Event ice breaker ideas

I just read a post by Charlie O’Donnell on the “Rules of Inclusion” for tech events (well, really any events).  He brings of up some great points:  inclusion should be a tone set by event organizers, not everyone drinks so don’t rely on alcohol to solve all your networking issues (and some people are horrible drinkers anyway), and most importantly: that inclusion is an issue that needs addressing.  He asked for tips that we’d give to help this along and I suggested ice breakers.  In the spirit of pushing that along, I present thee with some ice breaker ideas:

  • Get some colored dots, give one to each participant as they arrive.  Encourage them to talk to 3 other people with the same colored dot before your event really begins.
  • After your meeting begins, have a break and have participants share what animal (fruit, super hero, animated character, or fictional character) they wish they were with 3 different people around them.  Encourage them to share why.
  • Have participants speak to 3 people they’ve never met before just to say hello, this can happen at any time in the meeting and can be a great energizer, too.
  • For smaller groups, play 2 lies and a truth (everyone shares 3 things about themselves, 2 of them are lies, one is true).  It was fun as a kid, it’s fun as an adult, too.
  • At the beginning of your events/meetings, ask everyone to share 1-3 reasons about why they came to your event today.

Do you have other ice breakers that you use?

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