Striking up a conversation at events, conferences, or even generally can be daunting, but having a few icebreakers on standby can help you master networking. Here are the best 200+ favorite networking ice breaker questions and games for any situation.
As humans, we have a fundamental need to connect with others, so why is it so hard to walk up to someone and start a conversation? Whether you’re at a business event or making a regular coffee run, many people find it difficult to strike up a conversation and connect with those around them. So how can we fulfill our human need to communicate while also growing our network? Perfect those networking skills with some practice and learn not only how to network online, but also how to network at conferences. Test out some of our icebreakers and strike up a conversation at your next networking event.
Ice breaker questions can be used in many different scenarios. If you are in a group, opt for an ice breaker game and try to keep groups small. For virtual ice breakers on Slack, make a channel dedicated to chatting and getting to know each other. For one-on-one conversations, try to ask questions that fit the discussion and see if the conversation can move on organically before peppering them with more questions.
1. What is your favorite project you’ve worked on?
2. What is your favorite way to keep up with the news?
3. What is your favorite management style?
4. What is your favorite aspect of your job?
5. What is your favorite thing about this event?
6. What is your favorite assignment at work?
7. What is your favorite work tip to share with others?
8. What is your favorite fact?
9. What is your favorite activity outside of work?
10. What is your favorite book?
11. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
12. What is your favorite work snack?
13. What is your favorite cereal?
14. What is your favorite Disney song?
15. What is your favorite pizza topping?
16. What is your favorite way to stay active?
17. What is your favorite type of donut?
18. What brought you to this event?
19. What do you do?
20. Do you have other connections at this event?
21. What skill do you have that adds the most value to your career?
22. What skill would you most like to master?
23. What career decision would you advise others to make?
24. What is something you have always wanted to share but haven’t had the chance to?
25. What time of day are you most productive?
26. How have you been enjoying the event?
27. Does your degree align with your current career?
28. What is the best advice you have ever received?
29. What is the weirdest meeting you’ve ever been in?
30. What motivates you to get work done?
31. How would you describe your management style?
32. How do you measure professional success?
33. What course did you take in school that has helped you the most?
34. What is a work-related book that you would recommend reading?
35. Who is someone that you are inspired by?
36. What is an embarrassing mistake you have made at work?
37. How do you get motivated for a difficult task?
38. What is your dream job?
39. In what environment are you most productive?
40. What is your most prized accomplishment?
41. What are you most proud of in life?
42. Who or what has been most influential for you?
43. What is your most unusual skill?
44. What is your dream travel destination?
44. What is your favorite mode of transportation?
45. If you had to pick one social media platform, what would it be?
46. What has been the highlight of your day?
47. What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
48. How different is your career from your childhood dream job?
49. What is your favorite music genre?
50. Would you ever own or start your own business? Or do you prefer working for others?
51. What book has most impacted your life?
52. What is your greatest accomplishment, professional or otherwise?
53. What piece of advice would you share with your younger self?
54. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
55. What is something you have always wanted to learn?
56. Share one of your hobbies.
57. What is something that you are unbeatable at?
58. You can only watch one movie for the rest of your life. What movie are you picking?
59. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with no preparation?
60. What brand are you most loyal to and why?
61. What is your preferred way to get some exercise?
62. What goals can I help you achieve?
63. Is there anyone I can introduce you to?
64. Are there any questions that I can answer for you?
65. I’m an expert in ___ field. Is there anything I can help you learn?
66. What is the biggest challenge that comes with working from home for you?
67. Do you ever see yourself returning to a fully in-person role again?
68. How do you break up your at-home schedule?
69. Do you have any “office” pets?
70. What is the best way to interact with your co-workers virtually?
71. What would your dream home office look like?
72. If you could work from anywhere in the world, where would you pick?
73. Do you like to work with background noise or in silence?
74. Do you find that the day moves faster while working from home or in the office?
75. Where are you most productive?
76. What is your morning routine like before you sign on?
77. What is the weather like where you are?
78. What is your ideal background noise while you are working?
79. What is the best trip you have ever taken?
80. If you could pick any celebrity to play you in a movie, who would it be?
81. If you were an animal, what would you be?
82. What superpower do you wish you had?
83. What is your favorite thing to do in your city?
84. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
85. Share your best knock-knock joke.
86. Is a hot dog a sandwich?
87. What is the best type of Oreo?
88. If you could go to space, would you?
89. What is your go-to fast food restaurant?
90. What is the best kind of bagel? What are you putting on it?
91. What appliance could you not live without?
92. If you could time travel, when would you go?
93. What fictional world or place would you like to visit?
94. A genie appears and grants you three wishes. What are they?
95. Do you have any neighbor horror stories?
96. What is something that really excites you as an adult, but the child/teenager version of you would think is SO lame?
97. What time of day do you shower?
98. Do you name your cars?
99. If you became famous, what would you be famous for?
100. What is your go-to karaoke pick
101. Would you survive the zombie apocalypse? What is your survival plan?
102. You are in a pageant, what is your talent?
104. Do you have a business card? I’ll scan it into my self-healing address book.
105. Why don’t I text you my digital business card so we can stay in touch?
106. I use an NFC tag to share my HiHello virtual business card, just tap it to your phone.
107. I’d love to follow up with you on this topic. Let me write a note in your HiHello contact, so I don’t forget.
108. Scan the QR code on my virtual background to find my name card.
109. Find a foam ball or something similar and toss it around. Whoever catches it shares a fact about themselves.
110. Have everyone do a quick business card swap and challenge each person to add five 5 new contacts to their smart address book.
111. Play two truths and a lie. Have everyone state two truths and a lie about themselves and spend a few minutes guessing which statement is a lie.
112. Have everyone put their nametag in a bowl and then blindly select another name. Then, introduce yourself to others until everyone has their nametag back.
113. Challenge everyone to compliment at least two other people by the end of the event.
114. Play a round of speed networking. Pair up into groups of two and spend two minutes getting to know each other.
115. Create a scavenger hunt. Hand out a list of professions, job titles, or something else and challenge players to find someone in that profession or with that job title.
116. Create a BINGO card with several general facts and have participants go around until they check off all BINGO spots.
117. Have everyone write their strangest job title on a piece of paper and drop it into a bowl. Then, have everyone blindly select a piece of paper and talk to people until they find the person that matches the job they selected.
118. Create a list with everyone’s name and give everyone a copy. Set a timer and have everyone go around the room and find one commonality with each person on the list.
119. Have everyone write a true funny or weird story on a sheet of paper. Then drop the stories in a bowl and have one person read each story. As each story is presented, the group has to guess whose story it is.
120. For this game, everyone should be standing and can’t talk. Instruct the group to form a line based on certain criteria, like height, age, or alphabetically. As the game progresses, each task can become more challenging.
121. Have everyone go around the room and share an unusual or interesting fact.
122. Have everyone take a moment for mindfulness. Hand out sheets of paper and have each person write down what they are thinking and feeling. What are they worried about, how is their energy level. Once everyone is done, have the group throw away their papers. This is a great way to be mindful of ourselves before jumping into a task.
123. Mini-me challenge. Have your team submit baby pictures of themselves, and create a slide deck to have the team guess who is pictured. Each team member can keep track of their guesses to keep track of who has the most correct guesses.
124. Desk detective. Each team member should send in a picture of their workspace to create a slide deck. Have the team guess which workspace belongs to each team member.
125. Team-member BINGO. Use a tool like Bingo Baker to create BINGO cards with fun facts from members of your team. Share the link with your team to create a unique BINGO card. Call out BINGO numbers until someone has a BINGO!
126. Emoji charades. Each participant must choose an emoji to act out while the rest of the participants guess the emoji.
127. You rock! Send one team member a private message that “You Rock!” and each team member has to guess who has “the rock”. Anyone who guesses wrong is “out”. Keep going until there’s a winner!
128. Once upon a time. Build a story with your team that comes to a conclusion once you reach the last person. Kick off a story with “Once upon a time….” and each person can only say one sentence to create a story.
129. Last word response. Have each team member tell a story about a chosen topic and then pass it to the next person, who has to integrate the last sentence or word of the previous person’s story into their own story.
130. Desert island game. List 15 survival items, and have each person pick 3 items they would choose if they were on a deserted island. Go around the virtual room and have each person share their choice and why.
131. The desert island rule. Pick an item that you would take with you to a desert island, have the group call out what they would take with them, if it fits your secret rule, they can come, if not, they can’t. The goal is for the group to guess what the rule is.
132. Have everyone share a picture of their weekend.
133. Share a photo of yourself from 10 years ago.
134. What is a fun fact you recently learned?
135. Share a recipe that you recently made.
136. What quote inspires you?
137. What is the funniest email you have ever received?
138. What music have you been listening to recently?
139. Reply with your favorite GIF.
140. What is the craziest animal you have ever seen in your yard (or the wild)?
141. Share your Netflix profile photo.
142. What is everyone’s favorite thing about your home city?
143. What is a random item under $50 that you think everyone should own?
144. If you had to show up to an in-person meeting and you were asked to come in your Zoom attire, what would you wear?
145. What song do you have on repeat right now?
146. What is the best restaurant you have ever been to? What did you order?
147. Do you have any fun weekend plans?
148. If you could only listen to one genre of music for the rest of your life, what would it be?
149. You’re on a plane, aisle, or window?
150. Share two fun facts about yourself.
151. What is the worst flight you have ever been on?
152. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
153. Have you ever had a celebrity encounter? Share the story.
154. Do you have a crazy weather story?
155. What was your best Halloween costume? Bonus points if you have a picture.
156. What is your favorite Halloween movie?
157. It’s Valentine's day, so share one thing you love about __.
158. For International women’s day, share a story about a woman who inspires you.
159. What is an unusual holiday tradition you have?
160. What is your favorite holiday?
161. What is the best holiday food?
162. What is the worst gift you have ever received?
163. Do you like to host for the holidays, or would you rather be the guest?
164. What is your favorite holiday memory?
165. How early do you start decorating for Christmas?
166. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
167. What is your most memorable holiday memory?
168. What is your favorite season?
169. What is your favorite thing about ____ season?
170. What is the best summer activity?
171. Do you have any seasonal traditions?
172. Do you have any special cold-weather comfort foods?
173. If you could create a new season, what would it be like?
174. Coffee or tea?
175. Driving or flying?
176. Ice cream or cake?
177. Dogs or cats?
178. Summer or winter?
179. Travel or stay at home?
180. Morning or night?
181. Work from home or in the office?
182. TV show or movie?
183. Beach or lake?
184. Pancakes or waffles?
185. Football or basketball?
186. Call or text?
187. Spend or save?
188. Sweet or savory?
189. Fiction or nonfiction?
190. Book or e-reader?
191. Sunrise or sunset?
192. Toilet paper over or under
193. Pepsi or Coke?
194. Desktop or laptop?
195. Tv show or movie?
196. Chocolate or vanilla?
197. Netflix or Hulu?
198. Passenger or driver?
199. Cooking or cleaning?
200. Android or iPhone?
201. Dark mode or light mode?
Don’t forget to end the conversation with a way to reconnect. The best way to share your information is with digital business cards. Like the ones offered by HiHello, digital cards allow you to share your digital visiting card over email, text, QR, and more, so you can share your card with anyone, anywhere. Even if they have a paper business card, HiHello allows you to scan their name card into your self-healing address book.
Main photo by fauxels