Business Improv courses for conferences and summits

Your conference can be the highlight of the year, creating lasting memories and interactions that help drive connectivity, productivity and inspire your delegates to make new connections and ongoing relationships.  However, it is all too easy for people to sit at the back and switch off, letting the keynote speakers and break out sessions run without really getting engaged or involved.  This is where we step in.  We can deliver impactful ice breakers at the very start of the day, unique improvised performances to energise a room and get an entire room of people on their feet, interacting, laughing and learning.

top down view of seats in a conference hall

Improv at your Conference – the options

There are many ways that we can use Improv at a conference.  Whether it is to engage the room before the CEO’s keynote, deliver learning at a large scale, provide a unique break out experience or provide an award-winning, end of conference show that is bespoke to you and your people.  Here are some of the options that we have provided for businesses and their conferences recently.

Interactive Improv Keynote

John Cremer delivering a keynote speech for The Maydays at a conference

This format is a really nice blend of a keynote style address and experiential learning. We will open with a scene or a song to capture the imagination and reinforce the day’s theme. Then we get the whole room up and collaborating their way through a set of exercises to raise active listening, trust, team spirit and much more.
This works easily for up to 1,000 delegates and more if you have the space. Delegates spend much more time building their skills than they do sitting there listening. The ratio of watching/listening to actively participating is about 20:80. You’ll get laughter, engagement and group thinking from this session.
(30 mins – 1 hour)What we love about this format: This is great for giving your entire delegation a powerful shared moment, and for building organisation-wide trust and collaboration. It helps people to experience target behaviours for themselves.

Top tip: Use the interactive keynote as a way of intensifying a new corporate message or emerging company culture.

Improv-based conference energisers

people dynamically moving around at a conference

Given the cost of putting on a large-scale event, it is well worth ensuring everyone is listening!
The Maydays will deliver a lively, totally experiential and interactive energiser to invigorate your audience just when they risk slumping the most… the morning after the night before, straight after lunch or just before the final and all-important CEO speech!
To deliver the winning energiser, we’ll consult with you to find out what’s happening before and after, who your audience is, and any characteristics you can share with us. Then we’ll select a short, high-energy, tried and tested improv activity from our huge list. The energiser might only last 10 minutes, but that’s plenty of time to fire them up, get them laughing, listening, refreshed and ready for the next bit. We usually deliver our energisers to up to 1,000 delegates at a time, but there’s no actual upper limit.
(5 minutes – 20 minutes)

What we love about this format: How we take the room from quiet to energised and engaged in about 30 seconds.

Top tip: Pepper our energisers throughout your programme to keep energy up and provide a thread of improvised joy through your event

Improv Training for Conferences

Six people in chairs looking out on a city

This is our trademark experience which provides you with at least 5 Maydays including an improvisational pianist. We start by showcasing what we do, usually in the form of an improvised song which is created in the moment based on an audience suggestion. Then we surprise your delegates by announcing that they’re now going to learn how to improvise. We launch into a fully experiential training sequence which either builds pure improvisation skills, or additionally focusses on a target skillset.This format is great for 20 – 200 delegates per group, and we can deliver multiple sessions concurrently and/or consecutively to train around 1,500 – 2,000 delegates per half day. The usual overall duration is between 45 minutes (minimum) and 6 hours (maximum teaching time per day)

Improv Training and Show

lights on a large stage

Easily our most popular format which is based on the Maydays Improv Training Experience. However there is a twist. This session ends with your people performing alongside The Maydays in a show which is supported by live, improvised music. This creates stars out of your staff, and celebrates the determination and self-confidence of those who are prepared to step out of their comfort zones. This option also creates a really memorable day and bonds the team together. 20 – 70 delegates at a time.
(45 mins – 6 hours per session)

What we love about this format: It feels like high challenge and a big step outside comfort zones, whereas in fact we make it totally safe and everyone feels supported and uplifted by their achievements and ‘distance travelled’.

Top tip: Try and plan the session length so that everyone has their chance to step up at the end.

Your Organisation – The Musical!

The Maydays performing on stage at a conference for GSK

When the hard day’s work is over, you’ll often top off your event with some form of entertainment. If you invite us back for the evening slot, we’ll put on a show like no other: one which is totally built around you and your people, live and in the moment.

The Maydays will perform a mind-blowing, totally improvised show based on suggestions your delegates give us on the night, or drawn from your event, your programme or your corporate brochure. It might feel like a West-End Musical or be a series of funny sketches based on your everyday reality.

Usually from 100 to 500 delegates.
(10 minutes – 1 hour)

What we love about this format: You’ll get to see exactly what The Maydays are capable of when fully unleashed. It’s the best combination of live, improvised, clever musical entertainment but it’s also ALL about you and your organisation.

Other Improvised Shows

The Maydays delivering at a large conference

The Maydays are one of the world’s most renowned improv troupes and we love a challenge. There is practically nothing we can’t do around the subject of improvisation and improvised performance. We can simply perform for you, or also make your people the stars of the show and have them accomplish things they previously thought impossible. We can also give you a Whose Line Is It Anyway-style show based on audience suggestions, or something quite different that you have in mind. Put us to the test with your own ideas, and we’ll propose a winning solution.
We can work with any size of event, with almost any kind of desired outcome, and craft an highly memorable and totally relevant experience.

Top tip: People expect The Maydays to be amazing, but give the audience a real surprise by getting your top executives up on stage too. We’ll make them the heroes of the moment and company legends for years to come.

Improv Training Courses suitable for Conference Break-out sessions

Any of the existing formats below will provide a unique and experiential environment in which to learn new techniques and behaviours specific to your conference needs. If you have a different idea or want us to develop some training that is bespoke to you, then get in touch and we can get to work.

Three people chatting at a restaurant table

When do we really find out something new about someone?  When we watch them deal with an unfamiliar situation.  When I see a speaker delivering a perfect script I can’t help feeling a little bit cheated and unengaged.  If however, they drop the mic, lose their place or get heckled then suddenly I am attentive to how they will respond.  Did they stay calm? Did they get flustered and look around for someone to help?  Practise being the person who smiles, breathes and then reconnects to their audience at these moments. Find out more about Improv Training for Confidence and Communication here…

A flexible man doing the bridge pose

In an uncertain world, organisations are seizing the opportunity to build some flex into how people think and work. Developing emotional, physical and verbal dexterity is a way to release potential and to stay cool when faced with the unexpected.  Find out more about Improv Courses for Flexibility and Agility here…

A woman's face in front of a spiral pattern

It is important for us to get a new perspective on our lives from time to time.  This can be increasingly hard to do as we gather experiences and mature.  Improv Training provides a fresh way to look at ourselves and our behavioural patterns.  The way we treat other people and the way we expect to be treated ourselves all come under scrutiny when we are improvising, and it gives us the chance to notice, and change ingrained behaviours.  Find out more about Improv Training for Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence here…

A woman with her palm upwards with images of thought bubbles around her

Mindfulness is often perceived as akin to a meditative state.  That is a wonderful thing if you have the time and devotion it deserves, but most of our lives are spent in a world of frantic communication and uncertainty. Improvisation demands active mindfulness. It is lively, highly experiential and a very effective tool for raising awareness of yourself and the world around you, allowing you to stay calm in your work and your life.  Find out more about Improv Training for Minfulness and Being Present  here…

A woman holding up her hand with the index finger and thumb forming a circle

There will always be aspects of our work that we find difficult, frustrating or dull.  Generally it is the people around us, and our relationships with those people that keep things upbeat and fresh every day.  Improv Training can work for your own positivity and self-esteem as well as working on your interaction with a group. Find out more about Improv Courses for Positivity and Happiness here…

A tandem skydive with the plane in the background

The huge problem with taking risks is the stakes.  It is not just missing a bin with an apple core, there are livelihoods, investments and relationships on the line when we are faced with risky situations at work and in life.  They will arise though, and it is best to be prepared for how we will behave, and how we will deal with the consequences of our decisions and actions.  Improv Training allows us to inhabit some uncomfortable spaces with the stakes being as low as possible.  With the support of a good facilitator and the commitment of the participants, this really can be a game changing experience. Find out more about Improv Courses for Risk Taking here…

A light bulb with blackboard lines and circles coming out behind

There are times when we need to shut off our inner critic, and our cynicism, and just build some ideas and concepts afresh, without limiting ourselves to the usual boundaries of sense, physics and economics.  It may be that all of these ideas are rejected, but every now and again you will get to a new, innovative idea that would normally have been shut down at the germinal stage.  Improv Training will directly teach you techniques to allow ideas to grow individually, and as part of a team.  Find out more about Improv Courses for Creativity and Innovation here…

A circle of hands and feet from above

Being on stage with your improv team performing an hour long musical with no script demands that you are working instinctively as a unit.  Find out the secrets to success on stage, and how that applies directly to any team of people.  Instead of a theory based approach, we use a live, experiential environment to understand what is really happening in a group, then we can respond to the needs of each group in the moment. Find out more about Improv Courses for Group Dynamics here…

Courses in the UK and Worldwide

Brighton pier with a calm sea

Brighton is one of the most popular away day locations in the country and for good reason.  Not only is it the original home of The Maydays (we still perform every month at The Komedia), but you have access to world class event hosting, restaurants, entertainment and you can go for a dip in the sea when it’s all done.  We have great contacts with Brighton venues so we can find the one that is right for you so you can enjoy your improv training as part of a memorable day out.  Find out more about how you can get world class Business Improv Training in Brighton here…

Business Improv in London

While we originated in Brighton, most of our trainers now deliver from London.  We have access to many great spaces for your group and can tailor your experience to your group and your budget.  We teach many public courses in London but we can provide bespoke business improv courses in London to bring the unique experience to you.  Find out how you can access Business Improv Training in London here…

Map of the UK in dark blue with small white dots

Improv Performance and Training is thriving in the UK.  Renowned for it’s cultural and artistic excellence, Improv is following in the tradition of theatre, comedy, dance and the arts in creating a unique and dynamic scene.  Come and experience it for yourself.  Improv is n most cities in the UK now, and if you can’t come to Brighton or London, we can come to you wherever you are in the UK and deliver our world class Improv Training.  Find out more about Improv in the UK here…

The globe represented as one single image in blue

We are proud to be at the forefront of the Improv Revolution that is happening in Europe and across the world.  If you have not heard of it, you will soon.  Improv performance is now available in every major city across the Globe, and if it isn’t then we will come to you to deliver it.  We have delivered at large conferences, or for small teams, at Improv Festivals and cultural events.  Find out what we offer worldwide here…

Generic Improv Courses for break out sessions

The ‘take-outs’ from an Improv training session are unique to every participant.  We often run a session focusing on a particular skill such as listening and get feedback from people about how their confidence has improved or that they have a newfound respect for their colleagues.  If you do not have a specific skill or program to follow, an introduction or crash course in improvisation is a great way to mix things up, get people interacting, thinking, laughing and learning.  Here are some of our ‘out of the box’ solutions you may want to try, or get in touch and tell us exactly what you need.

Choose the level that is right for you and your team.  We can offer short introductions to Business Improv, right through to an integrated training that is ongoing in your business.

Sometimes you need reassurance that what you are investing in is authentic, and will add value to your company.  That is why The Maydays have been accredited by the CPD Certification Service to provide the highest possible standard of Improvisation Training available.  Most of our courses are CPD Accredited.

Jenny Rowe looking delighted while teaching Improv

A great place to start to experience the diverse and fascinating world of Improv Training.  This CPD accredited course has been designed to take even the most diverse and recent group or team and take them through the basic tents of improvisation and the benefits of Improv in the business world.  Find out more about the Introduction to Business Improv course here.

Rebecca MacMillan teaching at The Maydays Improv Festival

Whether you have tried Improv Training before, or you want your team to get stuck in straight away, this CPD accredited course will take you quickly to the heart of Improv for Business and explore ideas of commitment, listening, trust and agility in a safe and vibrant environment.  A perfect bonding experience for a team or high performing leaders in your company.  Find out more about Essential Improv Skills for Business here

the word skills with images coming off it

This course will take your team or group on a journey through the accepted tenets of Improv Training, and deliver some key insights into their application for your business.  Where people or product focussed, there is always something new to learn about yourself and the way you behave and perform in your business.  This CPD accredited course is a tried and tested way of going deeper into the soft skills that lie at the heart of a successful business.  Find out more about Advanced Improv Skills for Business here

a person letting go of a rope swing over a lake

It is always good to shake up the existing hierarchies and roles of an existing team, or throw a new team a challenge and see how they respond.  Traditional team building exercises have focussed on the challenging element of their activities for many year.  Improv Training delivers this challenge, but in the safe, non-judgemental space created by our expert facilitators.  We are not looking to humiliate or defeat people, we want everyone, even the most introverted to have their moment to shine.  Dressed up as a challenge, our CPD accredited course is really a celebration of being human.  Find out more about our challenge course here

Improv Courses for people in Business

Improv training for business covers a vast array of skills, sectors and roles within a company.  We can tailor a course specifically for your needs, or you can simply select one of our courses off the shelf.  You can choose from courses in different locations, for specific skill sets, or take advantage of our CPD accreditation to supercharge your training.  Here are some of our tailored Improv Courses…

A group of chess pawns facing one single pawn

The traditional team building away day has had it’s time.  It can be hard to find team building activities that are fresh every time, fun, engaging and that still leave people with a sense of accomplishment and stronger connection.  Improv training has proved itself every time to be able to deliver quality training, while keeping the emphasis on laughter, interaction, creativity and a new experience. Find out more about Improv Courses for Team Building here

A hand drawing words such as Competence, training and learning

For those in positions of high responsibility and authority, it can be hard to relate to the people you manage.  Improv training provides the perfect environment to explore new ways of listening, generating ideas and engendering trust and respect while maintaining authority and inspiring confidence.  Improv courses are a superb way of breaking down existing hierarchies and roles and creating new and memorable ways of interacting.  Whether it is with other high-powered people in your business, or across the whole spectrum of positions, improv training allows you to relax, enjoy yourself and experience something new in a safe environment.  Find out more about Improv Courses for Executives and CEOs here

A hand drawing words such as Competence, training and learning

We are not experts in how to run your business.  We are experts in people.  Working on your soft skills is often neglected and can be hard to find the right training for.  These are the skills that will make you and your people stand out from the crowd.  Improv Training provides a rich environment to develop your communication skills as a whole.  Find out more about Improv Courses for Soft Skills Training here.

A road with white and red arrows superimposed

The responsibilities of managers and team leaders are onerous and can wear people down over time.  Improv Training can help to revitalise people, and refresh the way they interact with their colleagues, regardless of their status in the company.  A leader in business must be flexible, trustworthy and a great communicator.  All of the soft skills that can be so hard to work on in a way that is fresh and engaging.  Improv Training provides that environment where leaders can really thrive and develop.  Find out more about Improv Courses for Leaders and Managers here


Other Resources for Improv in Business

Overview of Business Improv Courses from The Maydays – Business Improv

Find out more about what Improv for Business involves – What is Business Improv?

Explore our resource of Improv Games and Exercises – Business Improv Games and Exercises