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?