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Icebreakers aren't just for kids in school or camp getting to know each other; they are regularly used for business retreats and industry events as well. Getting-to-know you ice breakers range from basic one-on-one interview questions to more active and competitive activities such as the people bingo icebreaker. People bingo is regularly used to help both adults and children get better acquainted.
Reasons to Play
A bingo icebreaker is an ideal way for adults who are not familiar with each other to get acquainted. For example, you could facilitate people bingo for professionals from different companies attending an industry conference. If a company is trying to foster a better relationship between the executives and managers, the bingo icebreakers is a positive way for the two groups to interact with each other. You could also play the people bingo icebreaker at a family reunion among the adults or at a 10-year high school or college reunion to help everyone get reacquainted.
Bingo Icebreaker Card Ideas
For people bingo, you want to fill the bingo cards with statements that the participants have to ask each other. You could do random statements or you can could choose a theme to base the statements around. For example, for a high school reunion, you could have all the statements be about life events since high school such as "got married" and "got a Ph.D." For an industry business conference, you could focus on careers, with statement such as, "human resource manager" and "promoted within one year."
Give each participant a bingo card with a free blank space in the middle. The cards should all be slightly different from each other. Participants must go around asking questions to find people that meet a statement, and get them to sign the appropriate square. To keep things fair, you can only have a single person sign your card twice. You can also only ask a single person two questions at a time, to prevent people from going over all their statements with one person, defeating the purpose of meeting many people. The first person to fill up all squares should call out "Bingo." However, if the group of participants is large, only require them to get five signatures in a row.
If the icebreaker is being held for purposes of bringing a company together, you can hold a brief session afterward to discuss what people learned. For example, you can ask the participants from one department what they learned about someone else in another department. Discuss things people discovered they had in common. Ask if they learned something new about someone within their own department.
Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.
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