How to Play Virtual Happy Hour Trivia

September 16, 2020

Virtual Happy Hour Trivia takes all the fun of yelling answers at the TV during games shows and adds collaboration with remote coworkers.

This aspect makes virtual trivia an awesome team building activity to do with your remote team.

Virtual happy hour trivia is a type of virtual happy hour game and online team building game.

Online Trivia Nights are events where teammates gather via video conferencing software to compete in contests of knowledge, indulge in fanning the flames of friendly competition, and generally have a great time team bonding.

This article covers:

  • How to do virtual trivia
  • What are the benefits of virtual trivia?
  • How do you make a virtual team meeting fun?

How To Do Virtual Happy Hour Trivia

Leading a virtual team trivia night is as simple as running through the five steps below!

  1. Pick your software
  2. Choose your theme and categories
  3. Divide the group into teams
  4. Quiz participants and keep score
  5. Name and award the winners

1. Pick your software

While traditional trivia usually happens in pubs, virtual trivia takes place online. Just as you might select a bar based on beer specials, hot wing flavors, and floor stickiness, you should take care to choose the right web venue for your trivia group. Consider the size of your group and which existing programs your team is already familiar with.

Web-based video conferencing platforms:

  • Zoom
  • WebEx
  • Skype
  • GoToMeeting
  • RingCentral
  • GoogleMeet

The above list contains just a few video meeting options. Social media applications, such as Facebook Messenger, also offer video calling capabilities and serve as another alternative. Keep in mind that many video meeting platforms, like Zoom, cap meetings to 40 minutes on the free plan, so you will want to either use the paid version or utilize another platform. Nobody wants to get booted off the call mid-round!

Once you pick a virtual meeting space, you can send out your invitations and start preparing the game.

2. Choose your theme and categories

The best part of trivia is that the game offers customized virtual team building opportunities. As the gamemaster, you can personalize the quiz to suit your group, whether to make the questions more accessible or more challenging. You can tailor trivia to fit your industry, or you can deviate from work topics entirely and opt for entertainment.

Some fun themes and categories for virtual trivia events:

  • Popular TV Shows like Friends or The Office
  • Movie Genres, like horror, action, or romantic comedy
  • Holidays and special occasions
  • Drunk History: wild tales that history textbooks omitted
  • We Are the Champions: sports trials and triumphs
  • State facts, such as official bird, flag, flower, quarter, as well as wacky news stories from each state
  • Weird animals

The internet is an endless source of random information, limiting trivia categories only to your imagination. Digital trivia offers a prime opportunity to highlight shier and more withdrawn teammates. By choosing these team members’ areas of expertise as trivia topics, you give these teammates a chance to shine and contribute meaningfully to the team’s success.

3. Divide the group into teams

My friends and I once built an unbeatable trivia team. One friend was a sports whiz, another a math and science buff, one member was a pop culture guru, and I rounded out the group with my cultural chops. The best trivia teams, like the best work teams, are diverse and well-balanced in terms of knowledge and skill. Thus, divvying up teams for trivia is great team building skill development for managers.

There are many ways you can make teams for online trivia. Of course, selecting at random is always an option. You can also group participants by department or project teams, or go the opposite route and pair up team members who rarely interact. If you want to optimize the exercise, then you can intentionally group coworkers based on traits like seniority, expertise, and interpersonal skills, to ensure an even mix within every team. Another option is to let employees choose the teams.

Whichever way you decide, groups should consist of approximately four to five team members. This number guarantees a mix of knowledge, but also ensures that groups are not so large that more dominant teammates sideline quieter members.

During your virtual trivia event, teammates can also change the display names on video squares to team names. During the game, you can use the breakout rooms feature in Zoom or similar programs to allow your teams privacy to discuss answers.

4. Gather your questions

Here is a starter list of 10 questions that you can use.

Question: Which country consumes the most ice cream per capita?
Answer: New Zealand

Question: What does the company name IBM stand for?
Answer: International Business Machines

Question: Which animal has ten hearts?
Answer: The earthworm

Question: Name five professional major US sports teams that use lions, tigers, or bears in their team names. (Hint: The teams may or may not use the exact words “lions,” “tigers,” or “bears.”)
Possible Answers:
Boston Bruins
Chicago Bears
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Bengals
Detroit Lions
Detroit Tigers
Memphis Grizzlies

Question: This actress, the daughter of famous Hitchcock film actress Tippi Hedren, grew up with pet lions.
Answer: Melanie Griffith

Question: A teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh approximately how much?
Answer: Six billion tons

Question: The forget-me-not is the official flower of which US State?
Answer: Alaska

Question: Finish the quote. “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is______” – Mark Twain
Answer: Laughter

Question: A dodecahedron has how many sides?
Answer: Twelve

Question: The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer contains how many completed stories?
Answer: 24

You can download a PDF of these questions too.

5. Quiz participants and keep score

Once you situate all teammates on the call, the game can begin. As the leader, you will play host and read off the trivia questions. Players can submit answers through the private chat feature, or you can also utilize the polling option to collect responses. Spreadsheets make great score-keeping tools. You can also use programs like Google Slides or PowerPoint to organize and display questions. Also, consider incorporating audio and video components for an additional layer to your online trivia night. Features such as screen-sharing make it easy to play video clips as part of a question.

Feel free to get creative with trivia to keep teams engaged. Besides the standard question and answer format, you can also issue challenges and integrate other activities. For instance, you can ask teams to draw on the whiteboard application, or you can instruct team members to act out answers charades-style.

6. Name and award the winners

While learning and team bonding make everyone winners at online trivia, one team will dominate the scoreboard and will expect well-earned bragging rights. At the end of the game, tally up the points and name a winner. Decide the prize for the victorious team, whether it be points towards a larger team competition, a virtual gift card, or a perk like leaving early for the day.

Trivia is a team building competition, but a friendly one. Be sure the rivalry does not get out of hand. A little boasting and teasing is reasonable and part of the fun, but you should ensure that all talk remains professional. Remember that, though remote trivia may be a team building game, no competition should come at the expense of ruining a relationship with other coworkers.

Final Thoughts

Virtual trivia, also known as online trivia, video trivia, remote trivia, or virtual team trivia, is a great game to play to engage remote teams. Because the game is customizable, this team building activity is a great fit for diverse groups.

In case designing an online trivia quiz seems beyond your wheelhouse, we also offer a hosted virtual team trivia experience, so that you can enjoy the festivities without Googling a million facts. 🙂

FAQ: Virtual happy hour trivia

Here are some common questions and answers about virtual happy hour trivia.

What are the benefits of virtual trivia?

Virtual team trivia allows remote employees to gather and socialize in an entertaining and purposeful way. The game is an exercise in cooperation and teaches teammates how to combine knowledge to achieve goals.

Through this online exercise, team members practice skills like listening, reasoning and critical thinking, and discussion. Plus, the activity is a lot of fun. Online trivia nights allow digital nomads the chance to unwind and socialize with coworkers, which in turn leads to increased employee engagement, job satisfaction and improved interpersonal communication.

How do you make virtual trivia fun?

Playing remote team games during online happy hour is one way to retain remote workers’ attention and create a more interactive and entertaining online experience. You can make virtual trivia extra fun by personalizing questions and categories to fit teammates’ areas of interest and expertise.

Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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