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Active Engagement:

How to Keep Virtual Participants Plugged In!

Now that virtual meetings are commonplace, keeping attendees engaged while they’re remote can be challenging. When designing virtual meetings, planners are purposely inserting activities for fun, whether it’s during an opening session, a midday break, or a virtual happy hour.

In our August program, we’ll look at ways to build community, spark attendee creativity, and develop memorable and meaningful activities. Which activities can be done in a general session and which are more conducive to breakout sessions?

We’ll hear from several engagement providers, participate in demos, and discuss obstacles and best practices from the planners in the audience.

Participating speakers will come from:

  • The creative business solutions arm of The Second City, the world’s premier comedy theater and largest school of improvisation
  • Feet First Entertainment, specializing in live virtual game shows and scavenger hunts
  • Piccles, the virtual engagement tool in which attendees create instant drawings to share their feelings

Come prepared to play games and have fun with your RHMP colleagues!


The Second City has helped launch the careers of some of comedy’s biggest names, including Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Aidy Bryant, Steve Carell, John Candy, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Bonnie Hunt, Keegan-Michael Key, Eugene Levy, Jack McBrayer, Andrea Martin, Tim Meadows, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Gilda Radner, Chris Redd, Sam Richardson, Amber Ruffin, Joan Rivers, Amy Sedaris, Martin Short, Betty Thomas, Nia Vardalos, and Fred Willard. With theaters in Chicago and Toronto, Second City Training Centers in Chicago, Toronto, and Hollywood, and multiple traveling Theatrical and Touring Company ensembles, The Second City has performed for audiences worldwide. They’ve also taken improv off the stage with Second City Works, expanding their business to include collaborations with corporate clients, in addition to developing Second City’s TV, film & digital productions.

Nicole Cylkowski - Second City Director of Group Sales and Events   Nicole Cylkowski - Second City Director of Group Sales and Events

Phone: 312-487-1015



Nicole Cylkowski has acquired more than 15 years of experience in broadcast media and high scale events. Some of that expertise includes producing live, Emmy award winning television shows, corporate branding and events. She is currently, developing an events department from the ground up at The Second City.

Nicole’s love for creating unique client experiences started when she was a member of the Audience Department for the award winning, The Oprah Winfrey Show. She took that above and beyond mentality to Macy’s and helped elevate customer events for the Midwest region while also contributing to iconic events such as the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Nicole was excited to bring her production and event skills to The Second City about 2 years ago to develop targeted messaging, create a new compelling client journey and executed projects flawlessly in this collaborative team environment.

Anneliese Toft - Second City Director and Facilitator   Anneliese Toft - Second City Director and Facilitator

Anneliese Toft has been fortunate enough to design and direct dozens of Second City Works experiences over the last 7 years.  Harnessing improvisation to tackle client needs from a wide range of industries including pharmaceuticals, clothing retail, paper products, quick service restaurants, health beverages, and vehicle rental, as well as nonprofit organizations taking on important work like chronic pain and aging.  Most recently, she has focused on custom online sketch, improv, and workshop experiences--bringing connectivity, teamwork, and fun to dozens of digital events over the last 5 months.

Outside of Second City works, Anneliese is a two-time resident stage director for The Second City--having directed the last two consecutive ETC shows: Grinning from Fear to Fear and Gaslight District. She has also directed dozens of projects for Second City Theatricals including all three Second City Touring companies, shows aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines, and the Second City collaboration with the Lyric Opera, Louder! Longer! Wagner. 

Feet First Eventertainment was founded in 1988 by two brothers who created games and challenges for TV shows such as Survivor, Endurance, & Legends of the Hidden Temple. They soon evolved into creating effective corporate team-building events. They currently have 5 various programs for virtual meetings, including Cyber Sleuths, Game Show Extravaganza, But Wait There’s More, Amazing Cyberspace Race, and the Water Works program (a CSR event). All of these programs are hosted live by emcees & facilitators who ran their in-person events. Feet First has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Arizona and their team can create fun and memorable programs for participants around the world.

Justin Earp - Feet First Director of Sales & Operations Justin Earp - Feet First Director of Sales & Operations

Phone: 310.641.1844



A native of Harrisburg, PA, serves in the Marine Corps Reserves and just completed a successful deployment in 2019. In 2014 Justin opened Feet First Eventertainment’s first satellite office outside of their Los Angeles headquarters. Justin loves his job, kids, outdoors, paddle boarding, craft beer and whiskey, and knows how to lead people to have more fun.

Piccles comes from a combination of pictures and pixels. Their interactive platform allows users to quickly draw images which can be shared with other eventgoers. It’s quick and simple for everyone to participate, with no downloads necessary. Great for icebreakers, audience response, networking, collaboration, and brainstorming. Team members are based in Montreal and Boston.

Chris Bent, Founder, Piccles Chris Bent, Founder, Piccles

Phone: (978) 407-9868



Chris Bent was born an entrepreneur, and started businesses to scratch his creative itch.  He became obsessed with creativity when he got his first soul crushing corporate job and lost that outlet for creative expression. Winner of the MIT Creative Arts Competition, he is now building a creative audience engagement tool and is passionate about helping others reach their creative potential. 

The views and opinions expressed during programs organized by Reston Herndon Meeting Planners (RHMP) are those of the speakers and participants and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of RHMP or its committee members.

Reston Herndon Meeting Planners (RHMP) 

APEX Meetings is the managing agent for RHMP

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