Virtual Event Icebreakers
Great icebreaker games can be one of the best ways for team members to get to know each other, build solid coworker bonds, and create a positive culture of collaboration. Even one high-quality icebreaker can set the stage for an authentic connection, something that can be challenging to achieve in a typical work environment. And when it comes to hosting a virtual event, online icebreakers are an especially valuable way to break through the barrier of a screen.
So, how do you know which activities will inspire enthusiasm and team bonding rather than reluctant participation? And are there specific virtual icebreaker ideas that work better in the online format than others? Once again, the Miller Tanner Associates team has you covered.
We’ve rounded up a master list of the best virtual icebreakers for your next event, specifically honing in on the activities that foster collaboration and connection even in an online setting. From the classic to the creative, here are the most effective icebreaker activities for virtual events.
But first, a quick pro tip
Even the greatest team icebreakers can end up being a flop if they’re not the right fit for the group at hand. Think of choosing an icebreaker activity as a match game of sorts: you want something that will suit the interests, skills, and even the size of the group with whom you’re working.
For example, are you planning a meeting for a team of creatives? In that case, look for a game or activity that targets their ability to brainstorm unique solutions, think outside the box, and express their ideas in an interesting way.
With just a little bit of consideration for your participants, you have far better odds of picking an icebreaker that’s an instant hit.
Virtual Icebreaker Ideas
Draw your… (mood, current location, breakfast, etc.)
Icebreaker questions for virtual meetings can be particularly tricky. In an online environment, many participants will simply type a few quick words into the chat box or give a half-hearted thumbs-up – not because they’re disinterested, but simply because that’s what we’re used to in a world of endless Zoom meetings.
Rather than asking for a verbal answer, try switching it up and inviting them to draw one instead. Many platforms have easily accessible drawing tools, such as Zoom Whiteboard. Give everyone a minute or two to create a quick doodle, then spend a few moments getting a good laugh out of everyone’s attempt at art.
Start a meeting with a team-building coffee date.
Sometimes, the best way to nurture authentic connection is just to let it happen all on its own. An easy way to break the ice is to set up a short block of time (10-15 minutes will usually suffice) for informal chatting before a meeting.
Think of it as a virtual watercooler talk: everyone is free to casually chat about what they did that weekend, the new streaming series they’re loving, the great recipe they tried last night – anything! Scheduling quality time with coworkers without any formal activities can become a regular part of your company culture.
Set up a home scavenger hunt.
Help each other get out of your office chairs and stretch your legs with a hilarious home scavenger hunt, an icebreaker game that’s sure to inspire plenty of laughs. Assign the team a fun, lighthearted task to complete; for example:
- Find the most unusual thing in the room
- Take a picture of the view from the window nearest you and share it
- Go get your favorite travel souvenir and tell us about it
- Grab your go-to snack from the pantry
Once the clock runs out, everyone is back and ready to share a story behind the item they brought to the virtual table.
Challenge each other to team member trivia.
If your employees already know each other fairly well, a trivia quiz can be an entertaining way to dig a little deeper. Before the event, collect interesting facts about each participant. Then, set up a quiz – the specific format is totally up to you – to see just how much your staff really know about each other.
Another twist on this idea is the classic game, “two truths and a lie.” In this activity, each participant shares three statements about themselves: one is a lie, and two are true. Other people try to guess which is which, and often, hilarity ensues.
Play “Guess the Desk” to see how home workstations do – or don’t! – reflect various personalities.
For this activity, ask participants to submit a photo of their work desks at home. Then, see if colleagues can guess which desk belongs to which person. It can be fun to see how your team’s various personalities are expressed in their home workstations, especially if there are a few surprises along the way.
Depending on your virtual event platform of choice, you can run the activity via a multiple-choice poll or another format.
Pose a random “question of the day” (or week) for recurring events.
Many of us are attending more than our fair share of virtual meetings these days, and work activities restricted to a screen can become a blur after a while. But this quick icebreaker can encourage team bonding while also boosting morale and warming everyone up for a collaborative chat.
Each day, week, or month, ask participants an interesting, random question. Here are a few to get you started:
- What’s the top item on your bucket list?
- What’s the one TV show you think everyone should watch in their lifetime?
- If you had to be an animal, which type would you be?
- What’s one superpower you wish you could have?
- Would you rather….?
Elevate engagement with next-level icebreakers
At Miller Tanner Associates, we’ve taken the virtual experience and transformed it with our one-of-a-kind platform. Our goal was to go beyond the standard meeting platforms such as Zoom, and create an innovative solution that will please event hosts and attendees alike.
Using the elevated virtual platform, the Miller Tanner Associates team can completely customize the experience within the platform itself. Using measurable data and analytics, we’ll assess interaction and engagement to better understand your attendees’ interests and behaviors. Then, that information can be directly translated into smart strategies for boosting engagement – and in turn, your ROI increases.
When you hire our team for your virtual event planning, the platform is just one of the benefits of working with us. You’ll also have the advantage of our unique expertise and skill, giving your next event that professional touch.
Here are just a few of the icebreaker ideas for virtual meetings we’ve been using within our elevated platforms:
A next-level networking experience, simply exchange profiles with a click of a button. Our team designed an experience that mirrors that of an in-person event including a “handshake” feature, a networking option for attendees to identify mentors and like-minded individuals digitally.
One of the biggest challenges we’ve heard about virtual events is that many attendees miss the opportunities to get to know each other. But with SHAKE, your attendees can put a modern spin on networking.
Learn more about the details in this blog post.
Social Photo Wall
Post to the Social Photo Wall via mobile within the app! This is an interactive social wall within the platform where attendees can connect, share photos and videos, and interact around the content.
The Social Photo Wall is a great jumping-off point for a variety of icebreaker topics – so you can get as creative as you’d like! Attendees can share their favorite funny video of the week, photos of recent professional accomplishments, or a short blurb describing one of the goals for the year. Because the wall is such a flexible tool, you can utilize it for casual conversation and professional discourse alike.
An example can be found in this blog.
Virtual Photo Booth
Attendees can capture branded downloadable photos just like they would as if they were on site. The Virtual Photo Booth adds an element of fun to your event, and is the perfect activity to use during a break. Not only will attendees enjoy the photo booth itself, but you’ll have the benefit of sending them home with a branded gift.
Virtual Break Time
Using interactive avatars, these break opportunities enabled virtual rooms by topic with pop-up video chats. Because each room features a specific topic, there won’t be any lulls in the conversation – there’s already a starting point ready and waiting for them to jump right in.
Friendly Challenge Competition
Attendees receive points and rewards for their level of engagement and interaction within the platform – photos posted, quizzes, fun facts about speakers, etc.
For the event host, it offers the clear advantage of motivation better engagement. And on the attendees’ side, the result is often an experience that’s much more enjoyable. We’ve learned that even the most hesitant virtual meeting participant is likely to discover that once they join in on the fun, the event is far better than they expected.
Set Up a Virtual Slideshow
Run a slideshow of attendees’ life events, both personal and professional milestones and accomplishments, to connect each attendee to one another’s experiences. Even a short slideshow can significantly contribute to the overall morale of the event, helping attendees feel appreciated and “seen.” As a result, they’ll be much more likely to feel enthusiastic about the event and ready to actively engage.
Use a whiteboard application to collaborate in a virtual space, and watch productive conversations and problem-solving really take off. All too often, virtual events fail to provide the same collaboration-friendly environment as an in-person meeting. But now, you don’t have to be sitting in the same room to share a workspace. The virtual whiteboard is a place where good ideas can snowball into great ones, all while attendees are making positive connections with each other.
Master Virtual Events with Support from Miller Tanner Associates
The way we gather, collaborate, and learn has changed dramatically in recent times – has your organization’s approach to event planning evolved as well? With virtual events becoming the new standard for a broad range of occasions, there’s an entirely new assortment of challenges to conquer when it comes to planning and executing an excellent event experience.
Miller Tanner Associates has spent more than 20 years as a leader in corporate event planning and management, working closely with clients in every industry and hosting thousands of exceptional events. We explored the world of virtual events long before they became a staple of modern business and have learned and experienced a lot up to this point. Why start at the beginning when you could have the advantage of our knowledge and expertise right now?
Our team is made up of event planners, production engineers, project managers, designers, programmers, and so many others, with each member contributing a unique skill set to support our clients’ needs. If there’s an obstacle, we’re ready to tackle it with enthusiasm. And when it comes to virtual event planning for businesses, it’s a race we’ve been running (and winning!) for quite some time.
When you’re in need of the best virtual event planners in the business, ones that can bring your event vision to life, Miller Tanner Associates is the team to call. Reach out to us now to learn more about how to host a virtual event that makes your ideal event a reality.