More often over the past year, I am getting asked to host a game/social activity for 2 hours during an online conference or workshop. Event hosts are increasingly looking for ways to entertain their online conference attendees. Since I’m known as the “game guy” in my organization, I’m getting tasked with solving the question, “How to provide entertainment to a diverse group using games to prompt social interaction and even spark networking at a conference?”
My solutions so far seem to entertain with games, but I’m not provide the social interactions between participants that I wish.
Right now I provide (1) trivia, because that’s easy to host on a screen. I made up a new game called (2) “Where in the World?!?!” that I think I can gamify, I’ll share it in another post. Both of these are, for lack of a better term, everyone is a solitary player against the dealer (me). I made up another game, or rather stole it from the podcast “Make Me Smart” called (3) Half-full or Half-empty. It was fun and interactive, but it was really just a survey of what people think about new ideas like “Selling Pumpkin Spice Hard Seltzer” (which, of course, is a half empty idea).
Can y’all help me create a series of games for online meetings or conferences, that I can pull out to provide entertainment and interaction among strangers attending a conference? Or help me gamify these games to better add the social aspect?
A couple of things come to mind. First one is BoardGameArena.com, if you’re not familiar it’s a great site that has a ton of free games and to play the premium games only 1 person needs to be a member ($4 USD/month). Quick simple games they have: 6 Nimmt!, L.L.A.M.A, Sushi Go!, etc. There’s also playingcards.io, which I’m not overly familiar with but they’re standard deck of card games, all free.
This may not be what you want but I just did a virtual energizer for a work conference last week. It was split up into 3 parts. 1) quiz, 2) activity and 3) showcase. I’ve done several energizers involving emojis…not really sure why. 🙂 So for the quiz I created 15 multiple choice questions that had a string of emojis and people had to choose the best answer. The emojis depicted pop culture like movies, books, companies, etc. I found some online and I made some myself.
For the activity I found some fun phrases both non-work related and work related, ex. “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.” and people have to recreate 1 or 2 phrases using only emojis. They can enlarge them, move them around, etc. We chose to use PowerPoint, because almost everyone knows how to use it. So people created a PowerPoint deck and submitted it anonymously.
For the showcase, I took everyone’s submissions and created another PowerPoint deck that was kind of like an art show that displayed everyone’s submissions in a rotating deck. This was played at the end of the conference and turned out pretty awesome!
For work, we use Microsoft Teams and Forms so those were the tools I used, as well as PowerPoint.
If you’re interested, I’ll see if I can get the PowerPoint deck, instructions, etc.