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Recruiting Wisdom

Free Virtual Events to Keep Your Summer Associates & Interns Engaged

min read

Uncertain times can mean uncertain budgets. Many Flo Recruit clients and companies across the world are planning summer intern programs (or in our legal world, summer associate programs), with reduced or nebulous budgets looming in the logistics.

Budget brings us to round two of our virtual summer event suggestions list, starring free and low cost social events! We rounded up the free events from our first list and added many more. But there’s nothing lesser about these activities - They’re actually some of our favorites. Creativity goes a long way, and in today’s environment, many of us are looking for personal connections over flashy events.

The key to the events is that they are all “self-hosted.” This means you, a member of your firm or company, or a summer associate or intern leads the activity - which is the real benefit! Not only does it make the event free; it creates a get-to-know-you opportunity. Summers aren’t meeting people in the office, so every social event should involve conversation and opening of personalities.

1. Travel/Museum Tour

Invite attendees to lead 5-10 minute virtual tours (through online images, maps, or their own photos) of favorite places they’ve been or places they would like to go in the future.

2. Board Games

The Flo Recruit team took on the arduous task of testing this one for you. I lost. The online game was a bit glitchy, but we really had a great time. Check it out here. Warning: it took us two and a half hours, so we recommend playing to five Victory Points instead of 10 if you have a time limit.

Use one of the many online chess sites to start an ongoing tournament. On this site, you simply create a game and send the link to a colleague. Here’s an example for building the brackets.

When it’s your turn to be the artist, use this random word generator (built for Pictionary, with difficulty level selection!) to generate the word you have to draw. Use Zoom Whiteboard to draw on screen, or tape a piece of paper to the wall to draw on so everyone can watch. The other players time how long it takes for you to get them to say the word. The person with the shortest aggregate time at the end of the game wins. You can also test out our team's favorite Pictionary game online, Skribbl.io. Make a private room to play with only your invited members, or test it out by playing with random people on the internet.

Get your team to guess a word - but you can’t say the word. It’s like lower maintenance pictionary, and it gets everyone participating. Online version here.

3. Concert/Talent Show

Invite summers to show off their talents! Take turns giving mini performances - a piano piece, an acapella song, a tap dance… Whatever fits on camera.

4. Cooking Class

Have a foodie on your team who loves to cook? Ask them to pick their favorite recipe and chef-it-up live via video chat! Send out the recipe in the event invitation and include the necessary ingredients again in the confirmation email so that participants have enough time to shop. All participants can cook alongside the group leader, and you can enjoy your meal together at the end.  

5. Exercise Class

There’s usually someone who is a particularly dedicated athlete in the group. Ask them to lead a fun workout class for beginners via video chat. We recommend yoga or body weight exercises as opposed to cardio that would require lots of movement and, as a result, probably isn’t best for virtual environments.

6. Art Class

Art is a great stress reliever and a bonding opportunity. Let folks freestyle and simply make what they want, or add some structure by asking attendees to draw an image you share on the screen. To add some friendly competition, give prizes to the best renditions of the original image. 

7. Book/Film Clubs

Is there a book or a film you’d really like to enjoy and talk about with colleagues? Suggest a book or a film, ask participants to read or see it, and then come together at a specified date to speak in small groups about the work. Typically, these types of discussions happen best in groups of 4-5 with one person designated as the group leader to keep the conversation flowing.  

8. Show-and-Tell

Not just for kids! Show-and-tell is a great way to get stories flowing. Attendees can keep it light with the history of a rock collection obsession, or get personal by sharing the meaning behind a sentimental object.

9. Happy Hour Competitions

Happy hours can lose their zest if they just mean drinking a Topo Chico while on your laptop, watching other people drink Topo Chico. Make them engaging with friendly competition: Who can build the prettiest (or funniest) charcuterie board with what you have in your fridge right now? Who can whip together the most creative mocktail or cocktail? Maybe someone used to be a barista or bartender - Share tips! To keep the games fair, limit the ingredients you’re able to use to a few common ones. Competitors will have to get more creative this way!

10. Costume Party

Mix up a social event by inviting everyone to wear at least one costume element they have at home. Go around and guess what they’re supposed to be.

11. Home Scavenger Hunt

Get everyone on screen before sharing the list. You have 5 minutes to find:

First one back is a winner, and the person with the best objects is also a winner!

12. Movie Night

Watch a movie together on Netflix with Netflix Party. Using Netflix Party requires all participants to have a Netflix account; however, it is a great way to feel like you’re watching a movie with friends even if you’re miles apart. Netflix Party syncs all attendees’ video streams so everyone is seeing the scenes at the same time -- no spoiler alerts here!

13. Sharpen Lateral Thinking Skills

Lateral thinking skills refer to out-of-the-box reasoning and critical thinking skills. Pick one of the lateral thinking questions on Udemy (a few examples are listed below, answers are on Udemy) and pose it to the group. Give everyone a chance to think about the answer and then ask each person in the group to share their answer. Talk through the differences. 

More and more organizations are taking their summer programs virtual. This list enables teams of any size, regardless of access to budget, connected and engaged. 

Katherine Allen

Katherine is the Co-Founder and CEO at Flo Recruit. She loves helping clients maximize their budgets while keeping their teams engaged.

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