What is a Video Scavenger Hunt?

I recently invited my social media followers to contact me to inquire about planning a video scavenger hunt, but then it occurred to me that most people won't even know what a video scavenger hunt is.

So, let's assume you've been to traditional house parties.

There's usually mingling. Conversation and laughter. Lots of food and drinks. In some cases, there's decorations and gifts. Maybe there's even some dancing or a couple of party games.

But for the most part, you stay in one place for the remainder of the party and mingle with the few people you know.

A Video Scavenger Hunt party takes that formula and turns it on it's head because it is all of these things and so very much more!

The point of a Video Scavenger hunt it to break out of your comfort zone and meet tons of people, all while getting your competitive juices flowing!

There is still a traditional house party involved, and this aspect of the event can be as simple or as complex as you like. You can go sans decorations and just host a simple lunch or dinner, if you prefer. I, however, am all about the over-the-top themed parties! Personally I've done a Birthday/Movie Night theme, an Alice in Wonderland theme, a Superhero theme, a Valentine's theme...the possibilities are endless!

Since the festivities cannot begin until all guests have arrived, I usually suggest inviting guests approximately one hour before the start of the hunt. This not only permits for late-comers, but it allows your guests a little time to mix, mingle and get to warm up to each other before the activities ahead. For guests of legal age who will not be driving, this also gives them just enough time to partake in a little "liquid courage", which tends to add some social lubrication before the start of the game.

Five minutes before the hunt starts, it's time to sit your guests down for a review of the rules:

  1. Guest will be divided into teams of 3-6 players. (This will depend on how many guests you have and how big the vehicles being used are. In my experience, fewer large teams tend to work better than many small teams.)

  2. Teams will have exactly 30 minutes to accomplish as many scavenger hunt tasks as possible. (I don't suggest anymore time than that, as it can make for one very long night.) Use one specific clock/watch in the home to keep time and deduct 10 points for every minute a team is late entering the house.

  3. I suggest designating parameters to the locations they can travel to, for example the major streets just North, South, East and West of the event location.

  4. Every guest must actively participate in at least one challenge. (No Seat Warmers!)

  5. Videos and pictures should be shot in landscape mode (The wide way, not the tall way.)

  6. Guests are prohibited from doing anything illegal or unsafe to complete a challenge.

Then comes the pièce de résistance: the video scavenger hunt!

Each team is given a scavenger hunt list and elects a driver (who has not been drinking), then piles in their team's car and sets off to wreak havoc on the community!

Some of my favorite wacky, silly, crazy tasks on the list have been:

  • How many jumbo marshmallows can you stuff in your mouth while reciting the "Bandersnatch" poem by Lewis Carrol?

  • Knock on a neighbor's door and ask if you can jump in their pool. Then, do it.

  • Wrap a stranger up in toilet paper like a mummy. (We once did this one with DJ Laz from Power 96!)

Although I call it a video scavenger hunt, you can also include photo challenges, such as "Make a snowman out of something other than snow" or "Fit your entire team on a park slide or in a tree".

When creating your list, make sure to list challenges of different difficulties; although the crazier challenges are the most fun, you need to ensure that there are easier challenges for the more shy players to participate in. Then, score each challenge so that the crazier and harder it is, the more points the team will receive to encourage them to be as wild as possible!

At the end of the 30 minutes, teams will come rushing back into the house, out of breath from running around and laughing hysterically!

This is when the planner's job really begins. As guests partake in lunch or dinner, the planner meets with teams one-by-one to download the videos from their hunt onto a laptop. By the time the meal has concluded, guests gather around the tv to watch as their exploits are replayed for all to see! While you man the laptop with the videos, you'll want an assistant to help you score the teams challenges on a tally sheet.

After all the videos, photos and stories have been shared, the scores are calculated and a winner is pronounced! I like to provide winners with a token gift; as an example, winnesr of my Alice in Wonderland scavenger hunt received inexpensive Wonderland-themed pocket watches!

A video scavenger hunt is a lot of hard work - I speak from years of experience - which is why I strongly suggest hiring a party planner for this one. However, it is unlike any other party I've ever attended and has never disappointed when it comes to guest satisfaction. This is one unforgettable memory that guests will be talking about for years to come!

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