Virtual Lunch and Learn is the New Lunch Meeting
Itching to host the next lunch and learn, but struggling to figure out how to do so purely online? Why not schedule a virtual lunch and learn?
Sure, you can reminisce about the days, prior to COVID-19, when hosting a lunch and learn consisted of invitations, ordering lunch or snacks, preparing and presenting a topic to a group of interested individuals. Lunch and learn sessions were likely held in-office in a conference room or break room area. No matter who the audience, it was live and in-person — with food.
Reminiscing is fantastic, but it is not making moves, and that’s the goal, right? You can host a virtual lunch and learn, even when the entire office is working from home and the conference room is empty due to social distancing.
What is a Lunch and Learn?
If you are not familiar with “lunch and learns”, they are short, informal presentations, or educational sessions scheduled during lunchtime.
Often, lunch and learns are used as a means to gather employees together and teach them something new or promote personal development. A lunch and learn is always voluntary, never mandatory, and lunch is provided by the employer during the time the lunch and learn is scheduled.
A lunch and learn may seem tough to pull off during a pandemic, when employees are working remotely, but it can be done.
First Things First…Lunch.
Okay, yes, it is 2020, but sending food virtually through the telephone still isn’t a thing (*cough*cough* Hello, Mr. Tesla. Any chance this is coming our way?). And since this probably will not be happening within the near future, planning other ways to virtually share lunch exist. Creativity is just key. Here are a few clever ways to keep the lunch and learn concept without losing one key part…lunch.
Utilize Delivery Apps
One way to still provide session participants a lunch is to utilize GrubHub, DoorDash, or another food delivery app. Due to the high demand for food delivery this year, there are plenty of apps to choose from.
Three Ways to Make a Virtual Lunch Work
1. eGift Cards For Lunch
Send out GrubHub eGift or DoorDash eGift Cards via email to participants for about $10-$15 each. Send each eGift at least one day prior to the lunch and learn session. This way, participants can redeem their eGift for the lunch of their choice during the time of the presentation.
2. Order Lunch To Attendees Homes
If you are having a lunch and learn for less than 7 people, (this is to keep your stress levels down) ask your participants if they are interested in lunch from a certain global place (e.g. Panera Bread online orders). Restaurants such as Panera Bread allow online ordering AND delivery.
Simply inform all participants who RSVPed “attending” to the lunch and learn that you will be ordering them lunch from Panera Bread. Send out a simple Survey Monkey questionnaire asking for their orders and addresses. Be sure to add the menu of said restaurant into the survey to make it easier on participants. Also be sure to provide a monetary amount
Please keep in mind that some of your participants may live in extremely rural areas. This could pose as a slight hiccup in the lunch-delivery plan. Oftentimes, when it comes to super rural areas, food apps do not offer delivery.
Quick Fix – You could offer those who do not have delivery available in their area an eGift to redeem at a grocery store. This way they can purchase a lunch of their choice. Places like Giant Eagle, Kroger, and Wegmans offer pre-made subs, soups, sandwiches and more.
The last option is a little more relaxed for the host of the lunch and learn. Send a message to all participants attending (or even within the invitation to prepare them ahead of time.) Within said message, suggest that each attendee grab their lunch and bring it to their computer to enjoy during the presentation.
Keep in mind, this option is not ideal, for lunch and learns are technically to provide lunch to the attendees while they learn, but as a last resort, it can work.
Find a Host for The Content
Continuously hosting lunch and learn events while offices are closed due to a pandemic is important. Many individual employees are working from home and craving interaction and new knowledge. There are a few ways to easily host an online, virtual lunch-and-learn presentation.
Hire a Company To Host and Do The Heavy-Lifting
Did you know that particular companies offer event hosting and set everything up FOR you? Not to toot our own horns, but here at Steady State media, we offer packages to host your online events through the InEvent platform. With our way of hosting virtual events, you can schedule up to one lunch and learn per month.
The best part is, your hosting can be used for up to a year, with each seat only needing to be paid for one time. This means if you host a 50 minute lunch and learn in March and there are 45 attendees, you can then host a lunch and learn of 45 attendees per month, with no additional cost involved. If you are interested in learning more about virtual lunch and learn sessions being hosted FOR you, contact us today.
Zoom Back to Your Computer Chair Again
Zoom is great, but also completely in the host’s hands to plan and execute meetings within the platform. If you are okay with completely being in charge of said lunch and learn, then Zoom can work for you.
Keep in mind, if you are hosting on your own with Zoom, if you run into any issues, you are pretty much on your own. Hosting in this manner can potentially be more stressful than using a third party to help.
There are plenty of other ways to go about hosting a virtual lunch and learn, however, these are our top tips and suggestions. 2021 sounds like the perfect time to host a fully-online lunch and learn within your organization, and now you are prepared to do so.