One of the most important aspects of a large corporate event is networking, and part of networking is getting attendees comfortable in face-to-face settings. Whether its people from different departments, different offices or different companies, getting over the initial getting-to-know you phase of interactions is key. This can be awkward for more introverted attendees, however, so it’s important to pick an icebreaker that helps reduce that anxiety and create a feeling of fun – you want to get your event off on the right foot!
From the experts here at WPI Events, here are 3 great icebreakers that can help kick off your event and get everything rolling.
A fun way to get tables made up of a wide variety of attendees to work together is to have a table top quiz. It encourages the entire table to interact with one another, rather than just conversations with people sitting next to one another. Trivia based on the theme of your event is a great idea, though random pop-culture trivia can work as well. Set a time limit and give a prize to whichever table has the most correct answers in the shortest amount of time – it’s a surefire crowd pleaser, and tends to even get the introverts involved.
If your event has an auditorium-like setup, it’s difficult for a great deal of icebreaking to happen – communication is limited, and people can’t mingle with one another. One way to get some audience participation and to ease people into the event proper is to do some ice-breaking poll questions. Ask questions – light, simple and relevant to your topic, brand or the event in general – and get people who agree to stand up. This allows people to see like-minded individuals, which gives them something to talk about later.
Prepare bingo cards in advance, with each slot with particular human characteristics, qualities or interests. They could be things like “someone younger than 30”, “a person from Alberta”, “someone who plays a musical instrument”, and things like that. They could also be relevant to your event in particular – if you’re bringing people from different departments, for example, it could be “someone from marketing”, and so forth. It’s an excellent and fast way to get people talking and learning about one another.