Lively networking event

4 Easy Activities to Liven Up Networking Events – And Make Them More Productive

Networking events are an important part of growing small businesses here in the UK. Love them or hate them, they are a great way to forge new business connections and find new opportunities. They can even be enjoyable, but wouldn’t it sometimes be good to be surprised by the activities on offer at an event?


Instead of the usual guest talk and/or rounds of introductions followed by slightly awkward conversations, there are activities that could make the events just that bit more interesting and, importantly, more productive. I recently spoke to a national events organiser about some easy ways to liven up networking events (or, indeed, any business event) that can create a more relaxed environment, helping people to more easily get to know each other leading to more effective collaboration.


Here are some of the ideas we discussed…


Ice-breaker trivia quiz

A quick trivia quiz is a great way to break the ice and help conversations extend beyond the typical networking topics. Whether you opt for general knowledge or something more specific like sport, film or music, a quiz is sure to get people talking about their lives beyond business and provoke some interesting discussions. Just make sure the teams include people who don’t already know each other so that new connections can be forged – while having fun, of course. There are multiple websites with great quiz ideas, or just try my own personal favourite, the Radio Times (


Business owners are all aware that caring for people, community and the environment will have a positive impact on a business. Treating staff well leads to improved productivity and better retention rates, caring about community issues raises the profile of a business as a good employer and being environmentally aware is good for the whole planet. For instance, I really enjoyed reading the story of the community garden at The Chester House Estate in Irchester. Doing good is simply good for business so could a networking event be the opportunity to find solutions to community or environmental issues. Could a networking event bring together local businesses to find better solutions for all? In my view, the answer to this is a resounding yes.


Problem-solving challenges

Two heads are always better than one for solving a problem and one way to get people to know each other better, and understand more about each others’ businesses, is to give them a problem to solve as a team. Problem-solving activities with people from different business backgrounds also helps avoid having a fixed mindset or focusing on irrelevant information. The problem could even be supplied by one of the team so people come away with genuine solutions to business challenges.



Practical sessions that could benefit all types of businesses are ideal for discovering ways to overcome common challenges in a supportive atmosphere. While also offering the opportunity for some businesses to showcase their services. A great example I’ve experienced myself was a workshop about using Excel spreadsheets more effectively to produce more meaningful reports ffrom large datasets (not everyone’s cup of tea I suspect!). This is something many small businesses could benefit from. But a workshop could equally be about how to make the most of social media or tools to manage time more effectively.


My thanks to Axion Now Events for these alternative networking ideas. My personal favourite right now is doing team problem-solving challenges and I’m already using these internally within my own business to generate new ideas to our most pressing challenges.


Please feel free to let me know your personal favourite activity for networking events or internal team-building. You can message me on LinkedIn: