How to Organize a Virtual Scavenger Hunt Everyone Will Love

In the age of COVID, organizations have had to change up how they throw events.

Hosts need to factor in attendee safety while still hosting effective fundraisers, awareness-raising events, and team-building activities to keep moving forward.

With in-person events not always an option, virtual scavenger hunts have emerged as a popular and engaging digital event option.

What Are Virtual Scavenger Hunts?

Virtual scavenger hunts are held remotely. Participants can join via Webinar-style software, and the host reads out items for attendees to find.

Players scramble to find certain items in their home, like a favorite mug or something blue.

At the end of the scavenger hunt, you can offer a prize for the participant who either found the most items or who found the items the fastest. You can also use random selection to dish out prizes to different competitors.

How to Host a Virtual Scavenger Hunt

If you want to host a virtual scavenger hunt, there are four steps you’ll want to follow.

1. Promote it early

If you want to have a successful and fully-booked virtual event, it’s no different than hosting an in-person event; you need to start promotion early.

You’ll want to promote your virtual scavenger hunt at least a month in advance if it’s a formal, paid event, including for fundraising purposes. If you offer a prize or have a good cause at the center of the event, the scavenger hunt can be pay-to-play with participants paying upfront when they register.

If you need help organizing a fundraising event or processing payments online, you can see how we can help here.

2. Have a theme

Themes can help you attract more attention to your event, and they can make participants excited to join.

There are plenty of options. You can opt for a pirate-themed scavenger hunt where guests go on a “treasure hunt” to find the items on your list or a gala theme where participants are encouraged to dress up.

If you’re going for a theme, you can go all in. Send participants a themed puzzle to solve in advance or a styled invitation in the mail with the information about how to join.

3. Have a list of items and the rules ready

Your host should have two things ready right at the start of the event: A list of items that the participants will need to go find, and rules to go over.

The rules will explain what participants need to do, how long they’ll have, and how points will be accrued or prizes awarded. It’s essential that these rules are emailed to players ahead of time if possible, and they must be discussed at the beginning of the event to keep everyone happy.

You’ll also want to know what you’ll be sending participants off to search for in advance, though they shouldn’t know that just yes. You can stick to your theme (asking guests to search for a bottle of rum for a pirates theme is a great choice), or go off the books.

Think of fun things people will have fun sharing that won’t put anyone at a security risk; some guests won’t want to share pictures of their children publicly, for example, but might be happy to snap a pet selfie.

4. Award a prize at the end

If you want to maximize participation, having a prize at the end of the virtual scavenger hunt is a good call.

Keep track of who is finding what during the scavenger hunt (having one person designated for this is important, and they can even take screenshots and mark down who had what).

If possible, keep the prize relevant to the event at end, which can increase engagement significantly, and always share the winner on social media afterwards.

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