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Subject: Wits and Wagers Party as an icebreaker at a conference rss

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Patrick Zoch
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I've run a few icebreakers at small conferences over the past couple of years and one of the best icebreakers has been Wits and Wagers Party. Although the included components are fine for a party at home, I had to create some custom components for a much larger audience so that everyone could see in the small conference hall (50-60 people).

The betting markers are wooden tokens. Both the tokens and a dry erase board were painted in team colors. A Gold cap on one of the betting tokens indicates the x2 betting marker. I also bought some vinyl coated wire stands to prop up the teams' answer boards.

Depending on the conference topic, I will create custom questions related to the theme of the event. Sometimes the questions are work related, or industry related, sometimes they are event related (for example, just ran an Irish theme Wits and Wagers Party today).

We stick with the seven question format, with the last question open to the bidding of chips.

I generate 12 questions for the event. One is used for practice, seven for the game, and four in backup just in case the crowd protests a question. I usually read the extra questions at the end as we clean up the stage (sort of free trivia for the onlookers who did not participate with the teams).


Needless to say, everyone in the company had a blast and are eagerly awaiting the next game.



Game ready to run.


Close up of components.
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endofturn
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I've done this with a room full of people and the issue I ran into was the clog of people walking up to the front to look at the answers and place their tokens... then, having to come back up and collect their card and tokens. Do you experience this at all?
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Patrick Zoch
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EntropyGuardian wrote:
I've done this with a room full of people and the issue I ran into was the clog of people walking up to the front to look at the answers and place their tokens... then, having to come back up and collect their card and tokens. Do you experience this at all?


I did experience that issue. I tried to mitigate this in the following ways:
- I had an assistant collect the answer boards. This reduced the movement of the groups.
- I read the answers out to everyone (twice) so the groups could make their decision before going up to place their bets.
- Groups sent a team representative (their better) to place the bets.
- Team "Betters" collected their own materials after the round -- this went pretty fast as the groups wanted to have their board cleaned and ready for the next question.

Sometimes, there was some shuffling at the display table as bets were being placed and teams were sorting out their bets. But I had a BUG timer I placed up front to prevent lollygagging.

I could not have done this in a environment with a stage or other front room obstacle.

If money were no object, a digital version of the game with game stations are each table and a large front monitor for the submitted answers for the betting round would be ideal. (Virtual tabletop?)
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