the timing down for a treasure hunt can be challenging because
you don't REALLY know how long it will take your participants
without a test run. In a perfect world, you'll have the hunt
done way in advance with enough time to send a sample test
group through your hunt for testing
however, in the
real world we're typically a bit more scrambling to get everything
done closer to the actual day of the event. Here are at least
some things to keep in mind when you are considering the timing
of the treasure hunt:
treasure hunt can be as short as you like
guests won't forgive you if it's too long. I wouldn't go longer
than 1.5 hours if on foot and 2 hours in a car. Now, that
doesn't mean that I'm suggesting hitting those numbers
only saying that in my experience ANYTHING over those times
and you'll run into some tired hunters. Unless you have an
AMAZINGLY original hunt, for best results I would stick to
1 hour for walking treasure hunts and 1.25 for driving ones.
Walk/drive your hunts to see how much actual driving is involved.
Sometimes routes seem like they are easy to travel
once they're driven it could prove to the contrary.
When trying to gauge the amount of time it will take your
AVERAGE adventurer to go through your hunt, consider their
physical capabilities. Will your guests be college students
who will be running from location to location or will they
be middle aged adults who might prefer a more leisurely pace?
If you've provided puzzles for your hunters to solve, consider
giving them to a friend to sample to see how long it will
take them to figure it out. Additionally, this will help you
test out your puzzles to catch any errors you might have made
in the puzzle design.
final words on timing. Be aware of the starting time. Have
a timeline so you and your volunteers know exactly when everything
will start and finish. People will always be late. Being on
time should be the most emphasized detail when communicating
to your guests. Explain to them that it is imperative that
nobody be 'fashionably late.' Another trick is to plan a small
hors d'oeuvre or activity BEFORE the treasure hunt begins.
Then, if someone is late, they may miss something, but it
will not be the hunt. Why is it so important that nobody is
late? Imagine you pull 50 participants together and explain
the rules to everyone on how to navigate through the treasure
hunt that you've created. You then spend time making sure
that everyone is on a team. You have a small little dramatic
presentation to kick off your adventure for everyone to see
and get a better understanding of what they are dealing with.
You have answered questions and everyone is ready. The teams
set out and the adventure begins!esnter the town and your
adventure begins! So far, it's a success. Then, suddenly,
two late guests and really want to join in. Everyone has left
and you can't pair them up with any other team. They are full
of questions, all of which were asked by others when you explained
the rules the first time. Do what you need to do to make sure
that when you begin introducing the activity, everyone who
is going to participate is present, attentive, and ready.
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