The Best Conference Energisers for 100+ People

When I think of conferences, I think of at least two potentially crushing pinch points in terms of audience engagement:

  1. Starting on time – this is less about punctuality and more about the lost opportunity to build connections, warmth and energy while the host or MC waste time before they finally start the event; and
  2. Energisers & Icebreakers – almost every conference I attend fails to understand how useful it is to generate energy in the room before the official start, the first keynote address or, quite simply, to help the audience feel more comfortable sitting in a room of strangers. And, don’t get me started on what some hosts or MCs think are ‘fun’ icebreakers.

Over the course of my 33-year career, I have been engaged as a host or MC for dozens of conferences and events worldwide. Without exception, audience members (not to mention my client) always comment on how much they enjoyed the energisers I presented during the program. There is as much relief in their eyes as joy.


My Go-To Conference Energisers for Very Large Groups


If you happen to have a big conference coming up soon, and you’ve been given the responsibility to ‘energise’ the room at some point for 5 to 10 minutes, here are some ideas to get you started.

These are proven activity flows that have worked for me many times.


Props: nil

Clapping Game – this exercise needs no introduction (I mean, do not introduce it, just jump into it) and will immediately grab the attention of your group. Within 10 – 15 seconds, you’ll have the eyes of every person in the room on you and awaiting your every move.

Story of Your Name – this simple, yet powerful partner-sharing exercise sits somewhere in my Top 60 ice-breaking activities. Following a quick demonstration of my own story, it always, always, always generates lots of energy and earth in the room – which you can never have too much of. A quick show of hands at the end to indicate that something new was learned is a sure-fire measure that the activity was a hit.


Props: We Connect Cards or set of questions

Gotcha – this quirky finger and hand exercise is a no-fail activity, ie I have never seen it fail to trigger bursts of laughter, surprise and enjoyment. Start in pairs, then three or four people, and depending on the space available, merge into bigger and bigger groups for more and more fun.

Ice-Breaker Question Exchange – I leave a card on the seat of every person in the room, or I might distribute them as my audience enters the auditorium. On my command, I invite people to connect with a partner, and before you know it, I’ll find it difficult to bring their attention back to me. The secret of this activity’s success? The types of questions the cards pose – they are always fun, non-threatening and insightful. You can never have enough of these types of questions. If you need more, download a bunch from the Resource tab of the activity, or grab a deck of We Connect Cards – you’ll be glad you did.


List of 18+ Fun Energisers


Honestly, I could keep going with many more ideas. A simple search for Energisers that run for 5 to 10 minutes will give you at least 18 perfectly suited activity ideas to try.

And if you need help, you know who to ask.

Contact Me


Have fun.


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