Remote work is here to stay, prompting businesses to get creative when it comes to engaging their now-distributed workforce. One such are virtual scavenger hunt ideas.
Virtual scavenger hunts are online games where players are given a list of items to find, or to complete challenges before time runs out. It’s a fun way to bring out everyone’s competitive side. It encourages the team to think fast and race towards goals. Such activities engage employees. In fact, a SMARP survey reports that companies with high employee engagement are 22% more profitable!
In this blog, we’ll attempt to recreate the office vibes you’ve been missing lately by taking you through a few fun virtual scavenger hunt ideas!
1. What is an online scavenger hunt?
A virtual scavenger hunt is an online experience-based hunt that challenges players to find a set of items in a given time. The main aim is to explore different ways to stimulate the brain like
- Analytical thinking,
- Problem-solving abilities,
- Learning to work cohesively towards a common goal
- Looking for a particular object.
The activities in virtual scavenger hunts are planned in a way to engage the participants physically and mentally. The time limit is designed to create that sense of urgency to collect as many objects as you can find. For example, A time travel-themed treasure hunt that requires you to find a hidden treasure using a map.
2. Is a Virtual Scavenger Hunt a Team Building Exercise?
A virtual scavenger hunt gets teammates to work together while exercising their neurons. So yes, it most certainly is a team-building activity! Scavenger hunts vary from simple finding and collecting to stumbling upon clues or hints.
Synergy is the key to solving games like online scavenger hunts. When the efforts of a team are unified, there is a feeling of belonging and togetherness. Today, companies working on virtual platforms need to encourage that sense of unity in their workers no matter where they are geographical.
Games like the virtual Scavenger hunt are easy to plan and execute with gaming apps and digital platforms. It helps the employees to unplug from the work-related stress and bond with their teammates. Virtual scavenger hunts are also known as online or digital scavenger hunts.
3. Virtual Scavenger Hunt Games & Apps for Team Building
There are a multitude of websites and platforms that enable your teams to have surreal and enjoyable experiences. Let us explore some of them here :
3.1 The Zoom Dragon Slayer
There’s a dragon to slay! The question is, will your team be able to assemble themselves a weapon to vanquish this fire-breathing beast? Transform your regular zoom video conference into a themed scavenger hunt idea that your team can fully immerse themselves in.
Draw up a list of items to re-enact the drama of knights and dragons. Participants have to find everything under a timer. Set the limit for 10-15 minutes to give everyone sufficient time to hunt. The items can include something shiny and silvery to mimic a sword,or shield, helmet or an article of clothing or footwear. It should be something that everyone is likely to have lying around their house. Extra marks if they sport whatever they find! The team that makes it first with all the items to kill the dragon wins before the timer buzzes!
The team can get creative in the items they bring. Think about how funny it would be to see someone with a fruit basket turned upside-down over their head, brandishing a butter-knife to be a makeshift sword!
3.2 Social Media Scavenger Hunt
This is a trip that helps you put together memories. The social media scavenger hunt idea starts by creating a list of pictures everyone needs to unearth from the deep recesses of their social media profile. It can be anything, such as a team outing at a picnic, playing laser tag, a picture of you wearing red, a picture taken at a recent event, or the first photo you ever posted on facebook. Set a time limit of 5 mins or 10 mins depending upon the number of pics, and the participant who shares them all downloaded within the time limit is the winner.
3.3 C: geo- Geocaching Gaming App
C: geo is a free download app for all android phones. It is a fun way to try outdoor scavenger hunts. The app features interactive compasses and maps, making it easy to conduct location based scavenger hunts.
You can create a list of items and hint at possible locations they would be in. Make sure that these hints are moderately easy to solve, considering the given time frame.
3.4 Trivia based scavenger hunts
A customizable or Do It Yourself (DIY) way of conducting scavenger hunts. To win this virtual game, participants must solve logical and analytical problems to proceed with every game stage. Every trivia gives a clue and the direction to move, and finally, the player who solves all problems is the winner.
Ideally, based on the difficulty level, you could have 5 -10 questions- the last one being the toughest. Social Scavenger’s Team Edition tailors their team building activities to requests, and includes trivia, videos,photos or stickers. The game experience lasts for 30,45 or 60 minutes and teams have to complete as many challenges as possible in this time. The more creative the team’s submission, the more bonus points you are awarded by Social scavenger’s very own judges!
3.5 Netflix based Nature scavenger hunt
Let’s accept it; with the Covid restrictions and lockdowns in place, we have no choice but to stay indoors. We miss nature walks and exploring plants and animals; the only entertainment is either Netflix or Youtube.
So here is a scavenger hunt that carries us virtually outdoors and brings back the memories of mother nature. Download a checklist from the “Doing good together” website. You could start ticking off the list by casting a nature-based episode of “Our planet” or “Night on Earth,” etc.
3.6 Food based scavenger hunt
This is a call to all the group’s foodies, a virtual scavenger hunt could take your teams on a yummy riddle ride. Divide your participants into groups of 3 or 4 and pose the questions from the list of FoodRiddles.
The website has all the answers, with the questions all related to food. For example, the answer to the question: Which is the wealthiest nut? Is the cashew nut. You’ll find wordplay everywhere, which is interesting and fun!
3.7 Google-based scavenger hunt by Sessions
Besides their standard online scavenger hunt, Sessions Lab has virtual scavenger hunt ideas for students, kids and adults. The rules include not leaving your location, submitting only one item per entry and submitting photos and responses within the given time. Here are the steps to follow to play SessionLabs’ treasure or holiday-themed hunts;
Create a list of things you want your participants to find online. Make it fun with a peculiar GIF or funniest youtube video etc. To have it more on your organization’s lines, you could make a related list like memes on your industry- so that your employees relate to it.
If yours is a software business- you could ask your participants to find examples of the best “client’s expectations and delivery” memes as one of them. The list could be about 20 such items.
Break participants into separate groups. If the event is over a zoom call, divide them into individual breakout meetings and ensure they have collaborative tools like G-docs or whiteboards to upload all the items.
Start the timer and set your participants to begin the hunt. Ideally, a 10 -20 mins time limit should suffice.
Ensure your participants have access to the primary call while being moved to individual meetings. The team that collects all the items must announce their finds in the main room.
They must keep in mind the time limit and be savvy with the tools. You could run a mock session beforehand to familiarize everyone on board with how the tool works. They can make sure their audio and video works fine. Once they get used to the digital gaming platform, it will be easier to play and participate in the virtual scavenger hunt.
Post collecting; it is time for a debrief. With a time limit of 3 minutes, each group presents their set of items.
Take the participation to the next level. If you are using whiteboard tools like Miro or mural, it can be put to fun use too. Inter-team voting with Miro plugins’ help could bring about greater participation and interaction in the whole event. The rule is – they cannot vote for their own.
3.8 The Ultimate Virtual Scavenger Hunt: Treasure hunt
In this quest, the participants follow clues to escape a mysterious cabin in the woods. The engaging backgrounds and sounds bring out the best experiences to all. Escape game – divided into either a small -2-8 member game or a 9 to infinite member game. All the members work towards a shared goal; escaping the virtual room in a set time period.
With customers like Google and Netflix trying them out, it is sure to drive your team engagement up! Do remember to book slots in advance, as rates vary for weekdays and weekends.
3.9 Selfie scavenger hunt
This virtual scavenger hunt can be either an indoor event or outdoor event, and the outfits and the whole theme can be planned and executed in line.
Outdoor Adventures: with over 1000 reviews and 5-star ratings, LetsRoam offers incredible journeys and team-building activities that your team can enjoy. With service available in 400+ cities around the world, Let’s Roam’s outdoor scavenger hunts feature passes for 2,4 and 6 member teams.
Indoor Adventures: If you decide on indoor-based selfie scavenger hunts, Pinterest has some amusing ideas that your team can attempt.. Let’s Roam’s Roam-From-Home comprises trivia and themes for challenges. There are virtual team building, birthday parties,date nights and game nights!
3.10 Tool Enabled Virtual Scavenger Quest
Device and OS-compatible websites for virtual scavenger hunt ideas ensure that everyone can access the game from the device of their choosing. The Cluekeeper is one such platform with one of the best pre-designed hunts best suited for team-building activities. This location-based clue hunt uses Augmented Reality to provide the best experiences.
If you are out of preparation and ideas to host, this is one of the best options. You can receive clues on your mobile and submit answers. The online leaderboard tells you how many points you scored against the opposing team. The game is compatible with iPhone and Android.
4. How to host the perfect virtual scavenger hunt?
The first step to hosting the perfect virtual scavenger hunt is to decide when and how long it should go on for. Take care to give teams a heads up so that they can make themselves available to participate and enjoy. Here are some tips to help you conduct it without a hitch;
4.1 Plan ahead –
4.1.2 Select a theme – From the famous movie-based ideas like Indiana Jones to DIY ideas, there are many concepts to choose from.
4.1.3 Participants & outfits – Inform the participants to dress up based on the chosen theme.
4.1.4 Gifts & Rewards – Decide on the form of a prize to be awarded to the winner, be it a digital certificate, redeemable gift coupons or something more personalized, like an engraved trophy or memento.
4.1.5 Time – The most critical aspect of the hunt and the deciding factor is the time limit. Keep the list of activities in mind before setting the time limit- even better if you can run a mock drill and double-check if they can complete within the specified time.
4.1.6 List of activities – Customize the team’s activities by theme and purpose. For example, the goal of adventure quests is to send your team on a virtual time machine and have fun while doing so! You can start small with a DIY hunt for common items and then move on to bigger challenges.
4.1.7 Conduct as per the activity list – Stick to the time and activities no matter what. If you are using tools, have the user ids and passwords shared in advance. Running a mock drill can make you confident while conducting in bigger groups.
5. Theme ideas for the virtual Scavenger hunt:
A theme sets the ambiance and structure for your event. Adding fantasy can make the experience more memorable for virtual scavenger hunt participants. Additionally, you could take screenshots or photos of the event for your teams to look back on. Members can choose to decorate their workspace, or entire room in line with the game’s theme. .
To make it easy for all, use items that everyone has at home. Here are some simple virtual scavenger hunt theme ideas:
- Toilet paper Spooky party: be it the long hanging tissue curtain or upcycling the inner roll– the toilet tissue has multiple uses. Color, paint or wrap the leftover cardboard tube for a Boo-tiful Howl-o-ween ambiance. Soak the paper in black ink, draw some eyes & teeth and hand them upside down – they make some spooky bats. You could conduct murder mysteries to make the game apt for the theme.
- Mario theme: You could draw & cut up some mushrooms in the background and put on bright T-shirts.
- Retro theme: Have everyone dress up in the ‘80’s attire with bold colors, polka dots, and elaborate hairdos to set the mood. Treasure hunt theme: Deciphering the cryptic clues on Treasure Island is perfect for your team. Unearth the buried riches by putting on eye patches, hats, and go crazy, me hearties!
6. Feedback and Questions about the event
Understanding what your team feels about your effort to bring them together is crucial. Conduct post-event surveys, or encourage them to mail or leave comments in the chatbox. If you’re going with a specific vendor, players have the option to leave feedback on their experience. This can help game coordinators improve the gameplay, design, and accessibility of the hunt.
Feedback is also a means for teams to leave suggestions or virtual scavenger hunt ideas that you can play for the next event you organize!
The main aim of a team-building activity like the virtual scavenger hunt is to help your team relax, destress and bond with their teammates. Be it a team retreat, a team member’s birthday party, or a remote employee farewell, a virtual scavenger hunt can be a great way to involve all your team members.
Which of these virtual scavenger hunt ideas are you looking forward to trying?