Virtual whodunnit?: virtual murder mystery team-building

In this day and age, you can’t look at your phone or open your laptop without hearing about the latest true crime doc-series or detective podcast. There’s something about a good murder mystery that tends to perk up even the most blase of individuals.

Maybe it’s the grisly details, the alluring storytelling, or (with shows like “Unsolved Mysteries”) the possibility that you might be the one to help solve the case.

It only makes sense that recreating the excitement in the form of a murder mystery team-building event (minus the real murder) definitely has exhilarating potential. Murder mystery team-building events can even boost employees’ collaboration, communication, and creativity.

So, what do you think? Are you looking for ways to absolutely kill it at employee engagement? Why not try a virtual murder mystery team-building event?

[Related: 5 Reasons your team isn’t loving virtual happy hours]

First, what is a murder mystery party?

Everyone loves a good themed event, and that’s exactly what a murder mystery party is. Attendees are given a character and some context to their role.

For example, if your murder mystery party is going to be “Wild West”-themed, you might assign someone the character of the boisterous saloon owner or a vengeful outlaw.

You will also assign someone the role of the murderer and possibly a victim, depending on your storyline. Party-goers are encouraged to dress and act the part, and are given further information throughout the game that can add to their possible motives.

During the course of the party, guests will work together using what they know to try to find the killer. Alternately, if they are the murderer, they can try to outsmart the rest of the group. Think live-action “Clue” with funny accents, lots of laughter, and possibly a few drinks.

In addition to awarding a prize for the person or team that guesses the right suspect, you can also give shoutouts to the best costume, creepiest storyline, most committed actor, and so on.

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How to host a virtual murder mystery team-building event

Murder mystery parties have historically been in-person, live events. However, nowadays the possibilities for online whodunnits are endless.

This means that whether you work remotely or are part of a hybrid work environment, you don’t have to miss out on all the fun!

Let’s take a look at how to do a virtual murder mystery game.

Choose your platform

Your first step is to choose a platform to host your murder mystery online team-building event.

Luckily, Zoom has all the right features to throw a great online virtual murder mystery party, including customizable backgrounds, breakout groups, private chat, and video and audio sharing.

If you don’t use Zoom, you can also organize an interactive murder mystery online through apps such as Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Facetime, and Skype.

Pick a theme for your murder mystery virtual team-building event

Here are some popular murder mystery themes you can choose from:

  • Wild West
  • Roaring ‘20s
  • Haunted mansion
  • Classic Hollywood
  • Cruise ship
  • Murder on a train
  • ‘80s prom
  • Holiday-themed murder

Send your invitations

Send all of your attendees invitations via email with their characters, background, theme, and some attire suggestions.

Include the date and time and an accompanying Zoom link, which will be the “venue” for the party.

Once everyone’s logged in, you can send further information via the chat function, including suspect guides, new plot points, and any other helpful instructions on how to play the game.

Incorporate other fun activities

You can even incorporate other activities into your virtual team-building murder mystery event, such as:

  • A themed cocktail you can all make together
  • A collaborative playlist your team has a chance to contribute to beforehand
  • Some delicious snack packages you can send over to munch on during the party

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Opt for a hosted virtual murder mystery

Sometimes, hiring a professional can really turn up the awesomeness of events like murder mystery parties. An official host can make all the difference to the success of your event.

They’ll be experienced in how to run a virtual murder mystery team-building event, know what works and what doesn’t, and usually have the kind of personality that will really add to the acting aspect of the event.

Purchase a virtual murder mystery kit

Choosing a virtual murder mystery kit instead of trying to throw it all together on your own can make a virtual murder mystery team-building event much easier to plan.

Virtual murder mystery kits can come with characters and backstories already written, instructions clearly laid out, and prizes for the end. Some virtual murder mystery kits even include props to send to all of your attendees ahead of time.

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Benefits of online murder mystery team-building

Whether you have a small or large group of employees, an online virtual murder mystery party can be a great activity for team-building and engagement.

Working on a common goal — like finding the murderer — can increase teamwork and the collaboration and calculative skills of everyone playing. Your employees will be working on skills like constructive problem-solving and communication all while having a blast outside of the typical workday “norm.”

This type of fun and casual event can also boost team morale. The creativity and storytelling involved in a murder mystery event ensure that everyone walks away feeling involved and like they contributed to the end goal.

Murder mystery team-building events can also inspire teamwork that can help employees engage with each other and understand each other’s specific skills and ways of thinking. When this translates over into everyday job functions, you’ll see increased productivity and employee happiness.

Plus — you’ll get to destress, dress up in a fun costume, and have a few laughs along the way.

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We put the “mystery” in virtual murder mystery team-building

Ready to pull the trigger on an online murder mystery team-building party?

Mystery has you covered. Our unusual employee team-building events are not only a whole lot of fun, but they've been proven to increase engagement in the workplace. In fact, 71% of those who’ve participated in our events feel more engaged and connected to their coworkers.

So take the next step. Learn more about how Mystery works, or book an event with us today!

Featured image via Unsplash.