Six fun virtual conference ideas for successful online team building activities

When White Rhino Events had to switch from hosting on-site corporate team building events to online gatherings for hundreds of participants, our biggest challenge was making a virtual conference fun! Here’s what worked for us.

We had an immense challenge on our hands when offices closed across the country during the nationwide coronavirus shutdown in early 2020. We had a busy schedule of corporate team building events lined up for the spring, summer and beyond but suddenly we faced a swath of cancellations amidst the uncertainty.

With many of the spacious indoor and outdoor venues that we usually use suddenly sealed off and out of bounds, we had to find a way to host our team building events online if White Rhino Events was to survive the season and beyond. We had to come up with virtual conference ideas and online team building events for hundreds of participants camped out at home instead of together at the workplace, and we had to make the activities just as engaging and enjoyable as being there in person.

To accomplish this, we took advantage of the latest developments in video conferencing technology and the creativity of team building experts. Our app allows hundreds of participants to join the activities from anywhere, and it works a charm! The feedback from our clients and the participants has been amazing, so we thought you’d like to hear how we found ways to make virtual conferences fun.

Break the virtual ice

Have you hired some newbies to your virtual team, or does your business need a quick and fun activity to help team members get to know each other a bit better? Use icebreaker activities via Zoom or a similar virtual conference platform to give everyone the chance to meet each other and form closer working relationships.

“Can you hear me now?” is a classic choice. Essentially a drawing game, the activity involves describing words in geometric terms and having other team members draw what they hear.

How to play

First, divide your team into equal groups (five to seven players per group) using breakout rooms with a slide sharing the game’s instructions and a link to a random word generator. Players take turns being Describers and Drawers.

The Describer chooses a random word using the generator and has to describe it using only geometric terms (e.g. directions, degrees, length, shapes), while the Drawers draw what they hear, shouting out when they think they know what the Describer’s word is. If they are correct, they get a point. The team member with the most points at the end wins.

Arctic Escape ‘Zoom’

Our bestselling activity, Arctic Survival, requires participants to work together over Zoom to escape an abandoned arctic hut before the time runs out. Players have to work together to solve cryptic clues and complete various team building activities as they make their way through using White Rhino’s game app. This thrilling team building adventure should take around 90 minutes to complete and can be played by 10-500 participants.

Virtual conference ideas - arctic survival

How to play

When participants enter the Zoom call, they will be welcomed by a dedicated event facilitator, who will remotely deliver the briefing, split the group into small teams of five to six participants, and run the event from beginning to end.

Arctic Survival will test your team’s logic and code-cracking skills as they navigate three suspenseful stages of problem-solving activities. Their main aim is to kickstart the generator, get help, and escape the abandoned hut before extreme weather conditions leave them trapped in the Arctic.

Murder Mystery

Manor House Murder is a challenging game to test your team’s problem-solving skills. Players have to work together to solve a thrilling murder mystery at Cadaver Manor. Participants use our app to reveal hidden information throughout the game. They complete various tasks and challenges and analyse key evidence along the way to figure out’ Whodunnit.’ Solving the Manor House Murder takes around 90 minutes, and the activity can work with groups of 10 to 500.

Virtual conference ideas - manor house murder

How to play

When participants enter the Zoom call, they will be greeted by a dedicated event facilitator, who will deliver the briefing remotely, split the group into small teams, and run the event from start to finish. Your team’s task is to use their sharp detective skills to solve the murder and catch the killer. They’ll work together to process witness statements, unlock hidden evidence, and uncover deadly secrets using augmented reality.

Virtual Globetrotter

In an online race around the world, players must harness their collaboration and creative skills as they visit 22 countries via White Rhino’s award-winning app, covering 40,000 virtual miles in one sitting! Your team of intrepid explorers will have to complete a series of tasks and challenges to move on to their next destination. The ideal running time for this activity is 60-90 minutes, and group sizes can range from 10 to 500.

virtual conference ideas - around the world

How to play

A dedicated event facilitator will greet players via Zoom. They will deliver the brief remotely, split the group into smaller groups of five to six participants, and run the virtual event for its duration. Participants must complete various geography-related tasks, using cryptic clues to guess their next destination for a free ticket to the next spot. Earning ‘travel credits’ as they move successfully across the world map, the team with the most travel credits at the end of the game wins.

Kitchen Nightmares

What could be more entertaining than watching your co-workers attempt to create Michelin-star meals, mouth-watering bakes, exquisite cocktails and even handmade chocolates – all from the comfort of their own kitchens?

We brought in professional chefs to help us plan a range of online food extravaganzas, from cookery masterclasses to cocktail-making sessions. And your team won’t need to worry about a thing, as we provide all the necessary ingredients and equipment in advance.

Cookery Masterclass

With the help of an expert chef who will explain and run the ‘cook along’ session, teams get hands-on in the kitchen to create an exquisite, two-course meal they can enjoy at the end of the two-hour session.

Virtual Bake Off

This two-hour ‘bake along’ session forces your team members to roll up their sleeves and get messy in the kitchen as they create three delectable bakes under the helpful eye of a Michelin-star chef. This event requires more time and preparation than our other virtual cooking activities.

Cocktail Making

Kickstart your team’s weekend with a virtual cocktail (or mocktail) masterclass, as participants have a barrel of laughs creating three delicious beverages. This is the quickest activity with the least preparation time, making it perfect for larger group sizes and brief conferences.

Team Building Trivia

Hosting a trivia game is another fun virtual conference idea, which you can use as an engaging way to conduct training sessions or refresher courses by adapting questions to specific job-related topics. Online trivia games such as Let’s Get Quizzical or The Gameshow will encourage team building, fun and engagement among remote teams and give distant co-workers a chance to get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses in an openly communicative environment.

virtual conference ideas - the game show

How to play

Preparing a trivia game for your team is simple and versatile. Compile a list of questions and answers, split your team into smaller groups via breakout rooms, and let them combine their collective brain power to find the correct answers. Whichever team gets the right answer first wins a point, and the team with the most points at the end wins.

Catering to the new normal for corporate team building

 With work life now pretty much back to normal for most of us and venue restrictions lifted, we’re back to organising a packed calendar of on-site and outdoor corporate team building events this year but our virtual team building activities remain a popular cost-effective option for companies with staff working from home or based in satellite offices around the country, or indeed around the world.

Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help make your virtual conference fun.