You may think that planning team-building icebreakers isn’t relevant to a conference setting. However, to engage and motivate attendees, some ice-breaking activities will do wonders for the networking mindset of your delegates.
You can do this with the basics, such as by providing conversation starters on everyone’s name badges. Not knowing where to start is a big conversation blocker and can really slow down the networking process. Including a phrase such as ‘I’m looking for…’ or ‘Ask me about…’ so you provide everyone with a natural follow in, providing ready-made engagement.
A common hurdle that event organisers often stumble over is creating the right atmosphere. People are often disengaged or simply unsure how to network. After all, it’s a learned skill and a tough one to master. A great way to really draw in a motivated crowd at your next conference event is to think outside the box and mix up the format.
Icebreaker games for large groups
You can help break down barriers by providing some gentle (or more extreme!) icebreaking activities such as these for large groups:
If you’ve tried indoor events in the past and you need something a little more extreme to make your attendees feel at ease, then why not try a different event format altogether.
The Solution Room icebreaker
Why not try a networking activity such as ‘the solution room’? This can work with a very large group of people (think hundreds) or with medium-sized gatherings of say 10 or more. This icebreaker activity can last up to two hours and enables peer-supported advice for particular challenges people may be facing within their particular field.
The idea is that each person considers a specific challenge they are facing. The group is then divided into groups of 6-8 to discuss the problem. Each person presents their problem and the group brainstorm solutions. Groups sit at tables with paper cloth coverings, on which they can brainstorm ideas to reach a conclusion.
The Dynamic icebreaker
For a real crowd pleaser and ideal for a post-lunch boost, to combat fatigue or burn out, why not stage a dynamic icebreaker. See this idea instigated at a TedX talk by Eric de Groot aims to show how easy it is to change people’s behaviour with simple persuasion and a group activity.
Get your delegates to create paper balls, from sheets of paper on their chairs. They then simply throw them at a target with music in the background. You even get people to write down some fun facts about themselves, or perhaps a challenge they’ve faced.