7 Ridiculously Fun Ideas for Your 2023 Virtual Sales Kickoff Meetings

Cassy Aite
January 5, 2023
5 Ridiculously Fun Ideas for Your 2023 Virtual Sales Kickoff Meetings

Virtual sales kickoff meetings are top of mind for organizations in 2023. And with more people working remotely than ever before, many of these annual sales kickoffs (SKOs) have shifted into a virtual space. 

A successful virtual sales kickoff is much more than a long online meeting — it’s a way to engage your sales team, inspire fresh ideas, and celebrate big wins. But when team building activities, cocktail dinners, and award parties are traditionally shared in-person, how can you keep your virtual sales training engaging from behind the screen? 

Keep reading to discover how.

7 Virtual Sales Kickoff Meeting Ideas for 2023

Strong communication is key to helping sales teams connect, share, and succeed. According to Colleen Francis, sales strategist and author of Nonstop Sales Boom: Powerful Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After Year, cohesion across sales teams enables a business to build a sum that’s greater than its parts. 

That’s where virtual sales kickoff meetings can make an impact. With the right elements in your virtual sales rally, you can bring out the best in each member of your sales team while fostering a sense of connection and community. And those benefits aren’t reserved for in-person SKOs, either. A well-planned sales kickoff that leverages online capabilities can help you achieve even better results than traditional in-person sales meetings.

Let’s look at a few ways you can make your 2023 SKOs more memorable and drive better sales outcomes:

#1: Create Awards for High Performers

Award ceremonies are a great way to publicly recognize employees that do great things while encouraging others to do the same. However, capturing the essence of an in-person awards ceremony, virtually, can be tricky. Virtual awards bring people together in competition and celebration, so getting the tone right for the event is the first step.

Take a page out of the Daytime Emmy Awards and start with a killer opening act. A live virtual music performance or motivational speaker can help you get as close to the “real-deal” as possible. Engaging your sales team from the get-go is crucial because awards are as much about recognition as they are about celebrating success.

Your opening act will be your sales award ceremony’s headlining act. A grand opening act will ensure that you have your sales teams’ undivided attention. With distractions out of the way, you can begin award recognition.

The credits at the end of the ceremony thanked all those who had prepared videos.

Virtual awards ceremonies can foster a sense of community and gratitude | Source: New York Times

#2: Ask Your Team To Create Their Own Magazine Story

While award ceremonies are the most popular way to celebrate achievement, it’s important to include everyone. It’s possible your team achieved major goals or overcame personal challenges that went unnoticed, especially during such unprecedented times. A great activity to foster a culture of recognition is to actively bring these stories to light.

Ask your team members to create an imaginary magazine cover about a successful project, business achievement, or personal accomplishment. You can even send them stationery and magazine templates they’ll need in advance and ask them to prepare their story beforehand. You can allot 30 minutes to an hour for this activity during your kickoff meeting. As the team begins putting together their stories, they’re also able to visualize future success, motivate their peers, and set more ambitious goals for the next year. Team storytelling is also a great way to foster empathy among your employees and bring them closer on an emotional level.

Here are a few pointers to get started:

  • Send them an activity gift bag that contains markers, pens, magazine cover templates, and anything else they’ll need to create the cover story.
  • Ask each participant to say a few words about their challenge or achievement and how it made them or their team stronger.
  • Choose and reward the best cover.

#3: Host a Virtual Cocktail Party with Hoppier

Take your sales kickoff meeting to the next level with a virtual cocktail party organized with Hoppier. Set your budget and restrict purchases to vendors like Minibar or Drizly, where you can allow employees to directly buy their favorite beer, wine, or spirits. Another idea is to provide a menu and ingredients list where employees can make their own cocktails. Simply buy a Hoppier card to a local store where people can get all the mixers, toppings, and other ingredients they need to DIY their own cocktails. No matter what you choose, Hoppier works with you to understand your needs and bring to life the kind of event experience you’re looking to provide.


Hoppier's virtual sales kickoff experiences help businesses of all sizes celebrate and recognize employees

Hoppier offers customizable virtual event experiences

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#4: Host a Virtual Shark Tank to Test Your Team's Improvisation Skills

What better way to help your sales team hone their pitching skills than with a mock Shark Tank? This fun activity will allow your team members to showcase their entrepreneurial side and perfect their pitching skills. You can make the experience richer by inviting sales coaches and influencers as judges — something that’s much easier to achieve with a virtual platform. You can ask experts from anywhere in the world to tune in!

Divide your team into groups of two and use props or images for people to come up with an imaginary product and develop a pitch for it. The pitch could include specifics like the brand name, tag line, business plan, marketing plan, sales strategy, and most importantly: why people should invest. In addition to promoting collaboration, this activity also fosters unconventional thinking and can be a great way to brainstorm innovative go-to-market strategies and sales initiatives. 

It’s important for judges to provide each team with detailed feedback on their performance and also choose a winner. Bonus if you provide small prizes.   

#5: Fight Meeting Fatigue with Breakout Sessions

Virtual meeting fatigue is real, and SKOs can run longer than expected. A great way to ensure your team is engaged throughout the event is by scheduling virtual breakout sessions. While a breakout session in itself might not seem like an innovative idea, the way you go about conducting breakout sessions makes all the difference.

Here are some of our top ideas:

  • Lightning Talks: Stimulate your team to think about a single topic and give a short presentation (the key is to keep them under five mins) to foster thought, conversation, and collaboration. For example, selling to prospects that are working remotely, tips for effective virtual sales meetings, advice to hit quota while working remotely, cold calling tips for remote prospects, etc.
  • Improv Sessions: Virtual improv-led breakout sessions can be a great way to foster out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Host a Goal-Setting Workshop: One of the most effective ways to help your sales team achieve more in 2022 is understanding their aspirations and personal goals. Encourage your team members to create and share a list of their top personal and professional goals for 2022 and define what success looks like. You can note their goals and offer personal development and coaching rewards to help your team members realize their goals throughout the new year.

#6: Play a Strategic Skill-Building Game, Like a Virtual Escape Room

Strategic games are a common occurrence at sales kickoff meetings, but a virtual platform can make these games all the more exciting. For example, a virtual escape room can be added to your Zoom or other online meeting platform. These games ask your team members to put their heads together, solve important problems, and complete puzzles together. 

Adding an escape room to your virtual sales team gathering gives everyone a chance to work together and foster team-building and communication skills — without realizing it! This is also a great way to engage your team while breaking up some of the less interesting (but essential tasks) while still fostering team bonding.

#7: Host a Virtual Talent Show (with Great Prizes)

A talent show might not be something you’d add to your annual SKO plans, but with a virtual platform, anything goes. Really, though—a virtual talent show helps team members get to know one another in a creative, personal way that fosters deep connection. 

You can also focus it around your sales meeting themes to anchor it to your business goals even more. For example, if your goal is to make more sales calls in the coming year, you could have everyone lip-sync a song that’s related to telephone calls (“hotline bling,” anyone?)

The best part is that you can offer prizes to everyone. Give employee gifts based on what they did best, whether it’s dancing, creativity, or costumes. You can use a Hoppier card to give prizes that are relevant to the contest, too, like AXS tickets to a virtual concert or funds for music streaming.

Bringing it All Together

Most of us have had a lot of virtual meeting practice this past year; however, an annual sales kickoff meeting is different. SKO’s are unique because they set the blueprint for annual success. A virtual sales kickoff could be a first for you, so don’t shy away from experimenting. Leverage this opportunity to foster human connection, show that you care with team gifts, and show your support as your team prepares to win in an unfamiliar world. Sales is changing, and a great kickoff meeting is the best way to show your team members that you’ve still got their backs. 

Talk to us about hosting your virtual sales kickoff meeting. Get 20% off on your first event with Hoppier.

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo


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