How do you organize a virtual team quiz night with 100+ employees? Learn how to emulate the perfect pub quiz to kick-back and relax with your remote team.May 17, 2021
Coming up with new and exciting activities for team bonding can be a challenging task, even for the most creative team leaders. But there is one activity that’s a crowd-pleaser every time: A quiz night!
What’s not to love about a little friendly competition and a few good laughs among coworkers?
But how do you organize a virtual quiz night with 100+ employees? Our first attempt was awkward… and a little stiff. So the second time around, we refined our quiz format and created a true virtual pub night. Based on the feedback, people loved it!
Here’s how we did it. →
When we took our bi-annual workations online for the first time (aka staycations), we really wanted to incorporate a pub quiz. Our creative committee got to work and turned this universally appreciated activity into a Zoom experience.
After a long day of presentations, we all met up in one last Zoom room. The idea was to ask each question in the main room and then send all teams off to breakout rooms so they could quickly discuss the answer. People would then DM the answer to one of the hosts, who would manually write it down.
If that sounds cumbersome, it's because it is. Plus it left a lot of room for technical difficulties. But there was something else that didn't feel completely right about this format.
We realized we were asking ourselves to relax and have fun on the same platform we use for our sprint meetings, peer reviews, and product presentations. It was the virtual equivalent of trying to have a pub quiz in a conference room.
So when it came to planning a quiz night for our next staycation, we knew we had to come up with a new idea. We needed everyone to switch out of work-mode, enjoy the game and connect as friends.
Our goal was to curate the most authentic, casual pub quiz, but organized entirely online!
And guess what? We did it! Here’s how you can organize your virtual quiz in three simple steps—whether it's for your friends or 100+ remote colleagues.
Even though a quiz night is a laid-back activity, we’re never going to skip an opportunity for team building. It was important to us that each team brought together colleagues that may not necessarily interact on a regular basis.
To create each quiz team, we added all participants into a random team generator. We then checked the groups to see if we wanted to make any changes. For example, we didn't want too many marketing people in one group or have a team with mostly new people.
The winning team included one of our first employees, one of our newest employees, an executive level manager, a product team lead, a designer, and three members of our support team from two different shifts. Mission accomplished!
So Zoom was too complex and stiff for casual pub quizzes. For everyone to really let loose, we needed a venue that's far away from any environment you would use for work-related collaboration.
Enter Gather: The web app in which you can build a free-roam sandbox playground to hang out with your colleagues or friends.
We already used this app in previous staycations to get together and play games like Chess, Catan, Poker and Tetris. Since Gather allows you to virtually build any kind of space imaginable (beer gardens, parks, lecture halls, offices, bars, etc), it turned out to be the perfect choice for an online pub quiz night as well.
You just have to create a space with enough tables to accommodate your quiz teams. You can then convert each table area into a “private space” so that people who sit down at a table can only interact with other team members who are also seated at the same table.
Finally, add a “spotlight” so that the quiz master(s) can broadcast themselves (and the quiz) to everyone in the room.
In our “pub”, we also placed a bulletin board that, when clicked, brought up the spreadsheet containing the list of pre-organized teams. We also added table numbers so that each person could locate their team as soon as they entered the room.
The result? Within ten minutes of arriving in Gather, all 110+ attendees were seated at the correct table with their fellow teammates.
We used Kahoot! to create our quiz. Kahoot! is a game-based online learning platform that allows you to create a quiz and have teams participate on their phones.
In our case, each team elected a team captain to log into the phone app using a unique pin, so they could answer the questions on behalf of their team.
All teams were also able to create their very own team name. We had some creative names like “8puppies” and “Team & Marcin”. Then there were the not-so-humble teams who named themselves “The Winners!” (and did indeed, manifest their win).
Though the real fun is in the game, we did throw in a small prize. The winning team members would each get a personal, hand-drawn laptop sticker of themselves.
For the team quiz, we prepared eight rounds:
Company general knowledge: Testing how well people know the Remote Company
Digital nomads: Travel-related questions for our international team
How well do we know our colleagues?: Featuring questions from our Pecha Kucha presentations
Movie trivia: We have a Slack channel dedicated to movies, so this round was essential
Random: Featuring random questions submitted by the team, about anything and everything
Guess the object: Ever looked at a really zoomed-in picture? It’s hard to guess what it is, when you see it up close, so we turned it into a quiz round
Name that clip: Short film and music clips, where people had to complete the lyrics, name the artist, or identify which language a song was sung in
Staycation knowledge: To wrap up all the presentations from the week, we had a round to test how much people remembered, along with a bonus double points question at the end
These multiple-choice questions (62 in total) were broadcasted to everyone in the room by way of screenshare. Then teams had 30 seconds to discuss their answers before submitting them via their smartphones (which means our quiz lasted roughly one hour). The faster teams would reply, the more points they would get (granted, if the answer was correct).
Since Kahoot! shows the team rankings in real-time after each question, the quiz got gradually more engaging and competitive. Some teams would lead the scoreboard for a few rounds in a row, until they made one mistake and tumbled out of the top five. Similarly, one good, fast answer that few other teams knew could change the game completely. It was exciting until the end!
With our improved online pub quiz format, we were able to have a super fun night and bond as a team. So what did our team think of this new quiz format? See for yourself!
This is what we’ve learned improving our virtual pub quiz night:
The casual environment we created helped us flick the switch from “work-mode” to “leisure-mode”.
By using Kahoot! and showing the results in real-time, the quiz became more exciting and engaging.
And the greatest lesson: If a team activity doesn’t go entirely according to plan on the first try, don’t be afraid to rework the concept and try again.
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