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Attendee Experience, Event Planning & Management
15 January 2024 

The Complete Guide to Planning a Networking Scavenger Hunt

Bizzabo Blog Staff
Bizzabo Blog Staff
The Complete Guide to Planning a Networking Scavenger Hunt

If you’re looking for a unique way to make your next corporate event more engaging and memorable, it might be time to add a networking scavenger hunt to your run of show.

In case you’re unfamiliar, a networking scavenger hunt is an interactive and engaging activity designed to promote networking and relationship-building among participants at an event. The concept combines the elements of a traditional scavenger hunt while aiming to foster connections and promote teamwork among participants. During these networking sessions, participants are given a set of challenges, tasks, or items to find, and they must work together, often in teams, to complete the scavenger hunt.

If you’re considering adding a networking game to your next event, a scavenger hunt may be just what the doctor ordered. Keep reading to learn more about how to plan a networking scavenger hunt for adults and why you should strongly consider using such networking activities to supercharge your event strategy in 2024 and beyond.

How do you make a networking event fun?

A networking scavenger hunt is an easy way to make company events more fun by transforming traditional networking opportunities into an interactive, dynamic experience. Those who participate in these networking activities have to work together to overcome challenges, which increases engagement and boosts camaraderie. By dividing attendees into teams and encouraging them to collaborate on tasks, you can break the ice and set the stage for participants to build meaningful connections with one another.

At a high level, this type of networking game adds excitement and keeps attendees entertained and engaged. Networking becomes more organic as attendees seek out specific items or information, making the event more memorable. 

Add it all up, and a networking scavenger hunt can turn a potentially formal, run-of-the-mill company event into a lively, enjoyable experience. This increases the chances attendees have a great time at your event — and the likelihood they’ll return next year. 

What are the benefits of networking scavenger hunts?

One of the main reasons people go to events is to meet other people in their industry and build relationships with potential clients, partners, and colleagues. 

Whether businesses plan to host networking events for lead generation, to celebrate their customers, or as a team-building opportunity for employees, a scavenger hunt is a great way to deliver an unforgettable experience that meets attendees’ expectations around networking and unique experiences. 

According to Bizzabo data, 82.8% of event organizers believe in-person conferences provide the ideal networking environment, a sentiment 77.7% of attendees share. By incorporating a networking scavenger hunt into your event strategy, you can capitalize on this opportunity and deliver an experience that attendees want.

Remember that scavenger hunts don’t have to be confined to the physical world. While 46% of organizers believe that networking is a challenging aspect of hybrid events, event teams can overcome these difficulties by adding a virtual scavenger hunt.

How To Plan an In-person Networking Scavenger Hunt

Are you considering incorporating this fun networking idea into your next in-person event? Follow these steps to increase the chances the scavenger hunt becomes a successful networking event.

Choosing the Right Venue

You might plan the best scavenger hunt in the history of the world, but if you pick an inadequate venue, all of that could be for naught. 

So, first things first: Choose a venue that provides ample space for participants to move about freely. Look for a location with diverse areas to explore so that you can incorporate several challenging elements into the hunt. As you narrow down your options, consider accessibility, amenities, and the overall atmosphere you’re going for.

Aim for a venue that aligns with your event’s theme and offers indoor and outdoor spaces if possible. Check with venue staff to confirm that the venue’s layout can accommodate the flow of your scavenger hunt.

Designing the Scavenger Hunt

Designing an effective networking scavenger hunt starts with coming up with challenges that are engaging and relevant to the event’s objectives. For example, if you’re hosting an event that brings contractors from around the world together, maybe your scavenger hunt will require participants to find things like nails, screws, washers, and hammers.

Begin by understanding your audience and tailoring tasks to their interests and the event’s theme. Challenges should strike a balance between being fun and being challenging while providing opportunities for meaningful connections. To balance difficulty levels, consider offering a range of challenges suitable for various skill levels and preferences — like mixing mental and physical activities to keep participants energized and involved. To make the scavenger hunt an efficient experience, incorporate mobile event apps, wearable tech, or QR codes to deliver clues and track progress.

Networking Scavenger Hunt Questions

What might you ask your participants to do? Here are some sample networking scavenger hunt prompts to get you thinking in the right direction: 

  • Find someone in a different industry and learn one interesting fact about their field.
  • Identify three event participants who share a common hobby with you.
  • Locate an attendee with a skill you’d like to learn more about and ask them a question related to their field.
  • Collect signatures from folks who meet certain criteria — like visiting a specific country, speaking multiple languages, or holding a unique job title.
  • Connect with someone who knows someone you want to meet but have never spoken to.
  • Take a photo of [a specific landmark] in the event venue.

Deciding Which Networking Elements To Incorporate

As you determine which networking elements to incorporate into your scavenger hunt, consider the event’s purpose and audience and include challenges that align with industry trends or professional goals. For example, you can include a task where participants must find someone who recently attended a specific conference. 

Additionally, ensure that the activities encourage collaboration — like a team challenge where folks with diverse skills must work together. You can also integrate icebreakers into the process, like having folks share a unique work-related achievement and foster meaningful conversations.

To make sure the process is efficient and that teammates can communicate with one another easily, incorporate a mobile app into your scavenger hunt. Ultimately, you aim to choose elements that strike a perfect balance between fun, relevance, difficulty, and the opportunity for participants to forge genuine connections.

Prioritizing Logistics and Safety

As you continue planning the scavenger hunt, conduct a thorough venue assessment to ensure it can accommodate participants’ movements and flow. Establish clear guidelines emphasizing safety protocols and responsible behavior. Consider crowd control, emergencies, and accessibility, and make sure the venue you choose is big enough for the activity. You’ll also need to ensure that you have enough staff and that the hunt doesn’t run over schedule; folks need time to attend sessions and learn.

Once you’re happy with your plan, communicate the details to participants via pre-event messaging. As the event approaches, regularly review and update logistics plans to mitigate potential challenges. As Miguel de Cervantes once wrote, being prepared is half the victory. The more work you put in on logistics and safety ahead of time, the easier it will be to ensure an enjoyable, risk-free scavenger hunt experience when the big day arrives.

Selecting a Theme

Pick a theme that aligns with your industry, event goals, or current trends. For example, for a tech-focused event focusing on emerging technologies, you might use the theme of “Digital Discovery.” Similarly, a healthcare-focused event could involve tasks related to healthy living — like a “Wellness Expedition” where participants must go to several spots around the conference to complete specific tasks (e.g., doing 20 jumping jacks and walking up two flights of stairs). An event for the food industry might have a “Passport to the World” theme where folks are encouraged to take a bite of food prepared by chefs from 20 different countries.

How To Plan a Virtual Networking Scavenger Hunt 

Planning a virtual networking scavenger hunt starts with selecting the right platform to administer it. For the best results, consider investing in virtual event tools with user-friendly interfaces, robust video capabilities, and features like breakout rooms, chat functions, and 1:1 messaging. Consider using wearable tech to make the scavenger hunt even more fun.

After you’ve got your tech stack ironed out, create your virtual challenges by incorporating industry-related trivia questions, digital photo hunts, and collaborative problem-solving tasks using shared online documents. Increase engagement by setting time limits, offering prizes to winners (e.g., unique swag and gift cards), and maintaining a fun and exciting atmosphere.

If you want your scavenger hunt to succeed, give participants the ability to connect digitally. This is why event networking solutions with breakout rooms and chat features are so important. Such functionality enables folks to communicate in real time, sharing insights and experiences while participating in virtual challenges.

What might a virtual scavenger hunt look like? Consider these three examples:

  • The Tech Trek: Participants explore virtual spaces showcasing cutting-edge technology, connecting with experts in the industry.
  • Eco-Exploration: A sustainability-focused scavenger hunt where participants engage in environment-related challenges
  • Finance Quest: Finance professionals complete virtual challenges related to market trends and economic forecasts.

Top Challenges & Solutions for Networking Scavenger Hunts

Executing a successful networking scavenger hunt isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. This section examines four key challenges of networking scavenger hunts and what you can do to overcome them.

1. Technology Hurdles

Participants may face technical issues during the activity. You can overcome this by choosing a user-friendly platform and providing clear instructions beforehand. On top of this, publish helpful documentation so that participants can troubleshoot independently, and make sure a support team is available during the hunt in case any issues arise.

2. Lack of Engagement

Some participants may hesitate to engage in the hunt actively. Combat this by incorporating diverse and appealing challenges, emphasizing teamwork, and offering attractive incentives for participation. 

3. Logistical Complexity

Managing logistics can be challenging. You can mitigate these concerns by thoroughly planning ahead of time, testing logistics in advance, reviewing them as the big day approaches, and utilizing user-friendly event platforms with robust features. 

4. Ensuring Inclusivity

Particular challenges may unintentionally exclude some participants. Overcome this problem by creating tasks that cater to diverse interests and skill sets, fostering an inclusive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

How To Keep Networking Event Success Alive Post-event

Your scavenger hunt was a hit, and attendees can discuss it. Nice work! But how do you sustain this success and keep it alive after your event?

Start by encouraging continued connections by creating a post-event online community or forum where participants can share insights and collaborate. Consider sending  participants surveys to collect valuable feedback and find out what’s working and what isn’t. Use this data to identify areas for improvement to ensure that future events are even better. While you’re at it, leverage event data for long-term networking opportunities by identifying key contacts, sharing relevant resources, and initiating follow-up communications to keep participants engaged.

By prioritizing ongoing engagement and utilizing feedback to improve future events, you can extend the networking impact of your event — establishing a foundation for a sustainable event community that stays connected all year long.

Use the Klik SmartBadge for More Engaging, Memorable Networking Experiences 

Yes, maybe we’re a bit biased. But we believe that Klik SmartBadge™ is the ideal solution for a networking scavenger hunt, and in this section, we’ll show you why.

With Klik, organizers can create a scavenger hunt by hiding OneKlik Touchpoints throughout the venue and awarding participants points whenever they engage. You can also create custom games that engage attendees, incentivize specific behaviors, and help you reach your goals.

Versatile by design, Klik gives you a ton of options. Plus, you can award points for instant gratification, leading participants to pursue specific actions. Whether guests are participating in scavenger hunts, clicking their wearables on touchpoints, or interacting with gold sponsors, they can earn badges based on specific actions or combinations of actions.

It’s the easiest way to transform networking scavenger hunts from an idea to a reality.

Get Started: Plan Your Own Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt might be the perfect option if you want to add an unforgettable, fun, and engaging networking opportunity to your next company event.

But to get the outcomes you’re looking for, you need to ensure you have the right tech in place.

Bizzabo’s Klik SmartBadge makes it easy to execute networking scavenger hunts. The wearable technology also makes it exciting and memorable for attendees to participate in them. 

To see how Klik can help you easily incorporate scavenger hunts into your next company event to meet attendee expectations and make your event one for the ages, request a demo today.

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