hour hosted last year. We had people who decided to show up at the last minute or who forgot to RSVP, and we were able to be agile and truly have so much fun. You can have everything planned accordingly, but the most critical component of a successful happy hour, digital or in-person, is your team and culture. Looking forward to the next one!
Adriana kicked off her tech career at Aquilon a year ago and recently stepped into the Customer Development Lead role. She loves the hustle of a start-up, as it reminds her of the experience gained managing her own business with photography. If not at work or taking photos, you can find her hanging with her family -- 2 cats, 2 dogs, and an adventure loving husband.
Paula Silverman has been at Aquilon for 2.5 years. In that time she has served as a Senior Analyst, Manager, and recently has taken over as Chief Happiness Officer. Outside of her Aquilon family, Paula enjoys spending time with her husband and beloved rescue pup Charlie Brown.