NovaFest: The first virtual wellbeing festival of its kind 

Coming together in 2020 is a really rare treat

-NovaFest attendee

How to motivate, engage and thrive as a remote working team 

Remote working, disparate team members, work-life balance, wellbeing, maintaining social connections and mental health are just some of the challenges 2020 has brought to our working lives. 

At Novacroft, with most of our team working from home, during the past six months we’ve strived to come up with creative ways to keep our team connected and engaged. 

Adapting to thrive

We’ve launched online team coffee mornings, we’ve become pros at video calling and virtual check ins, we’ve held team quizzes. We even launched a team art competition designed to encourage self expression, recognise learnings from this historic time, and foster belonging. 

All of those things have been successful, yet we were passionate to do more, and to have some fun, together. 

We’re a team that loves innovating and are firm believers in adapting not just to survive, but to thrive. So why not do something a bit different? That’s how our first virtual team wellbeing festival came about.


NovaFest, held online over two days, was a team wellbeing event encompassing learning, creativity, health and wellbeing, fun and games and music zones with, in true festival style, a professional Ibiza DJ streaming live to the team. 

Check out the highlights:

And one of the teaser films we prepared in the run up to the event:

NovaFest is about unity. One team, coming together to have fun.

-Debra Charles, Founder & CEO, Novacroft

We organised a range of 30-60 minute sessions including: 

  • Yoga
  • Guidance from our entrepreneur CEO on personal vision hunting
  • Learning focussed on Black History Month
  • Live cookery demos
  • An interactive fitness session
  • A discussion on trauma, transformation and growth led by a professional psychotherapist
  • A quiz night
  • The launch of a team choir
  • Ibiza DJs live streaming

NovaFest branding was created and a campaign to launch and inform the team was set up, complete with a NovaFest microsite. 

Learning opportunities, fun and interaction with others were the most important factors in team member’s decisions to attend NovaFest

-NovaFest feedback survey

Team spirit

For the event to truly engage, we needed to involve our team from the outset. 

We outlined our idea during a whole-team meeting and asked what they would like to see, what would excite them, and offered opportunities to deliver sessions. The response was overwhelming. Amazing experts from yoga specialists and trained sports scientists to singing/sound experts and seasoned quiz masters all stepped forward.

Here’s a flavour of what was on offer…

 I’m keen to bring together the talent at Novacroft, have a lot of fun singing and come away with a fantastic example of how a positive attitude and an embracing of technology can create powerful moments.

-Mike, NovaFest Choir Master

Team members were invited to join our 15 live sessions for free, with an on demand option available for all, with additional supporting materials such as recipe cards and yoga flows to try at home.

Impact and outcomes

81% of attendees rated their NovaFest experience ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’

-NovaFest feedback survey

Dr. Colin Wilson [psychotherapist and guest speaker] was fantastic, not only for learning but also for my wellbeing. It was also highly relevant at a time of being in a pandemic.

-NovaFest attendee

The quiz night really made all of us feel like a family and I loved it.

-NovaFest attendee


I’m passionate that this festival leaves a legacy.

-Debra Charles, Founder & CEO, Novacroft

NovaFest is the beginning of something special. In the months ahead, we’ll be doing more of the things that were most impactful, from mindfulness to singing and learning, to maintain team engagement and an authentic connection with the people at the heart of our organisation.

Novacroft is the most supportive, friendly organisation I have ever worked with. The great atmosphere makes all the difference.

-NovaFest attendee

#NovaFest #LoveNovacroft