Icebreaker Activities: 6 Techniques to Build Connection Among Guests

18 December 2019 | Temps de lecture : 9 min.
Deux personnes posent devant un fond bleu en tenant des déguisements à la main. C'est la photo principale de cet article rédigé par Eventdrive

 As event organizers, there are several things that can scare us: the caterer getting the address wrong and leaving us without food, it raining all day when our event was planned outdoors, or the atmosphere being lackluster throughout the event. 

Of course, a good event organizer always has contingency plans to avoid such mishaps. But when it comes to creating a good atmosphere, there's only one solution: building connections among guests with icebreaker activities. To achieve this, several techniques exist, and we've decided to compile them in this article. Ready? Let's dive in!

Icebreaker Activities

Incorporating icebreaker games into an event is an excellent way to encourage integration and interaction among participants who may not necessarily know each other. Icebreaker games help foster a sense of camaraderie and good spirits right from the start of the event, prioritizing exchanges and the creation of connections among participants. The objective of these games is to lighten the atmosphere by creating a playful ambiance. Icebreaker games can also help break down any cultural and linguistic barriers that may exist among participants, providing them with a shared activity to engage in. Finally, these games facilitate interactions and make participants feel at ease, which can contribute to making the event more enjoyable and successful.

Rest assured, whether your event is professional or more casual, the possibilities are numerous! We've compiled our favorites, starting with an activity that's particularly easy to set up using our platform.

Use word clouds

Word clouds are an excellent icebreaker game for events because they are easy to set up and allow participants to introduce themselves in a unique and playful way. The idea is to create a word cloud from keywords or phrases that represent participants' interests, values, or ambitions.

The words or phrases are then displayed on a board or screen, and participants are invited to introduce themselves by choosing a word or phrase that best represents them. This allows guests to share information about themselves in a relaxed manner and discover common interests with other participants.

Word clouds can also be used to stimulate exchanges among participants and encourage group conversations. In summary, word clouds are an effective and fun icebreaker game to promote integration and communication among participants at an event.

Eventdrive offers this feature in its software. The real advantage is that the results can be displayed live on a large screen. The more a word is chosen, the larger it appears, allowing trends to quickly emerge.

Offer Classic Games

Since time immemorial, certain games have had the ability to bring participants (even the shyest ones) together at an event. Of course, we're thinking of the timeless favorites like pool tables, ping-pong, and foosball, which always do the trick.

But to diversify icebreaker activities, you can also offer other games such as modern board games, card games, group-solving puzzles, construction games, or even multiplayer video games. The advantage of these games is that simply setting them up at the event venue naturally forms groups and gets participants engaged in lively games.

In addition to fostering exchanges and interactions, these games tend to stimulate players' competitive spirit and can lead to challenges between participants, adding a touch of fun and excitement to the event.

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A Photo Booth

To break the ice among your guests at your event, what better way than to set up a photo booth? This will create a fun and friendly atmosphere for your participants. You can even take it a step further by launching a challenge to your guests, encouraging them to interact with each other.

For example, you can propose challenges such as “Take a photo with someone wearing a red tie,” or “Take a photo with an employee who has been with the company for over five years.”

These challenges are an excellent way to create connections among your guests and encourage interactions among them. If the number of guests is large, it can also encourage people to talk to colleagues they don't interact with every day, thus promoting cohesion within the company.

However, to truly motivate your participants, it's important to provide an incentive and a reward. Offering a prize, such as a gift basket or a discount card at a local store, can be a great way to encourage participants to participate and take photos with other guests. Don't hesitate to let your creativity flow to find original and attractive rewards for your participants! 😉

Photo booths can also be customized to fit perfectly with the image of your event. For example, you can add a logo, a message, or even a thematic background so that your guests feel immersed in the atmosphere of your event. It's an excellent way to reinforce the impact of your brand and leave a memorable souvenir for your guests.

Moreover, photo booths also help create content on social media. The photos taken can be shared online on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, with hashtags dedicated to your event. This allows your guests to share their experience with their community and promote your brand or company through their own social networks.

Finally, to make the experience even more interactive, you can add props such as hats, glasses, or mustaches, allowing your guests to dress up and take even more fun and original photos. All of this will help create a festive and friendly atmosphere, conducive to building connections among your guests.

Original Icebreaker Activities to Foster Connections

If you're not a fan of games, don't worry, other techniques and activities can be implemented. Here are our top three favorites.

Setting Up “Bars of” 

It's easier to talk to someone if you have something in common with them. But how can you know if you'll really get along with someone before even talking to them? To address this, you can set up “bars of”.

At your event venue, add a touch of originality by offering a “cocktail bar”, a “chocolate bar”, a “cupcake bar”, or even a “tea bar”. People will naturally gravitate toward the bars that appeal to them the most and engage in conversations with those present. And what could be simpler than starting a conversation about the topic that brought them together? It's an excellent way to break the ice and encourage interactions among your guests.

In addition to themed bars, you can also provide a relaxation area with sofas and comfortable armchairs to encourage people to unwind and chat.

Seating Your Guests

Another slightly riskier tactic for breaking the ice among your guests is to seat them. However, this solution is only feasible if you're hosting a sit-down meal and is not always well-received by participants who often prefer to sit with their friends.

On the other hand, this proposition is ideal if you have a fairly small number of guests and the different participants have already met at least once before. For example, if you're organizing a gala dinner for a medium-sized company, it might be interesting to mix up the teams. Everyone has already spoken to each other, but may not have had the opportunity to engage more broadly.

Additionally, you can also introduce tabletop games or group activities to encourage guests to interact with each other. This can be a fun and interactive option to break the ice and allow participants to get to know each other better.

However, it's important to keep in mind that this tactic may yield mixed results, depending on the personalities and individual preferences of the guests. Some people may feel uncomfortable sitting at a table with strangers, while others may appreciate the opportunity to meet new people.

Ultimately, the decision to seat guests or not should be based on the nature of the event and the expected group dynamics. It's important to consider the wishes and preferences of the participants while offering activities that encourage interaction and conversation among guests.

Setting Up a Jukebox

We know that music has the power to bring individuals together. So, why not take advantage of it? Our suggestion? Set up a jukebox at your event venue and let it happen... Soon enough, you'll see your participants suggesting their music. It's one of the simplest but most effective icebreaker activities!

Some will start dancing, others will engage in musical debates, and there might even be some impromptu music quizzes starting! Setting up a jukebox has a dual advantage: creating connections among your guests and ensuring the musical entertainment of your evening. A win-win, isn't it?

Networking Activities

Plan activities specifically designed for networking, such as professional speed-datings or roundtable discussions on relevant company topics. Professional speed-datings, for example, allow you to meet a large number of people in a short amount of time, while roundtables provide the opportunity for more in-depth discussions on specific subjects. By organizing these activities effectively, you can help break the ice among participants and create a friendly atmosphere.

These ideas are valuable because they promote exchanges and the establishment of professional connections among participants. Networking activities allow participants to meet people they may not have otherwise met, discuss topics relevant to their work, and expand their professional network.

Bonus Idea: Schedule More Breaks

Scheduling regular breaks during a corporate event is an icebreaker because it allows participants to relax, which can help reduce their stress and tension levels.

This can also create informal opportunities for participants to chat and interact with each other, which can encourage more natural and relaxed conversations than during formal work moments. Additionally, regular breaks allow participants to recharge their batteries and mentally refresh, which can help them stay focused and engaged for the remainder of the event. This can also increase their energy levels and enable them to fully participate in subsequent activities and work sessions, which can be beneficial for the entire event.

Organizing an event is not an easy task, especially when you're unsure how guests will react! By offering fun activities, small games, or original animations, you won't have trouble breaking the ice.

If you want to ensure that your event will have a good atmosphere, you can also hire a qualified host who will be responsible for "warming up your guests" in case your proposals didn't charm them.

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