Why Having Board Games at a Conference is a Great Idea

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Today, I’m going to recommend something a little crazy. Not all of you are going to be entirely on-board with it at first, but bear with me here – I’m hoping that, by the end of this piece, you consider it as good an idea as I do.

What about the next time you plan a corporate conference; why not toss a few board games into the mix?

Hear me out here. How many of you played board games like Monopoly with your family when you were growing up? How many of you have used table-top games as a bonding experience with friends and relatives?

Most of you, I’ll wager.

Who hasn’t played Life at least once, and cursed their luck for getting stuck with a low-paying job? Who hasn’t Who hasn’t played Battleship, or Sorry!, or the vast array of other games that exist? 

Again, the majority of you have heard of at least one of those titles.

These games all have several things in common: they’re fun to play, they’re easy to learn, and they’re the perfect icebreaker.  These factors together make them an ideal choice for pretty much any conference centered on networking. After all, what better way to get to know someone than by breaking the ice with a game of Monopoly?

Of course, their value extends far beyond simple conversation pieces.

By making creative use of a board or card game during a keynote, you can entertain, energize, and engage your audience. As a result, everyone there will be far likelier to remember what you’ve said – and enjoy your presentation. Entertainment has a funny way of making things more memorable, after all.

You can even make use of games during brainstorming sessions to help people come up with ideas, or simply set them up for people to play in their down-time. Really, it’s entirely up to you how you decide to use them. Regardless of what you do, people are going to appreciate their presence.

Of course, there’s one small caveat here – make sure you know who you’re running the event for, as different people will enjoy different games. A group of younger individuals might, for example, appreciate a game like Arkham Horror, while an older crowd would likely prefer Monopoly or something similar.

You don’t necessarily even need to use a traditional board or card game – you can invent your own, or put a unique spin on an already-existing title (for example, a parking lot-sized Monopoly board in which people serve as the game pieces). Get creative. Think of how you might incorporate games into every aspect of your event, from the presentations and keynotes to the meetings to the show floor.

So, what do you folks think? Suddenly, the idea of using a board game at one’s conferences doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, does it? In addition to bringing a much-needed element of fun to even the stuffiest meeting, they’ve actually got real value from a business perspective.

Next time you run a conference, why not see for yourself?