For its first virtual party, PayPal wanted to try to make the experience just as memorable as in-person events. The company commissioned a custom-designed, interactive platform where guests enter through a virtual lobby and select which activity they’re interested in joining. Nannini says making the interface inclusive and accessible was a priority. Closed captioning and language support is integrated into the design. “It’s something new and different we hadn’t tried before,” says Nannini. “We knew that the basic Microsoft Teams [interface] or a Zoom meeting wasn’t going to cut it.”

“If there was ever a year to try something new and out-of the-box, in my mind, this is it,” she adds. “We’re willing to learn and maybe this will inform how we think of gatherings for 2021.”

Nannini says the decision to proceed with the virtual party was based on feedback from staffers who said how much they valued the annual year-end celebration. This became especially crucial during a challenging year when majority of its workforce have had to deal with the stresses of working from home or fret about an unexpected round of layoffs. Staff wellness, she explains, is ultimately goal. “We needed to give our employees an opportunity to feel good again.”

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