ESVP Guide

Updated on 2024-04-04 (first published on 2024-03-12)


The ESVP check-in exercise is a self-reflection tool that helps individuals identify their current mindset and approach to the workshop or meeting by categorizing themselves as either an Explorer, Shopper, Vacationer, or Prisoner.

Use Cases

  • Ice Breaker: Use ESVP as an ice breaker in workshops to understand the state of mind of your audience. It can help you adjust the workshop to better fit their needs and create a more engaging experience.
  • Check-in Exercise: Use ESVP as a check-in exercise in team meetings or retrospectives to gauge the team’s state of mind and engagement level. It can help you understand if now is a good time to discuss certain topics or if people are not in the right mindset to participate.

How to Play

Participants choose one of four pictures that best represents their current state of mind:

  • Explorer - I am excited to be here and want to participate in the discussion and learn as much as possible.
  • Shopper - Maybe I find something valuable here, but I am not sure yet.
  • Vacationer - It’s nice to get away from the desk and daily routine.
  • Prisoner - I have better things to do and would rather be somewhere else.

Inviting Participants

  1. Create the game
  2. Use the link or QR code to invite people

Running the Game

  • When people join they will be asked to choose one of the four pictures that best represents their current state of mind.

Click to expand
Screenshot of ESVP options

  • Hovering the question mark by each picture will show a description of the picture.
  • People can change their choice at any time during the game.


Click “Show results” to see the distribution of choices made by the participants.

Click to expand
Screenshot of ESVP results

Facilitator Tips

  • Emphasize that this exercise is anonymous, and there are no right or wrong answers.
  • Avoid asking participants to reveal their choices. The goal is to understand the overall mindset of the group.

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