Fun conference breakout activities and games

We don’t need to tell you that organising conferences and events is an exhausting business, but spare a thought for your delegates – attending them can take its toll as well! Concentrating through a 2-hour seminar, lecture or training session can drain your attendees leaving them lethargic for the next session. To get the most out of your delegates throughout your conference, you need to have some clever tricks up your sleeve – welcome to the W12 Conferences’ guide to energy-boosting, breakout activities. They can all be undertaken indoors in under 30 minutes, the perfect amount of time for you to turn the room round and get your speaker ready for the next lecture.

Name that tune

Time: 20 minutes
How many participants: Up to 10
Good for: Breaking the ice and lightening the mood

Fill your breakout space with a range of musical instruments – think drums, xylophones, didgeridoos, harmonicas – the harder to play the better. Make sure you’ve got one for each of your delegates and ask them all to take their pick. The name of the game is simple, everyone takes it in turns to try and play a tune on their chosen instrument and the rest of the team has to guess what it is.

How high can you go?

Time: 15 minutes
How many participants: As many teams of four as you can make
Good for: Helping delegates to make new contacts

Set your break out space up with as many tables as you need to divide your delegates up into groups of four. Each table should be full of an array of empty loo roll holders, cereal boxes, egg cartons, plastic milk bottles and you’ll also need to equip teams with cellotape and glue. The aim of the game is to see which team can build the highest tower. Set a time limit of ten minutes and leave everyone to it. It’s best to designate teams beforehand to encourage people who don’t usually converse to start talking and to break up cliques.

You did what?

Time: 30 minutes
How many participants: Up to 12  
Good for: Getting existing colleagues to see each other in a new light

Give everyone a piece of paper and a pen and ask all members of the team to write down a secret about themselves that no one else in the group is aware of, the more out of character the better! Put all of the pieces of paper in a hat and read them out one at a time. The game is for everyone to match the secret to a team member.

And relaaax…

Time: Up to 30 minutes
How many participants: As many as the number of yoga mats your breakout room can hold
Good for: Downtime and re-charging batteries

Get everyone to turn off their mobiles and ask them to take a seat on a yoga mat, then hand over to your instructor. Even if you’re tight on time, a 10-minute stretch out and mental declutter will re-energise your delegates, particularly if the next session or lecture is on very different subject matter. This won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, so it’s best to give your delegates notice this is going to be part of your day and to offer an alternative. Perhaps a quiet room with comfy chairs and classical music playing.

Cooking up a storm

Time: 20 minutes
How many participants: Up to 12
Good for: Stretching legs and clearing minds ready for the next session

After a few hours sitting in a lecture theatre or conference room, your attendees will welcome the opportunity to do something more physical and completely different. Baking cupcakes or making biscuits in the morning breakout is a simple, fun activity. Just set up individual stations in your breakout room with all the ingredients and equipment your delegates will need and make sure the task is led by a chef who knows what they are doing. Your delegates will re-join the conference as their efforts go into the oven and they can enjoy the delights they have created during the afternoon breakout session.

Blindfolded builds

Time: Up to 30 minutes
How many participants: As many teams of five as you can house with a table each
Good for: Getting delegates networking and improving leadership skills

Within each team of five, hand four people a blindfold. It’s the job of the one person who didn’t get given one to direct the rest of their team in a simple task with absolutely no hands on involvement. The job could be opening a bottle of wine and pouring out a glass, making a sandwich, dressing a child’s doll – anything that requires a little co-ordination and several elements. Each one of the team members needs to participate.

Charades with a twist

Time: 30 minutes
How many participants: Up to 8               
Good for: Raising adrenaline levels and getting people laughing

Get everyone in the room to write down the names of 3 famous people – put all of the pieces of paper into a hat. Taking it in turns everyone has one minute to pull out as many names from the hat as they can and describe that person. Once the names have run out, put them all back in the hat and start again, this time the ‘describer’ can only use one word. The third and final round uses the same names again, but this time, the person with that hat must remain entirely silent and only mime.

W12 Conferences has lots of different spaces which can be set up as breakout rooms for your event. Whatever your numbers and needs, our purpose-built facilities are versatile enough to accommodate your requirements. Give the team here a call on +44 (0)20 3313 1606 to discuss your next conference.