December 1, 2022

Virtual Scavenger Hunts for Creative Team Building

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Looking for an enjoyable way to bring people together? Whether you’re concerned about team building within your business or just want to find a great way to help your community bond, a virtual scavenger hunt could be just the ticket. Not sure how they work or why a virtual scavenger hunt is a great choice? Don’t worry, we cover everything here you need to know.

What Is a Virtual Scavenger Hunt?

An online scavenger hunt is a combination of today’s digital technology with the time-honored fun of competing to find a list of items. You might be more familiar with alternate terms like ‘virtual treasure hunt’, but it comes down to the same thing – using digital technology like your smartphone to compete and win.

Virtual scavenger hunts are fun and can do so much more than just alleviate boredom. It’s a powerful way to bring your team together, help employees build necessary skills, improve engagement, boost productivity, critical thinking, creativity, and so much more.

How Does a Virtual Scavenger Hunt Work?

An online scavenger hunt works pretty much like its traditional counterpart, but with a few key differences:

  • No one is in the same physical location
  • Players all use digital devices to participate
  • They can include people from around the world as long as they can all be online at the same time

To begin, you’ll need to create a scavenger hunt list and find a way to host your event. Zoom is one option but has its limitations.

FYI – Everytale is an international virtual events platform where you can create, promote, and broadcast virtual events, including a remote scavenger hunt!

With the platform chosen and a list created, you’ll need to invite your attendees and lay out the directions. It’s usually best to keep these relatively simple, but you can add in layers of complexity if you want to help your players build their problem-solving skills, or if you want to see who will go the extra mile to find something out of the norm.

It’s best to set a time limit for the virtual treasure hunt and, if desired, break your group up into teams. This usually makes it easier for larger groups to participate. If you have only a few attendees, no problem, everyone can play on their own. All participants need is a list of things to find and a time limit. Oh, and their smartphone! They’ll need to use the camera and the Internet connection.

If you have participants from around the world, it might be hard for everyone to find identical items, so it’s worth considering the use of multiple lists for different geographic areas.

Once your participants find an item or complete a challenge on your scavenger hunt list, they take a picture of it and upload it to the platform. Then they move on to the next item. The team (or individual) that gets all the items, or the one with the most items found within the time limit wins.

How to Host a Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Now that we’ve talked about how virtual scavenger hunts work in broad strokes, we need to fill in some of the blanks. For instance, what are some of the best practices to use? How creative can you get with your ideas? What sort of activities or items can you choose?

1: Choose Your Format

One thing to consider is your format, which will largely depend on the people participating in the scavenger hunt. For instance, a church youth group and a group of coworkers would potentially require slightly different formats and lists. You will also need to consider the number of people participating, and whether you’ll need to break a large group into smaller teams. The right platform should be able to accommodate virtually any type of division needed, from entire departments within a company to project teams, groups from nonprofit organizations, and everything in between.

2: Choose Your Theme and Create Your List

While it’s not required, your scavenger hunt will probably benefit from a theme. For instance, if you’re hosting it in December, a holiday theme might be appropriate. If you’re hosting it during the summer, you could go with a beach theme. Depending on how creative you want to get and your audience, the sky’s the limit as far as the theme is concerned.

When choosing your theme, consider a few factors first, including:

  • The group participating, including their age
  • The time of year
  • The point of the virtual treasure hunt
  • The business or other organization putting on the hunt

Pirate themes, Halloween themes, adventure themes, Thanksgiving and the holidays, ancient Egypt, futuristic themes – these are just a few of the many options so get creative!

If you’re thinking, why does your theme matter? It’s because you’ll need to find ways to tie your items/treasures into them. For instance, with a pirate theme, you might list the Jolly Roger and a bottle of rum as items. With a holiday theme, you might list wrapping paper and decorative lights. You get the idea.

By the way, you don’t need to limit your list to just ‘things’. To help keep your event from being nothing but a glorified game of fetch, toss in some challenges for the players to overcome as well.

These can be simple or complex. It’s all up to you. Just remember that the more complicated a task or challenge, the less likely some of your players will complete them (and the more time they’ll take up within the hunt itself). Some potential challenge ideas include:

  • Taking a selfie with a pet
  • Recording themselves somersaulting on the floor
  • Completing a walk or jog around their apartment/home

Remember that all aspects should be recordable, either as photographs or video. That’s the key to competing, but also part of the fun.

It’s worth noting that you can go a couple of routes with your list of items/activities/challenges. You can have them all be worth the same number of points, or you can set different values for various things. That provides some flexibility but also increases the interest level if people choose to go for higher value entries on the list.

3: Set Some Rules

No scavenger hunt is complete without some rules. Keep yours simple and easy to follow. For example, you might choose to require your participants to find everything they need within their location. Some other common scavenger hunt rules include:

  • One item per entry (no item can perform double duty as multiple entries)
  • No screenshots allowed – all photos must be taken by your participants
  • After the hunt, each team/player should submit the photos simultaneously
  • The time limit is the time limit – submissions that come in afterward
  • are disqualified

The Best Virtual Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Now it’s time for the main event – the scavenger hunt list! Below, you’ll find a collection of scavenger hunt ideas and activities. These can be worked into almost any type of scavenger hunt with a little bit of creativity.

Challenges and Items around the Home

1) Have your participants cook an egg in under five minutes and record it

2) Show off a pet with a selfie. Only one pet per player/team

3) Have your players record themselves doing a funny dance (cue Dance Like an Egyptian)

4) Have them take a photo of their favorite view from their home

5) Have them take a photo of the most unusual feature of their home or yard

6) Have your players take a photo of their favorite album (CD, vinyl, or screenshot from the computer)

7) Have your players take a photo of the oldest and most out of date thing in their fridge/freezer

8) Share a picture of the longest book the players own

9) Share a photo of the messiest part of their home – the junk drawer, the guest room, the garage, etc.

10) Share a picture related to a hobby or pastime (gardening equipment, painting, home brewing gear, etc.)

Other Challenges and Ideas From the Internet

1) Have the players find the shortest page on the company website and post a photo of it

2) Have the players Google their names and take a screenshot of the first image under the results

3) Have the players locate the most ridiculous version of a job description that pertains to their position

4) Have your players share the weirdest spam message from their email inbox with the group

5) Find and share the worst/funniest corporate logo from a Google search

6) Discover and share one hilarious trust-building exercise fail video from YouTube

7) Use Instagram to find the most over-the-top self-help personality and share the account

8) Google “pets who look like their owners” and share one image with the group

9) Have participants test their Wi-Fi speed with Google and share a screenshot of the results – the highest speed wins

10) Have players find the most bizarre item on Wish and post a screenshot (make sure it’s safe for work)

There you have it – everything you need to know to get your virtual scavenger hunt up and running. Create your plan, choose a theme, build a list, set the rules, and invite your participants. It’ll be fun for all! Go ahead and create your Everytale account so you can easily host your virtual event anywhere in the world. Make it a community event on Everytale with its global audience.