Business meetings can be awkward when you’re on the road. Whether you’re in town for a sales pitch or a networking event, gathering in a room with unfamiliar faces can be a daunting task—especially if you’re the meeting organizer.
Starting your meeting with a quick introduction of yourself can help open the flood gates. But far too often, the only effort that organizers put forth is a simple overview of their background. And while it can be helpful to provide your attendees with an idea of your skills and qualifications, humor and engagement can be more memorable.
Initiating icebreakers can relieve anxiety and generate successful results. To help, below are five travel icebreakers to use on the road.
1) 60-Second Travel Tips
Ask your attendees to provide a quick presentation of their favorite travel tip—and the situation that originally inspired the travel hack. As the organizer, be sure to have your own piece of advice ready to get the ball rolling. To introduce an element of friendly competition, call for a vote to determine which tip or anecdote was the most useful.
2) Airport & Airplane Icebreakers
Considering you and your meeting attendees all traveled to your shared meeting location, it can be assumed that you’re more than familiar with airports and the art of flying. Ask the following questions:
- What’s your favorite seat on the plane?
- What’s your favorite snack or drink onboard?
- What’s the best meal you’ve had in a restaurant?
- What’s your favorite activity onboard?
- What’s your favorite layover airport?
3) Favorite Business Travel City
Just as it’s safe to assume that your meeting participants traveled via airplane, you can almost guarantee that they’ve traveled for business in the past. And as traveling professionals, you know that some cities are just flat out better for business travel. Does the city offer great public transportation? A recognized culinary scene? Affordable hotel and short-term corporate housing rates?
Ask your participants to highlight a few features and share a story or two.
4) Year of the Coin
For this simple game, you’ll need enough coins to match the number of people in your meeting. While the value of the coin doesn’t matter, be sure to select a variety of years in which your participants could have feasibly traveled in. Instruct your participants to pick a coin and have them share a favorite travel or vacation experience in the year the coin was minted.
Not all travel icebreakers need to be complex to be effective.
5) Weekend Warriors
If you’re on the road for a quick business trip or seminar, chances are that your stay is limited. But that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in some R&R. Ask your participants what their favorite weekend trip is. Ask them to detail their answers to include why a specific trip was so great—and if possible, provide a quick itinerary of their favorite trip. Did they visit a unique museum? Did they have time to ski a world-famous resort? Did they take in a baseball game?
You’d be surprised what some people can squeeze into a three-day trip. And who knows. Maybe you’ll get some insider tips to use for your traveling experience.