Large Group Team Building Done Right
Team building for large groups can present special challenges even in the best of times. Bringing hundreds of colleagues together and getting them engaged in a meaningful way during a virtual event can be even tougher.
Before the pandemic struck, our in-person scavenger hunts and trivia games catered to groups 500-plus strong. These days, our virtual games and hunts do the same. Here’s how to handle virtual team building for large groups.
Divide and Conquer
No one wants to get lost in a sea of co-workers. Whether you’re using Zoom or another video-conference platform, we have found that it works best to have up to 40 people in one “meeting room,” or video session. That lets our live event host better interact with the group.
For a group with more than 40 people, we split them up into multiple meeting rooms, each led by a live event host. Those hosts then communicate with each other to keep everything running smoothly and on the same schedule.
Of course, you have to be ready to adjust that plan to meet a client’s preference. For example, digital marketing firm Kenshoo wanted their full group, more than 100 strong, to start in one Zoom session and then “peel off” into smaller groups with their own sessions. We made it happen.
Take Advantage of the Tech
A group of 40 little heads all in one grid is still unwieldy. Once you’ve welcomed everyone to the event and explained the rules, send each team to their room.
Technology has been a silver lining during the pandemic. Zoom allows you to assign each team its own breakout room, and that is the key to getting the players on each team of six or eight people interacting. The breakout rooms allow each team to discuss the questions and come up with answers in private. Of course, the event host doesn’t just set it and forget it. They can pop into breakout rooms at will to check in on teams, answer questions, offer encouragement, and run special bonus challenges.
We even design new games with breakout rooms in mind. For instance, Deutsche Bank wanted their 250 summer interns to get to know each other—so we created a new Ice Breaker Game for them. In breakout rooms, teammates answered fun, make-you-think questions about themselves, like what they would bring to a desert island or what kind of vacation they like best. And then returning to the main room, teams did their best to guess how teams in other breakout rooms responded to those questions. It was a lot of fun.
Find the Right Event for Your Group
Deutsche Bank found the right game for their large group—because we designed one for them—and you can too. Here are a few more examples.
- The London Business School had 400 incoming students, all of whom were new to London and new to each other. We designed the Escape to London Virtual Tour Game to show them some sights and get them excited about the city.
- Cornell University was welcoming about a hundred students themselves, but this time it was all female MBA students. Our new Wonder Women in History Virtual Scavenger Hunt was a natural fit for their large group.
- Biogen, a multinational biotech firm, planned to hold an international conference for 100 colleagues around the world. We created the Around the World Scavenger Hunt, a game that would work for people of all backgrounds.
- eBay wanted to offer a play-when-you-want activity during a conference for 500 people. We worked with them to offer different games at different times of the day, allowing teams to sign up for a session to fit their schedule.
A virtual event can’t completely replicate an in-person events, and there might be occasional technical difficulties. But it’s a great way to bring together far-flung people at a time when they can’t physically be in the same place. No matter your expectations, you’ll be surprised at how much fun people have because they get to collaborate on fun challenges, show new sides to their personalities, and share some laughter.