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Field of application

Introduction to a wokshop

Setting the scene for a workshop

Resume / Brief description


HELLO! is suitable as an introduction to workshops and as a teambuilding activity. Its strategy contrasts with the typical other introduction or teambuildinggames, which are mostly fun but have no link to the topics being covered in the workshop.

Target group




Colleagues of the same company or work team

Professionals of different areas

Group size



  • Min. 8
  • Max. 52
  • Ideal: 12-32
  • Participants are divided into teams of 4



  • To collect expectations from participants
  • To explore previous experience with the topic with participants
  • To develop alternative definitions and possible applications related to the topic 






  • Set of playing cards
  • Flipchart paper
  • Marker
  • Stopwatch
  • Whistle



  • 20-40 minutes

Implementation - Guidelines





1.       Preparation


  • Take a set of playing cards.
  • Determine the number of participants and divide the number by 4 (round up if necessary).
  • The number of participants corresponds with the number of cards that are sorted from each of the four suits of cards.
  • Shuffle the sorted cards and use them to divide the participants into teams.

2.       Process


2.1. Instruction of the participants about the goal of the game:


  • Collect useful information about each other and share it
  • Introduction of the four topics expectations, experience, current project, and definition.
    • Expectations: "What do you expect from this workshop?"
    • Experience: "How much experience do you have regarding the workshop topic?"
    • Current project: "On which tasks are you currently working and would you like to apply the new skills and knowledge learned in this workshop in your current project?"
    • Definition: "How would you define the workshop topic?"

2.2. Instruction to the activity:


  • Participants are divided into four group.
  • Each team is assigned one of the four topics.
  • Teams should collect information about the assigned topic.

2.3. Time schedule:


  • The groups plan how to collect information (3 minutes).
  • The groups collect information from everyone (3 minutes).
  • The groups document and analyse information on flipchart paper (3 minutes).
  • The groups present the information and draw conclusions (1 minute).

2.4. Group classification


  • Clubs: expectations
  • Heart: experience
  • Spades: current project
  • Diamonds: definition of the workshop topic

3.       Debriefing


  • Debriefing of the results with the participants.

Additional format/references


Another introduction to HELLO! by Sivasailam Thiagarajan (1996) is available at:


Thiagarajan, S. (2006). Thiagi´s 100 Favorite Games. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.