In the days before the lockdown life came to us all, only a limited number of businesspeople and techno-geeks could tell you the ins-and-outs of online meetings and the technology that accompanied them.
Now we're all instant Zoom experts, Skype wizards and Houseparty connoisseurs. We use them for work, for family, for church get-togethers, virtual kiddies' parties and a whole lot more besides.
We understand the tech and we talk the lingo. All in a few short months!
New industry to liven up your online meetings
Now there's an entire cottage industry that's grown up around the idea of enhancing your online meetings and adding a bit of fun and entertainment.
How about booking an alpaca who lives in rural England to make an appearance at that boring Zoom finance meeting every Friday afternoon? That could put a bit of life into the bean-counters, couldn't it?
Or what about a virtual magician, who will amaze with his tricks and sleight of hand for granny's birthday get-together on Houseparty?
Let the digital caricaturist sketch your guests
Here's another idea. What about having a digital caricaturist quietly join your marketing strategy meeting and beaver away from his home in Las Vegas, creating caricatures of the people he sees on screen and then presenting it to them – digitally of course – at the end of the session?
If you're using Zoom, our digital caricaturist can even join participants individually in a 'breakout room', where they can interact one-on-one with him while the rest carry on with their discussion.
Services undreamed-of in the pre-virus world
No, I haven't been desperately sucking the brandy out of grandma's old Christmas cake that somebody left in the freezer three years ago. These are real people offering real, somewhat out-of-the-box, services that were undreamed off when 2020 kicked off.
Sweet Farm, a venue in the US that has 125 rescued 'Animal Ambassadors', will arrange for one of them to make a 10-minute cameo appearance during your online meeting. "We'll call in to your meeting and bring smiles to your co-workers faces" says the description on the website. All for only US$100. Go here for more info: https://www.sweetfarm.org/goat-2-meeting
Let the alpacas from Scotland entertain the kids
Or, at Bowbridge Alpacas in Scotland, you can book a 30-minute Zoom appearance by some of these delightful animals. The handlers will tell you about the alpacas and also answer your questions. All for only 30 pounds (around R640). Find more info here: https://www.bowbridgealpacas.com/product-page/alpaca-zoom-party
And if you fancy the Las Vegas caricaturist you'll need to book him through an agency called Scarlett Entertainment that operates around the world. They can also arrange the magician. Get more info here: https://www.scarlettentertainment.com/ideas-blog/10-ideas-creating-the-ultimate-zoom-meeting
After this, online get-togethers will never be the same!