Engaging workshop audiences: Five games you can try online

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You’ve seen it a thousand times. Your online workshop goes on for quite some time, and your audience’s attention is starting to dwindle.

Reclaim their attention easily: 

Utilize the intimate setting and play a game with your participants. Bring back their attention and lighten the mood.

To save you time on searching, we prepared five games that work exceptionally well online:

1. Bet with the audience

To start, you can ask one or more questions. For example:

  • Are you going on vacation next month?
  • Are you a cat or a dog person?
  • Kebab or Gyros?
  • Camping, city tour or, beach vacation?

You can now wager on the outcome with your participants. Record the wagers (optimally, so not everyone sees them beforehand). Then poll your audience.

Compare the results with the wagers and announce the winners. You can hand out (imaginary) prices or titles.

Three people pointing on a notebook screen
The betting is of course digitally, but also works if your audience is cuddling in front of one notebook.

2. Improv chain

This one works best in smaller groups of up to 15 people. 

It’s simple: 

You chose a person. The person you’ve chosen has to name five things that fit in a category that you pick before the time runs out. 

Example: “I choose Christian to name Cars.” 

Christian: “Easy: Chevrolet, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Tesla. Mike is next; Name five Superheroes.”

15 or 20 seconds work best for keeping it short and sweet.

Let the last contestant elect the next person and category until everybody’s turn.

3. Guess who?

A notebook with a videoconference
This game works best, when there is a video-conference going on. The people that are ruled out by the questions, can deactivate their camera to make it easier.

This game mimics the classical board game with the same name.

You pick one person in the room that the others have to guess. 

Now you can let everybody ask a question in turn. For example: “Does this person have red hair?”.

According to the answers, the possible persons become less until somebody can find the person you picked.

There are tricks to make it easier:

Ruled out people can turn off their camera if you are using video. But any other kind of digital marker works fine as well.

4. Online trivia

You need to prepare several trivia questions for this game to work.

Then you let your participants split up into as many groups as you like. Pose a question and let them answer for their groups. You could use breakout rooms of your conferencing software or give every group a schnaq, where they can note their answers.

About five to ten questions yield a nice quick trivia round.

A sign pointing to a local trivia night
Everyone loves trivia! Just don’t take the whole night during your event. A small trivia break of 15 minutes can do wonders.

5. Toroo game

This digital version of “Would you rather” works perfectly for a fun little activation.

All you need is something where your participants can quickly mark their choice. For example the schnaq quick-engage button.

Ask a fun question, where the participants have to make a tough choice and let them react immediately. You could ask something like: “If you press the button you immediately become a billionaire, but you are not able to enjoy your three most treasured hobbies.”

Bonus: Wiki-chain

While the other games were group activities this one is more of a simultaneous single-player game.

You give the audience a Wikipedia article to start on and a goal article. They are only allowed to navigate by clicking links or going back a step.

For example: Start with the article for Berlin, the capital of Germany, and try to find the article for the San Francisco Zoo. 

The person who finds the chain with the fewest links wins!

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