It's out with the old, boring and sometimes forceful conference networking sessions and in with the new, innovative and fun ways to get to know each other! Attendees need a space to be creative, where they can take the time to connect and listen to other individuals. Whether the conference is small or large, indoors or outdoors, one-day or a week, give your attendees a number of fun activities that leave them wondering why they hadn't done something like that sooner. Check out these three awesome ways to connect at your next conference!
Play A Little Telephone
At a recent conference in Montreal, attendees stepped inside a tangible telephone game, where they could grab one of the phone receivers and have a conversation with another guest in the room. The activity is intended to explore what it takes “to truly hear and be heard in our modern, hyper-connected world”. After the conversation, participants are asked to move into a debriefing space to discuss the connection between the experience and their work. This interaction is great for teambuilding or even new-hire orientation. Plus, it looks awesome in photographs!
A picnic combines an alternative to traditional meal service with a networking activity. And when held indoors, a picnic can take place year-round. Organizers can provide blankets and baskets filled with food for five or six people and invited attendees can find others to share with in order to start a new connection. This environment is a lot more relaxed than trying to find people at an eight or ten-top table in a stuffy banquet room. Incorporate this idea into your next conference for a fun way for attendees to meet and eat!
Trust me, as someone who prints and stuffs plain old boring badges for meetings, this idea truly makes us happy! Badge decorating is an activity that allows attendees to show their individuality and creativity—and creates an easy topic of conversation among strangers. The decorations can match the theme of the conference or be something completely random that allows your attendees to truly be themselves. It's a nice way to bring out that "being a kid again" vibe which in turn, kind of makes meeting people a little easier, just like the days of making friends in elementary school.
Try these trendy activities out and continue to find ways to devour the details and improve connections at your next conference! Your attendees will be happy you did!