The last year had everyone miss out on a lot of things and even though lockdown restrictions are eased, it will still be a while until everything will be back to ‘normal’.
Covid-19 has made the majority work go remote and for many newcomers to the world of working this has become extremely isolating and made them miss out on getting to know colleagues and social activities. It’s no surprise that this will also affect how newcomers finish their graduate schemes.
Fortunately, employers are not tied to in-person celebrations for their hard-working graduates. Virtual celebrations are on the rise and there are more and more possibilities to celebrate the end of a graduate scheme virtually and making sure they feel appreciated.
Here are some virtual celebration ideas for graduate schemes that will definitely be remembered by your graduates.
Cocktail making class
Reaching milestones call for champagne or other celebratory drinks. Successfully finishing a graduate programme is one such milestone that lets everyone cheer with drinks. Fear not, just because this might not be available physically at the moment, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate and toast your graduates.
Boozy Events have hosted countless online cocktail classes and their live interactive virtual cocktail making classes are perfect to get everyone together. No previous experience or cocktail kit is required as everyone will receive the ingredients in the post beforehand. On the day everyone will meet up via a video platform and join an expert mixologist in an interactive masterclass where they will shake up delicious cocktails. Sometimes the supervisors stay throughout, other times they only take part in the class and leave the graduates to enjoy the cocktails together.
They can also incorporate your companies branding or internship programme logo into the cocktails which makes them even more special.
Thank you gifts
Everyone loves to feel appreciated and enjoys receiving unexpected gifts in the mail. You can send thank you gifts to your graduates after they have successfully finished their graduate schemes and show them how much you appreciate and value their hard work.
There are many different ideas for thank you gifts and inspiration. Think leavers jumpers to celebrate your graduates or branded stationery such as pens and notebooks. This will also allow supervisors or colleagues to leave nice notes for the graduates. Other ideas could be letterbox bouquets, wellness gift cards or shopping vouchers. To hit your graduate’s sweet tooth, graduation style cookies or cakes always add a nice little touch to thank you gifts.
Most importantly when it comes to thanking you gifts is to keep the graduates and their interests in mind to create the perfect gift they won’t forget. Your remote graduates will feel and appreciate the personal touch which often gets lost with virtual events.
Your graduates have usually been with you for one or two years. During this time they got to meet a lot of colleagues, created memories and experiences. Why not collate all those memories together and put them in a virtual scrapbook. Including photos, videos and memories from colleagues and friends the graduates have met during their time at your company will help them cherish the time even more. Ideas to include in the scrapbook are:
- funniest moments
- greatest win
- team boding stories
- favourite activity
- proudest moments
- predictions for the future
Once all the information is gathered, put them in the video scrapbook together with videos and photos to have lifelong memories. Video scrapbooks can be uploaded on Youtube and Instagram too.
One thing the majority of virtual events are lacking is decorations. Attending in-person events immediately put you in the mood for the event when you enter the event venue which often includes thought through and tangible decorations. Just because your graduate celebrations are held online does not mean that they have to miss out on this experience. Think about aspects graduates would expect at an in-person event; give them their mortar hats, custom stoles and banners.
Other ideas for virtual event decorations could be customised backgrounds; think brand colours, logo or funny backgrounds related to your graduate’s interests. Or go one step further and use photos, videos and other memories to create an interactive video background to make them think about the amazing time they had.
Official ceremonies always include toasts and acknowledging achievements. In a virtual setting, this can be a good opportunity to celebrate their achievements and should not be missed. Make sure that everyone has a glass of bubbly or the cocktails you have previously made at the ready and clink your glasses virtually.
To make it interesting for the graduates and keep them entertained, a speaker should be invited who the graduates have an interest in; think influencers or celebrities. If there is a lack of funds choose someone from your team who has a great relationship with the graduates and knows them well.
To boost their achievements and confidence, even more, celebrate your graduates on social media. You probably already celebrate friends and families achievements on your personal accounts. Why not use your company’s account to celebrate your graduate’s achievements and show your followers how proud you are. This is probably one of the easiest and free celebration ideas but may open new doors for your graduates. Talk about the projects they were involved in or goals they have achieved; trust us there will be enough to celebrate.
These are some ideas to make your virtual celebration for graduate schemes or programmes a success. You’ll never go wrong when you show that you appreciate their hard work and keep their interests in mind. Virtual celebrations are not the same as in-person events but trust us there are enough opportunities to give your graduates the chance for an appropriate celebration.