A few months ago, I learned about an animal sanctuary called Sweet Farm that was offering a unique service during the pandemic: For a donation, you can have Sweet Farm arrange for one of their llamas to attend your Zoom meeting.
From a business perspective, I though this was brilliant. The sanctuary probably saw a huge drop in visitors this spring, so this is a way to help them stay afloat. And it’s such an odd, charming novelty–look at the screenshot below from the Sweet Farm website. It’s weird and wonderful. I would have already done this for my bi-weekly virtual game night if the llamas were available a little later in the evening.
I struggle to think of a better animal than a llama to join a Zoom call, as their glib facial expressions fit perfectly for meetings. But I’m sure there are some fun alternatives out there–can you think of some? I think it’s key that the animal is willing to hang out near the camera for the 10 minutes it’s on the call and stay awake. That narrows the field quite a bit. If a llama weren’t an option, I might go with an owl–they have a certain intensity would work well for this format.