Remote communication

How to Motivate & Inspire Teams With a Virtual Kick Off Meeting

Published on June 7, 2023 • About 8 min. read

Increase attendance with these virtual event email templates.

How to Motivate & Inspire Teams With a Virtual Kick Off Meeting

Launching a new year without a company kick-off is like setting off an expedition without a map. To make sure everyone is moving in the right direction, you need to help employees get aligned on your company vision and strategic mission.

But don’t forget morale! A boring virtual kick-off event could kill your team’s creativity rather than inspire them for the year ahead. With the right planning, a powerful virtual meeting platform, and some engaging ideas, your kick-off meetings will help fire up your team and equip them to collaborate effectively.

In this article, you’ll find expert tips for running a successful virtual company kick-off, exploring event ideas, and crafting the perfect meeting agenda to keep your team motivated.


Inspire your team with game-changing virtual kick-offs

Streamline and automate internal communications for unforgettable meetings.


Access these 6 email templates to drive attendance to your virtual events.

How to run a virtual company kickoff event

Before you get started running your virtual company kick-off, it's worth knowing that you can choose between a live or pre-recorded format. Let's look at the difference between them.

Live virtual kick-off

A live virtual kick-off event is an online internal meeting that happens in real time. Just like the in-person version, its purpose is to inspire and align employees. While you may also touch on some strategies for the year, the primary focus of the event is to unite and motivate your team for success.

To ensure a successful company kickoff event, follow these steps:

  1. Gather employee feedback
  2. Choose a date and time
  3. Plan interactive elements
  4. Include comfort breaks

Gather employee feedback

Before your kick-off, it’s essential to assess your team’s energy and identify areas of growth for the upcoming fiscal year. An end-of-year survey will help you understand employees’ sentiments and pinpoint their concerns. Consider asking about job satisfaction, challenges faced, communication within the organization, professional development opportunities, and overall work-life balance.

Once you’ve captured these valuable insights, you can tailor your virtual kick-off event to address employee needs and make them feel heard. Kick-starting the new year with a well-informed motivational event shows your organization’s dedication to employee wellbeing and can boost morale.

Choose a date and time

Depending on your organization, you may choose to schedule the event at the start of the new fiscal year or the new calendar year. Either way, the kick-off is a good opportunity to turn a new leaf. We’d also recommend aiming for early to mid-week gatherings - when the majority of your workforce is likely to be online. With remote teams, it can be tricky to coordinate schedules and time zones, so book your kick-off far in advance to get maximum engagement.

Plan interactive elements

When you make space for attendees to interact with each other, you facilitate a more natural, lively event, which helps avoid loss of focus and bored attendees. Use breakout rooms to facilitate small group discussions and team-building activities. Depending on your meeting platform, you can use features like live chat and emoji reactions to create a fun virtual event while encouraging communication and camaraderie among employees.

Pro tip: If you’re using Livestorm, make sure attendees know how to use the question upvoting feature in the Q&A tab. This will help you prioritize questions based on their popularity and relevance to attendees.

Livestorm’s interactive emoji reactions and live chat features

Include comfort breaks

Let’s face it, virtual events can be lengthy, and even the most engaged participants need a breather. Well-timed comfort breaks give your team an opportunity to recharge and socialize. Set aside 5 or 10 minutes for attendees and speakers to grab a sip of water. To avoid dead space, create a poll or share a slide with conversation prompts for anyone left in the call to enjoy


A pre-recorded company kick-off gives you and the event speakers more flexibility to create content when your schedule allows. With Livestorm, you can pre-record an event and allow employees to access it “on-demand” (i.e. whenever suits them best) or you can emulate a live experience by scheduling the event to play automatically at a specific time.

The best part of scheduling a pre-recorded webinar or kick-off events is that you can assign a moderator to facilitate interactive elements, like a Q&A, so you get an automated workflow without sacrificing employee engagement. To plan a pre-recorded kick-off event, you just need to follow the same steps listed above and, if you’re using Livestorm, follow our guide to event automation.

Team members attending live kickoff meeting hosted in Livestorm

6 Engaging virtual kick off event ideas

Banish Zoom fatigue for good with captivating virtual kick-off event activities that keep your team focused and collaborative. Try these kick-off event ideas to keep things interesting:

  1. Virtual games
  2. Company awards
  3. Lightning talks
  4. Goal-setting workshop
  5. Ten-Minute Meetups
  6. Custom virtual backgrounds

Virtual Games

There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to get people energized. Try a few simple games geared towards problem-solving, team building, and creative thinking:

  • GeoGuessr - geographic trivia
  • Guesswho - quizzes on Kahoot
  • - like online Pictionary

Pro tip: You don’t necessarily need to sign up to a third party site or app to play games. With Livestorm, you can jump in breakout rooms to answer quiz questions or use polls and share a timer on your screen for a quick, DIY trivia game.

Livestorm’s screen sharing feature for collaborative team building activities

Company awards

Celebrate your team’s achievements by hosting a company awards section in your virtual kick off event. Recognize outstanding accomplishments, exceptional team players, and innovative ideas with personalized awards. With Livestorm, you can encourage team members to use emoji reactions and the chat tab to praise and support each other in real time.

Lightning talks

Keep your virtual meetings engaging and informative by inviting team members from different departments to host lightning talks, i.e. brief, impactful presentations on a range of topics. This way, you’ll encourage cross-functional learning while empowering employees to showcase their skills and gain visibility within the company. If you’re on Livestorm, you can use the simultaneous speaker feature to run multiple presentations at once—and the Q&A functionality lets everyone chime in with questions.

Goal-setting workshop

You may already have KPIs, but have you heard of OKRs? Objectives and key results (OKRs) is a goal-setting framework that focuses on achieving large goals through identifying small, measurable results. It’s especially effective for people who aren’t numbers driven and don’t find KPIs that motivating. Help employees set departmental OKRs by guiding them through interactive exercises and group discussion. With breakout sessions and digital whiteboards (we love Mural for this), you can easily create spaces for brainstorming which helps build shared goals and togetherness.

Ten-Minute Meetups

Enhance your virtual kick-off event with Ten-Minute Meetups. These quick, one-on-one chat sessions let team members catch up or make new connections in a relaxed and personal atmosphere. You’ll give everyone the chance to connect and feel more invested in their teammates. This is especially helpful for remote teams, who can feel isolated and demotivated when they don’t have enough interaction with their colleagues.

Custom virtual backgrounds

Encourage attendees to choose a background that represents their personality, interests, or even a glimpse of their goals for the year. It's a great conversation starter and helps team members protect their privacy while working remotely.

Pro tip: Livestorm's virtual background feature allows everyone to easily customize their background by choosing from our virtual background library or uploading their own images.

Livestorm’s virtual background library for virtual events

Access these 6 email templates to drive attendance to your virtual events.

Company kick-off meeting agenda

An effective company kick-off meeting agenda keeps you organized, makes sure nothing gets skipped, and increases engagement. It’s not like a run of show which gives you a detailed minute-to-minute breakdown of your event, but it helps employees mentally prepare by giving a high-level outline of what to expect.

Below is a sample agenda that you can use as a starting point for your own kick-off meeting.

2024 Livestorm Company Kick-off

Attendees: Company-wide

Date: Wednesday, 3 April 2024

Duration: 1hr

Meeting goal

To inspire and align employees with the company's strategic objectives and celebrate our shared successes.

Welcome and arrivals [5 mins]

Intro music: 'I'm Still Standing' by Elton John

Game: “Where was this picture taken?”

Our company culture [5 mins]

A keynote presentation showcasing Livestorm's core mission, values and culture.

2023: Year in review [5 mins]

A recap of the company's key milestones and achievements from the previous year.

2023: Your feedback, our response [10 mins]

Addressing your feedback and highlighting improvements implemented based on your suggestions.

Comfort break [5 mins]

A short break to relax or network.

2024: Challenges and objectives [10 mins]

Outlining the company's primary goals and challenges for the upcoming year.

2024: Career development and opportunities [10 mins]

Discussing career growth opportunities and resources available to employees.

Wrap-up [5 mins]

Closing remarks and next steps.

Get, set, go: Host a killer company kick-off

In a nutshell, a brilliant virtual kick-off event can energize your team and set the tone for the year ahead. With Livestorm, it's much easier to create an interactive and engaging experience that keeps everyone connected, even when working remotely.

To start, pick a date and time that suits your team, avoiding major holidays and aiming for mid-week when possible. Next, build an agenda that's both informative and enjoyable, with a mix of presentations, workshops, and interactive activities tailored to different learning preferences.

Remember, the sky's the limit when it comes to fun virtual kick-off event ideas. Why not try virtual escape rooms, company awards, lightning talks, or goal-setting workshops? Don’t forget, you can use Livestorm’s features like breakout rooms, chat, and customized virtual backgrounds to create engaging online events.


Inspire your team with game-changing virtual kick-offs

Streamline and automate internal communications for unforgettable meetings.

Frequently asked questions about virtual company kickoffs

What is a virtual kick-off?

A virtual kick-off is an online event designed to bring together team members from an organization, usually at the beginning of a fiscal year. It aims to inspire, motivate, and align employees by setting goals, celebrating achievements, and discussing strategies for the upcoming year. Virtual kick-offs leverage digital platforms, like Livestorm, to facilitate interaction, engagement, and virtual team building among remote or distributed teams.

How do I run a virtual sales kickoff event?

Running a virtual sales kick-off event involves setting clear objectives, such as product launches or sales strategy sharing, and planning an engaging agenda with presentations, workshops, and interactive sessions. A reliable web-conferencing event platform like Livestorm, with its interactive features and seamless integration, promotes smooth communication.

Inform your team, salespeople, and stakeholders about the event and its details, and ensure presenters are well-prepared with rehearsals to avoid technical issues. Keep the audience engaged with features like polls, Q&A, breakout rooms, and chat, and gather feedback post-event to evaluate its success and identify areas for improvement.

What is the meaning of “kick-off meeting”?

A kick-off meeting is an initial gathering of project stakeholders or team members to discuss the objectives, strategies, and expectations of a project, campaign, or event. It sets the stage for collaboration, communication, and alignment among participants. The meeting provides an opportunity to clarify roles and responsibilities, establish timelines, address potential challenges, and foster a sense of shared purpose. In the context of a company or sales kick-off, the meeting aims to motivate and inspire employees for the upcoming year.