Ever hop online for a virtual event or digital conference and immediately feel awkward or anxious? There’s a wall of faces and plenty of “darkened” profiles, all shuffling nervously to look preoccupied when, in reality, they’re just hoping not to make eye contact just yet. And then there’s always the one person who forgets to mute, so there’s a mumbling conversation and a dog barking. Then, the host or presenter speaks up and calls you all out individually to introduce yourselves.
No one wants to be in a virtual event like this.
So, as an event planner, what can you do to avoid these anxiety-inducing first moments of your online engagement? You can be smart and savvy about brilliant icebreaker techniques that actually inspire fun and stress-free interactions among your digital audience. And today, we’ll share a slew of virtual event icebreaker ideas for inspiration on your next hybrid or virtual event.
One of the best ways to put your online audience at ease is by asking a few icebreaker questions. Don’t just make everyone “introduce themselves,” as in the above scenario. Instead, ask fun and obscure questions that inspire familiarity among your virtual event attendees and get the group comfortable with each other onscreen.
Here are some examples of great icebreaker questions:
- What’s your favorite movie, TV show, or book right now?
- Calling all foodies - what’s your favorite food?
- What was your very first job, and what did you learn?
- What video game have you spent hours playing?
- What is your cure for hiccups?
- What was the first music album you ever bought?
- What’s your favorite go-to karaoke song?
And if you really get stuck, you can use an icebreaker AI generator.
Another way to break the ice with your virtual event guests is with brilliant and fun activities. Ask your online attendees to get more interactive, and lead the way by going first with the activity you choose. Here are a few to get creative.
- Give us a tour of your workspace!
- What’d you bring for “show and tell?”
- Best background awards
- Introduce your at-home pets
- Champagne tastings (mail out samples ahead)
Probably the best way to loosen up your online event crowd is with a fun game. Icebreaker games are great for creating a relaxed atmosphere with a fun and slightly competitive spirit. Here are some games to consider incorporating into your virtual events.
- Company or themed trivia contests
- Name that tune
- Virtual scavenger hunts
- Two truths and a lie
- Guess what’s in the bag
Be aware of any time constraints your event may have. Games will usually take more time to facilitate, and you don’t want to run over your virtual event’s allotted time.
FAQs About Virtual Event Icebreakers
Here are a few additional FAQs and quick-reference answers regarding virtual event icebreakers.
What is an icebreaker?
An icebreaker is any team-building exercise or activity that encourages a group of people to get to know one another and become more comfortable with each other. Icebreakers foster an environment of community and are great for building rapport among those who participate.
Why are icebreakers important in virtual events?
Icebreakers are important because, without them, your virtual event participants will be more introverted and less comfortable contributing. Connecting strangers won’t make them connect. But the icebreaker will encourage engagement.
What are some icebreaker activities to consider?
However you choose to icebreak your virtual event crowd, these methods are often considered the most effective:
- Thought-provoking questions
- Interactive activities
- Fun and exciting games
If you need more help with boosting your virtual event engagement, come back often to our ongoing blog series for the latest insights. And don’t forget to keep up with new announcements for next year’s Event Planner Expo!