As a business owner, I know exactly what it’s like going to a local networking event. They’re boring, pretty stale and tend to include the same people over and over again simply bragging about their achievements and how great their business is.
So . . .
How do event organisers shake things up and make these events more appealing? We’ve created this article to list and discuss a number of proven icebreakers for teams and networking events.
What is an Icebreaker?
If you have ever been to corporate event or training course, then chances are, you’ve taken part in an icebreaker of some shape or form.
They’re designed to settle the nerves of any attendees. Usually, the event organisers will design a series of team building tasks and activities that encourage members to participate with each other to achieve a set goal or objective.
Icebreakers for teams are best utilised is large environments, however; I’ve seen them used in networking events and they tend to perform pretty well.
Icebreakers are usually used when:
- You’re attending a training course
- You’ve joined a new team or business
- There has been a change in management
- There are multiple members with little or no knowledge of one another
Name Five of Your . . .
The easiest and most common way to encourage participants to engage with one another is through simple question and answers.
One of the most successful icebreakers for teams is called the “5 Common Interest” method and it’s implemented exactly as it sounds. Simply divide the group of participants equally and try to get each group engaging with people that they wouldn’t usually talk to.
The aim of the exercise is to find 5 common interests or goals with each other. You can use these free common interest questions as a catalyst for colleague chitchat during your icebreaker sessions:
- Favourite Movies
- Favourite TV Programmes/Series
- Favourite Sports
- Favourite Events
- Countries Visited/Want to See
Use Reflective Questions:
Staying with the theme of questions, an extra way to engage with your audience if through something that we refer to as the “Reflection” technique.
Just as you did with the common interest exercise, split the groups or teams evenly. You then want to get your audience to ask each other questions that will encourage them to reflect on their past and see how their answers could impact them going forward.
A few proven reflective questions have included:
- If you could be an animal, which animal would you be and why?
- What’s the best time of day to describe your personality?
- In your opinion, what is the best age and why?
- If you could only ever choose one task to complete daily, what would it be and why?
Avoid Asking Questions . . . Take Action:
As we’ve already covered a lot of icebreakers for teams include questions and answers that are often considered cringe worthy and a little embarrassing. Fortunately, there is another way to boost your participant’s engagement and have a little fun all at the same time.
OK . . . What is it?
Have you considered hiring a photo booth in Oxford? Or Cambridge or even London? We mention these locations as they have proven to be the most successful locations to hold team building exercises and classes.
Utilising a photo booth is a great way to increase participation levels. Use these activity ideas to help get you started. Of course, if you can make your own ideas that’s even better!
Again, split the groups into even teams. It may help to prepare before your guests arrive to make it more of an even playing field.
Hide certain items within your training room and set each team a goal:
The first team to have a image taken in the photo booth with each individual item wins – you’re welcome to incentivise the winners by offering a prize but in most scenarios, event planners tend to leave it as pride for the winners.
Oh Really? Me Too!
Our final icebreaker for teams is the ten-minute 10-question challenge.
Just as you have done with all of the other activities, split your groups into teams and ask them to pair up. The goal for this challenge is to come up with 10 common features or personality traits as quickly as possible.
Now . . . we tried this icebreaker at a conference we went to and , as you can expect there were a few silly responses such as; “we both have hands” and “we both use our legs daily”.
Encourage your participants to think outside the box a little and really get to know each other – where did they train? Have they been to university/which course did they complete?
The whole point of an icebreaker for teams and colleagues is to make it easier to communicate with each other in the work place. Going forward it makes working a lot easier and can increase efficiency significantly.
Hopefully you will have read this article and taken a little inspiration from it for your next training class or corporate conference. As with any icebreaker, you want to get as many guests or team members participating as you can.
Traditional icebreakers can be a little tedious and demotivating. Try to do what you can to change things up and be a little different.
Photo booth hire in London is a great way to increase engagement and can create a lot of fun (as well as hilarious images) for you to use at future conferences and seminars.
Consider these icebreakers for teams for your next event to increase attendee engagement and team building:
- 5 Common Interests
- Reflective Questions
- Action Orientated Activities
- 10-Minute 10 Question Challenge
If you have any additional icebreaker ideas that have worked for you, then we’d love to hear from you, either contact us or send us a message through one of our social media channels.
We wish you the best of luck with your next event – hopefully you’re able to break the ice with your attendees!