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What Type of Scavenger Hunt Should we Plan?

by | Oct 13, 2022 | Team Building

“What? There are different types of scavenger hunts?” Yes. Definitely. And the type of scavenger hunt you choose can have a big impact on your corporate team building event.

Scavenger Hunt Vs. Treasure Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a fun team activity based on a list of questions to be answered and photos to be taken. There may also be videos to take and checkpoints to visit. Some tasks can be completed at specific locations, others can be done at any location locations. The questions are in random order with varying point scores, requiring the teams to determine their route and which tasks they will try to accomplish in the allocated time. Each team determines their own route meaning that teams don’t follow each other although they will see each other along the way.

A treasure hunt is a series of clues that lead participants along a set route to a final destination. Usually, the first team to reach the goal is the winning team. This format creates a problem for most corporate team building programs because inequalities are created based on fitness level. It is much better, in our opinion, to use the scavenger hunt format in which everyone competes on an equal footing.

Pen and Paper vs. Smartphone Scavenger Hunts

In the past, scavenger hunts were always done with a paper list of objects to find and places to visit. In today’s digital world there are many smart phone apps that add a coolness factor and efficiency to the delivery of the scavenger hunt.

There are still some pros and cons for each of the two options.

Pen and Paper Scavenger Hunts

A pen-and-paper scavenger hunt may the best choice if it is going to be very cold outside – we have found that smart phones run into performance issues in cold weather.

With a paper hunt there is no chance of a technological issue affecting your event such as a network outage or people running out of battery life on their phones.

A significant disadvantage of a paper scavenger hunt, however, is that submissions such as questions answered or photos taken must be evaluated manually and this is quite time consuming. It generally means that the participants will be waiting around for the results. This is not a big deal if you have a lot of time after your event but if people will need to go home afterwards you don’t want them to have to leave before the results are announced as this can very much detract from the excitement of the activity.

Smartphone Scavenger Hunts

Smartphone scavenger hunts make a lot of sense now that everyone has a phone in their pocket or purse. With a smartphone hunt, the results are calculated in real time. This means when time runs out, the results can be announced immediately after the hunt.

Smartphone hunts also allow for photos to be made available to the group afterwards, allowing you to make a slideshow, post photos internally or send them around.

With smartphone hunts there is always the possibility of a technical difficulty. The phone network could go down. It is rare but does happen. More common is people running out of batteries and so make sure you tell participants to bring fully-charged phones to the activity.

Walking Scavenger Hunt or Road Rally

Sometimes in our business we get asked to produce a road rally or car based scavenger hunt in which people drive to different locations in order to complete scavenger hunt challenges . In our experience, such activities are generally problematic, especially for corporate groups.

A road rally is generally done in a treasure hunt format and involves a series of clues and the winning team is generally the one who arrives at the finished destination first. Having participants in a race-like format in their own cars in an activity arranged by their employer could be dangerous from a liability standpoint should something ever happen such as a car accident or personal injury. We believe this so strongly that we have never organized a road rally for any of our corporate clients.

If you really have an important reason for people go between locations that are far from one another, you could consider a limousine scavenger hunt or some sort of bus or transit arrangement.

Another negative of this type of program is that even if you do something like a limousine hunt, participants do spend a lot of time in the car going from place to place.

Are you interested in learning more about team building scavenger hunts? Contact us to learn more.


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