Connecting with your audience is a challenge for speakers and facilitators. We’ve compiled a list of icebreakers to warm up your audience and set the scene for an enjoyable program and networking opportunities. No cringe-worthy personal disclosures or physical contact necessary, we promise!
1. The selfie
In this digital age, selfies are familiar and fun. There is something personal and friendly about sharing a photo with someone.
How to: ask the audience to introduce themselves to the person next to them, take a selfie and add it to the event’s activity feed. This offers an easy introduction and opportunity to be silly and have a laugh. Even better – offer a silly prize for the silliest face.
2. Wild card profile question
There are numerous opportunities to enhance delegate interaction using their name badges!
How to: Ask your delegates a fun or unexpected question in their registration form and include on their name badges. For example: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?
You could go one step further and give a delegate someone else’s name tag/badge. He/she needs to find the other person and ask them about their wild card question.
3. Send a private joke
Everyone knows at least one joke. This is an easy task, which requires little effort and can make friends of strangers.
How to: Ask your audience to message another attendee in the profile list with their favourite joke. Ideally the conversation will continue, and your delegates will be armed with some hilarious topics for face to face networking.
4. Your favourite
Test your audiences artistic capabilities and encourage conversation with this ice breaker.
How to: ask participants to draw their favourite – animal, food or holiday spot on their name tag or badge. Make sure they have a bit if time to think and draw. Next, ask them to show the person next to them who has to guess what it is! This is quick, easy low stress, and can be continued through the conference as the attendee’s will be wearing their badges throughout. A great conversation starter.
5. Human Bingo
Another extension on name badges is a game of Human Bingo.
How to: give your attendees a list of items to tick off their bingo card. For example find someone who has a dog? Find someone who plays soccer? The first to tick off all their items wins a prize!
Get delegates to collaborate and come up with questions for the speaker. Perfect for Q&A or panel sessions and stimulating conversation.
How to: group delegates in 3 or more and designate one person to enter the team’s questions for the session. For a large group you could do this in advance by adding categories to their profiles and sending them a notification within the event app. This activity will significantly improve quality of questions during the panel with a group effort.
7. Audience polling
Polling the audience is a quick way to get the attention of your audience, break the ice and gauge feedback and ideas for the session.
How to: prepare some warm up questions, for example:
What brings you to the conference?
a. Knowledge b. Networking c. My boss made me d. Food
Once you’ve covered some easy personal questions start gathering your audience’s thoughts and opinions on your session topic.
Try some of these ideas at your next event to get your audience’s attention and kick off networking. By using tools already available to you including the event App, Badges or Interactive Sessions, it’s easy to incorporate any of these icebreakers.