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  • The Chopping Blog

Virtual Events are the Only Choice Right Now

Posted by Andrea on Aug 31, 2020



COVID-19 has changed the course of many businesses, including ours. It was always part of The Chopping Block's strategic plan as one of the largest recreational cooking schools in the country to offer virtual classes and private events. We just didn't anticipate doing it so soon! But now that we have jumped into the virtual world knives first, we've realized there are a lot of advantages for both our students and clients. 

Virtual Knows No Boundaries

The biggest advantage of pivoting to virtual is the ability to get more people cooking outside of only our audience in Chicago. Virtual does not limit us geographically, so it's been so cool to see students joining us for cooking classes from California, Iowa, Texas, Canada and Florida, just to name a few places. It definitely helps us move forward in our mission to get this country to cook!

Our private event clients also recognize that same advantage with virtual events, because they are able to reach more people. Because of this, many of them tell us they don't see the virtual option going away anytime soon, even once we are safely able to return to larger gatherings.

Charlie Burns who is an Outreach Specialist with Wounded Warrior Project has booked multiple private cooking events with us, largely because he can reach more warriors. "With virtual, we're able to really hone in and engage with those warriors who are not able to come out to our face-to-face events for different reasons. Perhaps they are not able to get out, they may have disabled children, or have a large family and can't afford it. Virtual events allow us to be able to reach smaller communities where we typically wouldn't normally do face-to-face events. No one is left out with virtual!" says Charlie. 

Wounded Warrior

Charlie engages his group with all types of virtual events, from Lego challenges to Q&A with comedians and athletes to DIY terrarium projects. Cooking has been popular with the veterans and helps meet the group's mission to connect, serve and empower warriors, which is why he is a repeat client. "My warriors have told me they appreciate the fantastic recipe ideas, enjoy the great Q&A with the chefs, learn new tips and tricks in the kitchen and many of them also express gratitude because these events have got their kids interested in cooking with them," said Charlie.

Wounded Warrior Project isn't the only group who realizes that virtual is our new future... at least for a while. Mintel, BNY Mellon and Abbvie have booked multiple virtual events because of a need for team building and  boosting employee morale. No matter the industry, a fun and engaging cooking event can bring people together and show unity and support through this pandemic.

All in the Family

But it's not just corporations who have had the joy of cooking together through Zoom. We're hosting more family celebrations so that people can come together and celebrate milestones like birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. With travel bans currently in place in many states, people aren't able to come together in person, so gathering virtually is really the only safe choice right now. 

Cook Along Burritos Screenshot 5-7-20-1

Raise Money Virtually

Fundraisers have been canceled this year, but organizations can still gain the support they need without being able to do in-person events. Once The Chopping Block pivoted to virtual classes and events, we realized that partnering with not-for-profit organizations was one way we could help get the word out about our new virtual offerings and give back to our community by helping to raise money for the organizations at the same time. Our charitable giving initiative was highlighted in this article, along with other Chicago businesses. 

We've worked with Center on Halsted, Northside Housing and Supportive Services, American Bar Foundation, LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Green City Market and American Cancer Society, plus many more not for profits. Our long-time partnership with Common Threads took a virtual turn this summer as we co-hosted a cooking class that raised nearly $1300 that will help provide children and families cooking and nutrition education to encourage healthy habits that contribute to wellness. 


Our Owner/Chef Shelley Young explains why the partnership makes sense, "“I have been honored to support Common Threads in some capacity since its inception. Our mission at The Chopping Block is to ‘get people cooking,’ and this relates so closely with Common Threads’ mission that I feel as though we are business cousins. We understand that when people cook, they tend to eat healthier and when people are healthier, they have the ability to lead full lives. Who wouldn’t want to support that?” Read more about our efforts with Common Threads in their blog post. 


Whether you want to gather together with friends and family, reunite your team virtually to stay connected or pull together an amazing fundraiser and achieve your goals quickly and seamlessly, we have a virtual private event option for you. Want other ideas for team building activities? Let's Roam puts together corporate team building scavenger hunts, and The Chopping Block's cooking events are listed on their Top 14 Fun Team Building Ideas in Chicago

Learn more about Virtual Private Events


Topics: private event, cooking classes, private party, virtual

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