Simple Ice-Breaking Games That Will Turn Strangers into Buddies in Minutes!

A happy, chatty event audience is vital for your event in so many ways. These audiences will be more engaged with your speakers, have more energy, and pay more attention to everything happening at and after the event – they will leave with positive memories.

But getting a roomful of strangers to interact with each other (and your speakers) can be challenging. Don’t worry, though; it’s nothing some good ice-breaking games (with a bit of help from technology) won’t fix! These are our favourite ideas for turning strangers into buddies in just minutes.

Everyone loves massages

One of our favourite ice-breakers is the “massage train”. This can be done regardless of whether your audience members are seated theatre-style or at round tables.

Simply get everyone in the same row (or at the same time) to stand up, turn to the left (or right), place their outstretched hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them, and then massage the person for a good minute. Remember to ask everyone to turn around and repeat the process so the reinvigorating massage goes both ways!

Scan a badge 

Sneak a QR code into the corner of your participants’ badges, then give everyone a 3-minute break to scan QR codes on other event attendees’ badges using a Mobile Event App.

Every badge scanned gives the participant a point, and the participant with the highest number of points after the 3 to 5the -the minute game gets a prize. A surefire way to kick off an event, perfect for groups of 50 – 200 participants.

3-minute bingo!

This game is easy to play in both large and small groups. Create bingo cards (they can be physical or digital cards) that contain various human characteristics, such as “Younger than 28 years old”, “Black hair”, “Is a Piece”, etc. – then have participants check out these boxes in their cards, as the emcee reads them off.

The first person to complete their card and shout “BINGO!” wins a prize. (If it’s an internal event, you could have some extra fun by asking the winner to dance on stage before receiving their award.)

Personalize name tags

Give participants space on their name tags to write three things about themselves: their favourite animal, most desired technology device or their dream holiday destination. You could even mix things up by giving different participants a different set of “fun facts” to write onto their badges.

Then, give participants a few minutes to get to know each other. Challenge them to memorize one thing about each person they meet, and provide them with a point for every person they get to know. Award the winner with al gifts to keep the energy up and excitement going.

QR treasure hunt

Print QR codes and hide them around the event space or in presentation notes. Each code can contain a clue as to where the event’s grand prize is hidden.

By the end of the event, participants should have enough clues to locate and claim the prize. To encourage further interaction, you could make this a team or table challenge, so participants will work with team members to get everyone to the tip.

Need more ideas to break the ice?

For more ideas on breaking the ice, encouraging interaction through gamification, or chatting about event ideas, chat with the friendly team at Engage.


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