If care is taken to match the game to the group, games can greatly enhance meetings, conferences, and corporate events.
One thing to keep in mind is that "variety is the spice of life"... and it can greatly boost the effectiveness of games. Don't fall into a rut. Games can be delivered through apps, computer programs, social media, and pen and paper. Game show formats also work well for games during meetings. So mix it up. Use some games with the whole group and others for small groups. Introverts will appreciate the opportunity for individual play before debriefing with a group.
Last week, I shared 9 Tips for Using Games During Meetings (From the School of Hard Knocks) with these tips in mind, here are 12 more ways to use games for meetings.
- Design the pre-work in the form of a game. Award substantial prizes to encourage completion. (Anyone who completes it by a certain date qualifies for the prize.)
- Break groups into teams and use a game that challenges participants to find the mystery location for a meeting or corporate event.
- Kick off the meeting, conference, team building, or training program with a game.
- Use a game to replace a presentation.
- Games are ideal for practice sessions when content is difficult.
- Card games and game boards can be helpful during brainstorming (e.g. Creative Whack Pack).
- If content is highly technical and attendees are non-technical, sometimes a board game can be helpful for conveying complex models and concepts (e.g. Acquire, a stock market game and Cash Flow Game for teaching intimidating content about financial statements and stock market operation).
- Brainteaser games are great for perking up groups when energy levels are low.
Here are 396 games from Thiagi, the internationally renowned guru and gamemaster who designs a new game or exercise for learning or as energizers every day. They can be modified to fit your own content. See Thiagi in action here:
- Games can add the "fun factor" during breaks.
- Outdoor games are particularly effective in reviving a group that is getting groggy and losing focus.
- Design games for review and re-cap exercises. A good strategy to ensure that participants have mastered content is to give them a chance work in small groups to design a review game. Then, have the groups switch and play each others games.
- Games can also be used for debriefing for kinesthetic learners and business application exercises.
Bonus: For fun!
We have barely scratched the surface. To learn more about games for meetings, conferences and training and development, check out the work of Thiagi, Dave Meier, Bob Pike, and Harold Stolovitch.
For tips on using games, read 10 Active Learning Methods to Retain Short Attention Spans, 5 Ways to Debrief Conference Breakouts Groups (Without Boring Participants), and Meeting and Conference Design: Catering to Kinesthetic and Visual Learners.
Photo Credit: Official GDC