With many teams still working remotely, Halloween is a perfect excuse to boost morale with a virtual get-together. (Because who doesn't want to show off their costumes?) But keep in mind that attendees are thinking beyond the stale video calls these days. So why not transport them to a murder mystery on board a 1920s train? Or how about exploring the mummies in Egypt, or the celebrity ghosts in Hollywood?
From trivia games and pumpkin-carving to escape rooms and scavenger hunts, these activities from team-building companies around the country offer something for everyone.
FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Looking for something age-appropriate so your team's little ones can join? Teambuilding.com offers a Virtual Halloween Party chock-full of Halloween trivia, ice breakers, bobbing for apples and other fun, family-friendly games designed to promote team bonding and connections—while also getting attendees in that Halloween spirit. The standard Halloween party runs for 90 minutes (30 more minutes can be added for additional activities if desired) and is fully facilitated on a secure video conference line by an energetic host, as well as a co-host who keeps track of all the technical details. The virtual party can accommodate between nine and 300 people. A fun touch? Teambuilding.com’s video editors can make a dynamic trailer of the Halloween party as a clever memento from the event.
Another fun, family-friendly option for groups and remote employees is a Virtual Pumpkin Carving class from TeamBonding. Attendees are mailed their own tool kit—which includes a scraper scoop, four tools and two pumpkin light packs (B.Y.O. pumpkin)—and a master sculptor will virtually guide them through making their own works of art. The experience can be customized to incorporate a company’s messages or themes, and prizes can be added for a competitive aspect. The event typically takes 1-2 hours, and can accommodate between 10 and 200 people.
Or, how about a virtual magic show? Celebrity magician Johnny Wu, founder of the appropriately named Cyber Sorcery, offers a fully virtual magic, mentalism, mind-reading and hypnosis show, available on any device to attendees around the world. Wu specializes in turning the experience into a team-building exercise and can incorporate a company’s core values, message or logo directly into the magic acts. The interactive experience can run for 15-60 minutes and is available for corporate events, birthday parties and yes, Halloween gatherings. It’s appropriate for all ages; pricing is available upon request.
FOR THE WORLD TRAVELERS
If your team is missing travel (because who isn't?), what’s better than a Halloween-inspired journey around the world? Discover Live can virtually transport guests to the mummies of Luxor, the horror stories of Lima, Peru, or the ghost stories of central Tokyo through its Halloween Around the World experience. The 60-minute, personalized activity uses full-HD video quality and can accommodate groups of 10 to more than 1,000. Discover Live works with experienced local guides who are trained in virtual travel and able to share their expertise; pricing is dependent on the tour specifics.
FOR THE WANNABE DETECTIVES
What better way to bring a team together than by indulging everyone’s hidden desire to be a detective? Corporate Event Interactive has a number of Halloween-appropriate virtual mystery and escape-room games, including iMystery: Manor House Murder, which asks virtual groups to team up and play detective at a fictional crime scene. Via Zoom and a downloadable game app, teams explore an interactive map and complete tasks and challenges that lead to further evidence. Image recognition and augmented-reality tech can be used to further the investigation and find the killer.
For a more historic twist, Corporate Event Interactive also offers iMystery: Murder on the Train, where guests are virtually transported to a moving train set in the 1920s. Both customizable activities can host 3-300 people, and typically run for 60-90 minutes. Package prices start at $950, which includes a pro emcee, Zoom requirements, the game app and more.
Teambuilding.com also offers a fun, virtual game for amateur sleuths called International Monster Hunter. Teams follow clues, answer trivia questions and work together to track and trap monsters and other strange creatures across every continent in the world, ranging from the Loch Ness monster to Bunyip, Chupacabra and Ebu Gogo. The 90-minute game—which has an energetic main host and a co-host focused on the technical details—is conducted over a secure video conference line. It can host between nine and 300 people.
FOR THE PROBLEM SOLVERS
Escape rooms have proven to be a popular virtual option—and with the right theme, are perfect for Halloween team building. TeamBonding's Haunted House Virtual Escape Room, for example, is specifically designed to enhance teamwork. Teams get "trapped" inside a six-room virtual haunted house, and need to work together to solve mysteries that will release them into each new room and ultimately, out of the house. Led by a professional facilitator, each team selects one player to be their “Ghost Whisperer,” while the others are designated “Investigators.” In addition to solving puzzles, there are photo challenges and other fun icebreaker-style experiences. While teams are broken into four to five people, there is no limit to the number of attendees.
Meanwhile, Watson Adventures offers a Haunted Online Halloween Scavenger Hunt. Through the Zoom-based experience, the host sends teams into breakout rooms, where a browser-based app leads them on a trail of clues through a variety of websites, virtually guiding them to haunted places and spooky tales like the Salem Witch Trial Memorial, the Hollywood hotel where Marilyn Monroe’s ghost is said to reside, Philadelphia’s creepy Eastern Penitentiary and more. Watson Adventures also offers a kids’ version of the scavenger hunt, as well as a Halloween trivia game.
FOR THE TRIVIA BUFFS
Speaking of trivia, who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Interactive Entertainment Group offers Spooky Trivia, where groups can show off their knowledge of all-things Halloween. Each time a Halloween-themed question appears—with topics ranging from horror movies to holiday traditions—participants have 20 seconds to lock in their answers via their smart devices. Once time is up, points are awarded to those with the correct answer. The activity, which typically lasts about 60 minutes, can accommodate as many as 1,000 players. Pricing is available upon request.
Corporate Event Interactive, meanwhile, offers the iQuiz Halloween Spectacular, a spooky, customizable version of the company’s technology-driven game where teams use their mobile devices to collaborate on Halloween-themed trivia and photo and video challenges to earn points. Like the company’s mystery games, the activity can host 3-300 people and typically runs from 60-90 minutes. Package prices start at $950, which includes a pro emcee, Zoom requirements, the game app and more.
FOR THE MUSIC FANS
Event company Yaymaker offers a number of fun fall and Halloween-inspired virtual event ideas, including escape rooms, trivia games and guided cooking-decorating classes. But one highlight that's sure to lead to some laughs? Musical Bingo. Each guest is given two virtual Bingo cards with randomized, Halloween-inspired songs—think Thriller, Monster Mash and other classics—and guided through four rounds by an interactive host. The 60-90-minute game costs $19 per person with a 15-guest minimum, and guests are encouraged to wear their best Halloween costumes.
FOR THE GHOST HUNTERS
How about an old classic: ghost stories around a campfire? Yes, it can be recreated virtually! Unexpected Virtual Tours offers a Ghost Stories activity for virtual networking and team building. Combining spooky stories with fun campfire challenges, the event has two live, in-studio guides and one live virtual tour guide, who lead guests through the science and art of storytelling while also telling historic ghost stories and prompting attendees to tell their own. There’s also a livestreamed visit to a Victorian cemetery and a costume contest, and attendees can be mailed a D.I.Y. s’mores kit to make their own treats over their mini candlelight “campfire” (a tea light candle). The 60-minute event typically ranges from $15-$85 per person, depending on gift boxes and other customizations; discounted pricing is available for educational institutions and nonprofits.
And for a unique entertainment option, Salem Ghosts—which typically hosts in-person tours through Salem, Mass., home of the witch trials of the 1600s—now offers live video ghost tours through the streets of over 20 cities like Philadelphia, Denver, Baltimore, Boston and Washington, D.C. The tours are offered live for $15 per viewer, where guests can interact and ask questions with the local guide in real-time. They’re also available on-demand for $13 per viewing.
FOR THE TEAMS THAT JUST WANT THEIR HALLOWEEN TREATS
Check out our roundup of food-based activities for virtual team building—Halloween cookie-decorating class, anyone? Also, culinary tour company Avital offers a variety of seasonal cocktail-focused experiences, including its Tricks & Treats Virtual Halloween Experience. Groups are sent cocktail kits with the ingredients to make a Pumpkin Chai Mojito, and are guided through the process by an award-winning mixologist. Once cocktails are made, the emcee leads guests through a unique flavor-tasting experience involving berries, fresh citrus, jellybeans and kombucha. The 60-minute experience starts at $50 per person.
And what’s Halloween without some candy? Whether you're sending your team a holiday gift or want a sweet add-on to a virtual activity, Sugarwish is currently offering customizable Halloween candy boxes. Recipients are sent a link to an online treat shop, where they choose between options including candy, cotton candy, snacks, cookies or gourmet popcorn; Sugarwish then delivers their selections in an eye-catching Halloween-themed box. Gifts start at $22.