Yup! I walked into the ballroom of a conference for over 350 attendees and the tables were covered with cupcakes, frosting, utensils and every thing you could possible imagine to decorate cupcakes. The decorations screamed Cupcake Wars! This activity was based on a popular TV show of the same name. The intent: to create an ice-breaker for attendees setting the tone for a great convention. The purpose: to have random teams take part in a contest by building a cupcake business. The outcome: Creative, fun, engagment!
Imagine walking into a ballroom with so much fun, anticipation, excitement, (and food) to get a conference jazzed up for a great convention. It worked! My client was a kitchen faucet manufacturing company and they wanted to inspire sales people from around the country selling their brand. What was great was how creative people were as they broke up into teams of 10-12 people charged with coming up with a cupcake company, brand, twitter handle, sample tweets, a theme song and a business plan. How fun is that? And, to keep the theme in alignment with the company, teams had to incorporate the brand of the faucet into their product and presentation. The finished products (a display of decorated cupcakes with a presentation to go with it) were judged by a panel and the finalists were brought on stage to present their cupcakes. The opening keynote speakers the next morning were two guys known as 'The Property Brothers' who acted as the surprise judges on the panel for the final vote! It was hysterical. Johnathan and Drew Scott have a TV show on HGTV where they renovate homes. So, the fact that they know and use the product (kitchen faucets, not cupcakes) was a perfect match! They were fun to watch, totally got into the theme of the night and warmed up the audience perfectly for the next day's festivities.
So, if you are having a conference, think of a creative ice-breaker that brings people together in a fun way that has something to do with the product or service that people sell. And, if you are a speaker? Come early, participate and then use your experience in your program. They will love it!
From your happy anytime a conference opens with cupcakes and candy, motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman