Explorer, Shopper, Vacationer, Prisoner

A short check-in activity to measure the team's attitude to the meeting.

Best For

A check-in activity

When to Use

Start of a meeting

What is the ESVP Check-in?

ESVP stands for Explorer, Shopper, Prisoner, and Vacationer. It's a short check-in exercise to gauge how the individuals are feeling about the upcoming meeting. In short, if people feel negatively about the upcoming meeting then it might not be a good use of the group's time! Anyone working with a group would benefit from running an ESVP check-in, and it can lead to the team changing any meeting practices they are unsatisfied with.

The four personas give people a way of indicating their attitude to the meeting:

Explorer - You're eager to discover new ideas and insights, and want to learn as much as possible.

Shopper - You will look over all the available information, and you're happy to leave with one new useful idea.

Vacationer - You're not too interested in the meeting, but are happy to take a break from the day-to-day work.

Prisoner - You feel forced to attend, and you'd rather be doing something else.

How to run the ESVP Check-in

After explaining the exercise and reading out each category to the team, ask them to place a token in the section that most closely relates to how they feel about the meeting.

Once everyone has done this, review the results together and lead a discussion on what it means for the meeting at hand. Remind the group that they can work together to adapt their meeting.

If some people have chosen the prisoner persona, remind the group that anyone who doesn't want to be in the meeting is not forced to attend.


This check-in exercise might not be appropriate for every team and circumstance, as it does require a level of psychological safety for people to speak their mind.

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