The annual office party usually offers opportunities for people to get to know each other, have some fun and relax after working hard all year. Given the restrictions that are currently in place to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic this is going to be impossible for most. However, that doesn’t mean that there is zero potential for a night of interactive fun – even if that has to take place via a video conferencing platform like Zoom. While you could just opt for a drinks night or a quiz, if you want to have a really distinctive office party, even in such a year of upheaval, then hosting a murder mystery night is a great choice.
Setting up the murder mystery party
- Find the game. You can buy or download a murder mystery game from sites such as Etsy and there are lots of different options to consider. You might want to have a glamorous Poirot style affair or something fantastical with witches and wizards. When you know how many people are going to be involved then you can choose a game that works for your numbers and your chosen style.
- Get the basics set up. Make sure that everyone who is attending has Zoom – or whatever the video conferencing app that you’re planning to use. You might also want to create a WhatsApp group or email chain so that you can share the details of the party in advance.
- Send your invitations. If you want to start creating the atmosphere even at this stage then make sure that your invitations are in the style of the game itself. It’s a good idea to include contact details for anyone who has questions and all the information that you think people are likely to need to prepare.
- Costumes and props. You can go all out with the costumes and props or just have some token suggestions, it’s up to you. The more involved people get in the game the more exciting it tends to be.
- Notify the killer. If this is an option that your chosen game offers then you’ll need to do this before the actual game gets under way.
On the night
- Welcome everyone to the game – in character – and ask everyone to introduce themselves with as much imagination and gusto as possible.
- Wait for whoever is the victim to die.
- Read the evidence out and allow each person to do their part according to the script.
- Schedule in a break for around half way through.
- Make sure you consider whether participants need time to go away and think about/discuss the evidence, whether alone or in groups.
- When you get to the final act make sure that everyone sticks to the script and people who have lines have enough time to say them to camera – this could be crucial to whether or not the game is a success!
- Once the script is finished and everyone has read their evidence it’s time to make accusations and see who was right..
A murder mystery party via Zoom can be fun and exciting – a perfect way to celebrate the end of the year even if you can’t be in the same room.
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