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The Best Way To Increase Event Engagement

Here at Elevate Experiences, we’re on a mission to eliminate the plague of boring events.   Why, you might ask? Because does anyone really want to attend a boring event?...

Here at Elevate Experiences, we’re on a mission to eliminate the plague of boring events.  

Why, you might ask?

  • Because does anyone really want to attend a boring event? No. 

  • Does any event planner want their event to be boring? Also no. 

  • Do events HAVE to be boring? Definitely NOT!

Desiring interaction and excitement at any event is a common denominator, shared by both attendees and planners alike. 

Trust us – even the most introverted introverts don’t want to be bored! 

After producing thousands of events (of ALL kinds) where engagement is HIGH, here’s what we’ve learned…

  • People WANT to participate (even if it’s in their mind). 
  • Enjoyment and interaction can lead to higher satisfaction and therefore, higher employee retention (yasss)! 
  • When people participate, the content you worked so hard to plan will “stick” more. 
  • Engagement transforms an “event people just attend” into an “experience they’ll remember”

This probably doesn’t surprise you (it’s not rocket science)...but while most event planners KNOW the importance of creating engagement from the very beginning of their event (or dare we say…even before the event begins) leaves many of you wonderingHow do we do it? How do we invite people to participate in a non-cheesy way? What’s the best method? What if no one responds? What will ACTUALLY get people interacting?

If you’ve wondered about any of these or something similar, we’ve got good news. The best way to increase engagement and enhance the overall experience of your event is quite simple: JUST BREAK THE ICE! 

No - we’re not talking about that iconic game from the 90sthough that really was a good one. 

We’re talking about meaningful, easy-to-do activities or games designed to break the initial tension or awkwardness in a group setting, such as a meeting, training session, social gathering, or any event. 

The PURPOSE of icebreakers is to facilitate introductions, encourage interaction, and create a comfortable atmosphere among participants who may not know each other well. Icebreakers often encourage laughter and camaraderie, helping to establish connections and build rapport among individuals.

And before you start thinking that your event is too big or too small for icebreakers to work, we’ve got even better news: icebreakers can be used to increase engagement at events of ANY size. Here’s how…

  • Small Events:
      • In small events, icebreakers can serve as introductions, helping attendees get to know each other better.
      • They can break down social barriers and encourage shy individuals to participate.
      • Icebreakers can set a relaxed tone for the event and create a sense of camaraderie among attendees.

  • Large Events:
      • Icebreakers can be used at large events to help participants feel more connected in a sea of people.
      • They can be strategically incorporated into networking sessions, workshops, or breakout groups to encourage interaction.
      • Icebreakers can energize the audience and grab their attention before a keynote speech or presentation.
      • They can also be utilized during breaks or transitions to keep the momentum going and prevent lulls in the program.

    Regardless of an event’s size, it's most important to choose icebreakers that are relevant to the audience and the event's objectives. Further, Icebreakers should be inclusive and tailored to the overall tone and purpose of the gathering!

    We’ve seen the right icebreakers used at the right times completely change the dynamic of events. We’ve literally seen attendees show up in a quiet, snooze-worthy fashion and be transformed into an interactive, high-energy crowd – plenty of smiles and laughter included!

    One of our favorite parts about using icebreakers at events of any size is the ability to customize the icebreaker to the overall theme of the event. Even if an event or gathering is more on the serious side, it’s still possible to incorporate icebreaker activities in a way that feels seamless, on-brand, and organic! 

    Now, the best way to do this is to hire an emcee or keynote speaker who has experience in tailoring icebreakers to themes or company branding. 

    However, at the end of the day, we believe in empowering anyone and everyone to implement icebreakers at events or gatherings. Alas, we’ve created a FULL LIBRARY of easy-to-use icebreakers, available for you to shop and use at your next event!

    As a bonus in today’s blog, we’re sharing the inside scoop on how to best implement 3 of our most popular Elevate Icebreakers!

  • THAT’S ME is one of our most EASY icebreakers, and it’s all in the name! In this easy icebreaker, the host or facilitator will click through various slides (all provided when you buy the Elevate Icebreaker) for attendees to see. Each slide has a different statement on it, such as “I have a sweet tooth”. If this applies to YOU as an attendee, you can raise your hand or stand up (depending on the facilitators instructions/preference). This icebreaker can even be played virtually by raising a hand or dropping an emoji in the chat. THAT’S ME helps players get to know each other, and connect on a personal note! Oftentimes, this one also creates a lot of laughter. 

  • FIGURE IT OUT is for all of our emoji-lovers and puzzle-fanatics! In this easy icebreaker, the host or facilitator shows a slide with a combination of emojis…all of which equate to a well-known saying or phrase. Click here to check out some examples! This icebreaker has players racing to the right answer and is super fun for competition and laughter!

    1. ZOOM IN ZOOM OUT is a super creative and easy icebreaker that can be used in-person or virtually! In this icebreaker, the host or facilitator clicks through slides that start out as a super zoomed-in image. Slowly, each slide “zooms out” until it becomes more obvious what the image is! This easy ice breaker gets creative juices flowing as players have to think outside the box (and perhaps collaborate with a fellow attendee) about what the image on the screen could be! Pro tip: Want to play this game to break the ice before a keynote speaker? Make the last round a zoomed-in photo of the communicator! It is a fun way to honor them, andto transition seamlessly into the next element of the event! 

    These are just THREE examples from our FULL LIBRARY of easy, no-fail, icebreakers. Elevate Icebreakers come with 30+ rounds, a host guide, instructions, professionally designed slides, a blank slide for you to curate your own on-theme version, and sometimes even real-life videos of the icebreaker in action! Pretty great, right?

    If you’re looking for unique ways to apply everything you learned in this blog and boost engagement like never before, we invite you to shop our full library of easy icebreakers by clicking HERE.

    And if you need some support and extra TLC around implementing icebreakers at your next event, we’ve got your back! CLICK HERE to book a free 15-minute consultation, or to learn more about hiring Elevate as your event emcee!


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