How to Organize a Virtual Scavenger Hunt
One of our most popular virtual team builders is The Great Race, a virtual scavenger hunt. This remote activity is one of our best sellers because of its assortment of challenges including clues that the players solve in order to reveal items they must take photos and videos with. The best part is that the photos and videos are shared with everyone after the game, which encourages collaboration and connection.
If you’d like to organize your own online scavenger hunt, here are some questions to consider and virtual scavenger hunt ideas to help you. Questions to ask yourself include:
- What will your virtual scavenger hunt look like?
- Typically, virtual scavenger hunts take place online with players being invited to join a web platform, such as a Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or similar. During the game, a leader calls out items one at a time for people to collect and hold up to their camera to show the group. You could simply come up with a list of items. Or, make it more interesting! For instance, some virtual scavenger hunt ideas include having people bring back something starting with a certain letter (such as A) – make it even harder by saying it should have a certain number of letters in its name (such as 5 in which case an “apple” would work)! Or, come up with clues or riddles that reveal what the item is. Although the ones in our The Great Race game are more complex, you can find riddles online if you’re not a master clue writer! For instance, “What gets wetter the more and more it dries?” People who bring back a towel or a sponge win points. But take note – once the first person shows it off will give it away. So, award points to the first person to solve and show it or instruct all who retrieve the item not to hold it up to the camera until you indicate they should do so.
- Alternatively, you could host an ongoing virtual scavenger hunt. Simply post what the virtual scavenger hunt item of day is for participants. Have players take a photo of it and send it to you. Everyone who does so earns a point, or turn each item of the day into a contest. For instance, ask them to find and make a sculpture out of a paperclip and award the prize to the most creative one submitted. Be sure to share the photos!
- How much time do you want to fill? Be forewarned, having people find a simple list of items goes by quickly. If you need to extend time, have them solve clues to reveal what they need to find.
- How will you score the virtual scavenger hunt? You could award points to the first person to bring back each item, award creativity points for the best item, or award points to everyone who finds the item before time is up. The latter is more inclusive, especially if kids, or people who may need to move slower than others, are included in the game.
- Who is your audience? If this is a kid’s virtual scavenger hunt, go with a simple list of items, or easier and fun clues such as, “You use me only after you’re clean. At other times, I just hang around – know what I mean?” (a towel). If the virtual scavenger hunt is for adults, you can get cleverer, as outlined above.
- What are your goals? If your goal is to connect people with one another, have them work in teams vs. as individuals. I.e., you could share a list of items each team – not each individual – has to divide and conquer to collect. The first team to collect all of the items, wins! Teams can communicate via a chat feature on the web platform. Or, place teams into breakout rooms. When a team is done, they can leave their breakout room, close all breakout rooms and have that team show off their items, to prove they have indeed won!
Is your goal to stimulate conversation? Instead of having everyone find particular items, have them find items that spark discussions. For instance, have everyone bring back the one item (not a living being) that they would save if their house were on fire. Have each person share what that item is and its importance to them.
- Is it all-inclusive? Keep your audience in mind. e., not everyone can run around their location to gather items because it may disrupt their kids attending virtual school, others trying to work from home, or rile their pets. One way to solve this problem is to make the virtual scavenger hunt a family affair! Ensure your list of items includes things that everyone playing could have in their location. For instance, not everyone may have a dictionary, but you could ask them to bring back the longest book they can find and award points to the one that has the most pages.
- Is it manageable for you as the event organizer? Think about your numbers. If there are too many people on a Zoom or Microsoft Teams virtual scavenger hunt, you’ll have a hard time spotting who brought what back first and/or keeping up with assigning points to all who did. That doesn’t mean you can’t host the event for a large group! To overcome this, place people on teams and select a representative from each to compete head-to-head. The first person to bring the item back will win a point for their team. Or, only award points to all who are in their seats with the items in hand by a set time.
Virtual scavenger hunts are extremely popular because they are a lot of fun. Remember to capture the feel-good factor when the game is over! When everyone is done, have them pose with all of their items, or take a photo of the winners and then share them with the group.