What Is A Virtual Brown Bag

Have you ever heard of the term brown bag, and you keep wondering what it is? Did it initially seem confusing why so much importance is given to something as literal as a brown bag, or are you just wrong?

It would be surprising to know that the average understanding of a brown bag or a virtual brown is wrong. So, if it is not what you think it is, what is a virtual brown bag?

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Virtual Brown Bag

Applicably, a brown bag meeting is an informal meeting or training that generally occurs in the workplace around lunchtime. This type of meeting is referred to as a brown bag meeting or a brown bag seminar because participants typically bring their lunches, which are associated with being packed in brown paper bags.

A short presentation or seminar on a given subject, especially one shown at lunchtime. Meetings of this kind don’t necessarily have to occur during the lunch hour and can take place during the workday or after hours. They usually are held in conference rooms. These meetings are also called lunch and learn sessions.

Brown bags are a great way to dip your toes into public speaking. They are essentially a group lunch, but one of you gives a brief talk on a topic you’re interested in.

These sessions are easy to run and tend to be very short, which is less intense for you and the people you’re talking to.

It usually aids shy speakers who are interested in the art of public speaking to start small before taking the bulls by the horn. Brown bags are generally in a small group setting; it then graduates to groups of 20-30 persons at a single sitting.

Virtual Brown bags, therefore, describe the art of virtually engaging in public speaking, which is not physically existing but is made by software to appear to do so. A Virtual Brown Bag refers to an online meeting where attendees can talk shop, share tips & tricks, and get help from others.

Some have always assumed that public speaking events are for experts. Those with many years of general speaking experience. But really, anyone can do it. With the growing popularity of technology, you can set up your virtual brown bag anywhere.

Team bonding is created through formal and informal interactions. When teams work virtually, their interactions are dominated by formal meetings. Virtual socializing aids these bonds outside real-life interactions.

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How A Virtual Brown Bag Is Carried Out

Just like a regular brown bag is carried, the techniques are extrapolated and applied without physical contact in real-time. During the Covid, most companies and organizations adopted the brown bag meetings virtually, usually to keep company work afloat. How is this carried out?

Fixing An Ideal Date And Time

An ideal date notifies your audience, colleagues, classmates, etc. when to connect to your meeting.

Send An Invite Link

Most Virtual applications and hosts normalize the act of sharing links for a virtual connection. For example, the zoom links are shared among users to connect to meetings held at a particular time with audiences worldwide.

You can hold a virtual brown bag anywhere, and it does not have to be a room with hundreds of people. It can be with small groups like your work colleagues, classmates, or an online community. It could even be with only one other person. So if you have a unique story to share, there will be someone who wants to hear it.

Choose A Topic

The beauty of choosing your topics is that they can be anything you like. From your work methods to a personal hobby, there’s always a story you can share that will be unique to you.

You can also learn what to talk about from the people around you. I was unsure what to talk about, so I posted a poll in my community with some options for topics. Summarily, carrying out a virtual brown bag is as easy as you think it should be. 

Types of Virtual Brown Bags 

There are four primary types of Virtual brown bags.


A seminar is the most common and usually includes a guest speaker or expert who transfers their knowledge and experience about a specific topic to the gathering. This format often consists of a short question-and-answer period at the end of the session.


Each participant virtually participates in a small group virtual brown bag in a question and answer session. These questions are already predefined.

The questions go around to all participants until everyone has contributed. This method is done to troubleshoot problems, providing long-lasting solutions.

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Combination Meeting 

This is a seminar and a small group meeting combined. The brown bag starts with the speaker presenting a unique topic for the discussion.

After which, the meeting is transitioned to a small group format where ideas are brainstormed and problems solved whilst developing a team-building spirit.

After which, the results are presented to the meeting at large and the ideas are transferred to the collective members. In most organizations, the Virtual brown bad is the sole means of achieving this dialogue.

Social Meeting 

This type of brown bag allows participants to get to know each other in a relaxed setting at their comfort, which is the sole aim and benefit of a virtual brown bag.

Participants may learn each other’s roles and career objectives. This format tends to build trust and promote cohesiveness among employees.

This social brown bag can help discuss issues that may not be work-related but upbuilding for each employee. Virtual Brown bags promote dialogue and information sharing among participants, which then enhances training and ensures consistent dissemination of information.


  • A Virtual brown bag is an informal meeting that takes place virtual with a workplace simulation, generally around lunchtime.
  • Brown bag meetings are typically informal training and learning sessions that are offered by employers.
  • Topics for brown bag meetings can be work-related or geared toward helping employees with their lives outside work.
  • The seminar, small group meeting, combined meeting, and social meeting are the four most common types of (virtual) brown bag meetings.
  • Virtual Brown bags foster sharing of information and teamwork and help ensure a consistent message is delivered.

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