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, pay more attention to everything happening at your event and after the event – will leave with positive memories.

But getting a roomful of strangers to interact with each other (and your speakers) can be a challenge. Don’t worry though, it’s nothing some good ice-breaking games (with a little help from technology) won’t fix! These are some of 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 one can be done regardless of whether your audience members are seated theatre-style, or at round tables.

Simple 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, then massage the person for a good minute. Just 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 by 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 5-minute game gets a prize. A sure-fire way to kick off an event, especially good for groups of 50 – 200 participants.


3-minute bingo!

This game is easy to play in both large and small groups. Simply 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 Pieces”, etc. – then have participants check out these boxes in their cards, as the emcee reads them off.

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


Personalise name tags Give participants space on their name tags to write 3 things about themselves, such as 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 memorise one thing about each person they meet, and give them a point for every person they get to know. Award the winner with a small gift to keep the energy up and excitement going.


QR treasure hunt

Print QR codes and hide them around the event space, or even 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 the and claim the prize. To encourage further interaction, you could make this into a team or table challenge, so participants will work together with team members to get everyone to the prize.


Need more ideas to break the ice?

For more ideas on breaking the ice, encouraging interaction through gamification, or to simply to chat about event ideas, have a chat with the friendly team at PowerVote.