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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

Virtual Facilitation Recipe: How to Run a Surprise Celebration for a Colleague

[Virtual #Facilitation recipe: how to run a ✨surprise✨ celebration for a colleague] This week I learned something new about how to surprise and celebrate a colleague online…

For this gathering, we wanted to say thank you to a special colleague for their contributions and efforts. It was so fun to be a participant in this and see how this was all set it all up. I’m going to try it out sometime, so I noted down the recipe.

Here it is:

Prep time: 2-3 weeks.


1. One person should set up a “proxy" meeting with the person you want to celebrate. But don’t say anything about the surprise!

2. Then set up another group meeting (at the same time) inviting all the people who would like join the celebration

3. Next, set up a kudoboard and send it round ahead of the meeting for people to sign

4. Also, you can set up a contribution fund for anyone who wants to contribute to a gift


A) Start the group meeting and make sure everyone is present

B) Get the person you’re celebrating to accept a request to enter the group meeting call. They should be waiting on the other proxy call in any case.

C) As soon as they enter the virtual room, everyone claps or hits the reactions for ‘applause'

D) Have one person explain the surprise and say a note of thanks

E) Share the filled out e-card in the chat box

F) And finally send a link to the gift card by email

A couple of other things I might add next time:

- Asking people to come prepared to share a memorable, funny, or happy moment in relation to working with the person in the chat box

- Taking a screenshot of the group on video all waving at the same time

I’ve never seen a virtual celebration done like this before. It was so thoughtful and such fun to join in with. So I’m sending many kudos and hat tips to my colleague and fellow #REEBN committee member Ryan Davis for conducting it all so beautifully.

And of course: sending a special thank you to Agnes Xia-Hu, who has been the most special and supportive Co-Chair of the #RacialEqualityandEthnicityBalanceNetwork for the last two years. I’ve been lucky to work with you on this even though our time was short together. You are so missed already.

We didn’t take a group pic, but I felt like this one captured the vibe well for how the party left us feeling. Will you try a virtual party like this in future? Have you done something similar in the past? Would love to know. 🙌

P.S. Still reading? All the way down to here?! ❤️

The theme of today’s posts are about gratitude and celebrations, and that is serendipitous as it just so happens to be my birthday. So, I hope you enjoyed this post - and if you are also born in the best month of the year, like Razeem Habeeb Mohamed & Noha Mousbah and me, happy birthday! 😁💃🏻

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