2021.8.27 Column

Three ideas for team building games with Japanese partners at virtual events.

If you are hosting a virtual event for Japanese business partners, in addition to the main part of the event, some organizers want to add breakout sessions to engage with their participants, such as 1 on 1 appointments or trade show booths, or online team building games.

Here, we will focus on the online team building games, which look easy but poses a lot challenges for organizers, especially since the participants are from different countries. For this kind of case, the first thing that appears in our mind is language, but this can be solved by different solutions, so we will skip this part here and go straight to our main topic; team building games.

As an organizer, the more participants that join the game, the more successful it will be. To increase the willingness of participants to join the game, the number one rule is to avoid having participants prepare things in advance; simple is best. So, what kind of online team building game resonates more easily with the Japanese people?

Here are some ideas for your reference:

1. Sharing favorite food photos.

image of sharing favorite food photos
Different countries has a different culture, so why not share it. But just sharing is not fun. The host can create a theme like sushi or pizza or anything. This game can use profile background features. Everyone shares their favorite one, like octopus teriyaki pizza, or milk bubble tea flavor pizza (I know, I can image your face, but it does exist). Have this kind of culture shock and you will find out how much easier it is to bring the atmosphere up.

The topic can be anything, it's just that food resonates more easily with Japanese people. To give you more ideas, the top three topics to start a conversation with Japanese people on are weather, food and animation.

2. Animation drawing game

image of animation drawing game
Speaking of Japan, there is no way to not mention the world famous subculture and the pride of Japanese people - animation. For this one the zoom whiteboard feature will be used. The host will give a person a character and he/she will need to draw it on the whiteboard and everyone will guess it together, the fastest person to correctly guess is the winner.

3.Guessing the song game

image of gussing the song game
Divide into two teams, one team designates one person and he/she needs to listen to the music and sing, the other team needs to listen carefully and name the song. Whoever answers more in a certain time period wins.

This game can be interesting if the participants are from different countries, so that one team can sing in another language while the other team guesses. In this way, players will not only know which songs are popular in other countries, they will also have fun learning about other countries’ languages.

The point of these games is to find some connection and draw closer through each other’s cultures, so the next time you see them online or in person, it will quickly bring common ground and maintain a relationship with your partners.

Have fun online!