Some months ago, we attended a meeting to propose an activity to kick off a large three-day conference. It soon became apparent that the most powerful and relevant option would be our drumming activity. In the time allowed, and with the conference messages all about inclusion and feeling a sense of moving forward, drumming just fitted perfectly.
I would like to think that, within any meeting, we bring positivity and a wealth of options that help conference organisers integrate their own ideas to create something special. Our total involvement with this event ended up being much more than drumming. Lisa and Kelly from our office team worked tirelessly with our client’s own in-house event team. Let me explain what we actually delivered.
Last Sunday morning began with packing over 700 drums into two very large vans. By lunchtime, all 12 of our staff were on-site. Much to the surprise of onlookers in the hotel foyer, we sneaked all the drums into a room close to the main plenary session for sorting. With military precision, the drums were then unpacked and prepared in large drag bags so that we could flood the room and set up quickly.
With 70 tables to circumnavigate, and only 30 minutes to have all the instruments out, you can imagine it was all hands on deck! As is so often the case with these kinds of large event, our team managed to fill the room with instruments and set them up with time to spare.
The unassuming delegates were all in a nearby room having coffee, which was where for us the entire event would begin. Half of the members of our performance team, dressed as undercover waiters, unleashed our Crashing Waiters introduction, which stunned everyone! Quickly, people were up on their feet clapping along with the rhythms and grooves we were playing.
We then led everyone into the main plenary, to find the next surprise: drums on every seat and the other half of our team on a huge stage playing as people entered.
The conference was well and truly off to a great start. When we returned to close day one as one united orchestra, it was obvious that this group was up for fun and full of energy. We had a fantastic finale session with everyone, and concluded with all delegates playing perfectly over the conference signature theme song. The feeling in the room was electric and the real sense of achievement was in the faces of everyone. Remarkably, we had the room cleared and that mountain of instruments back in the van in less than 90 minutes.
On day two, we implemented a band of stellar UK session musicians. This group acted as the in-house band for a special award ceremony, giving the whole presentation the feel of a late-night US TV show.
After all the awards, the band immediately struck up with all the dance-floor favourites, and people jumped to their feet to be close to the music. Little did our enthusiastic dancers know that the musicians on stage regularly play for the likes of George Michael, Leona Lewis, Beverley Knight and Jools Holland!
Day three began at 8 am with an unbelievable session. For a ‘wow’ wake-up call, we had a DJ centre-stage with a live percussionist, surrounded by multiple drums and cymbals. The dance music and hip-hop sounds obviously struck a chord because everyone started dancing as soon as they arrived. With lights flashing and music pumping, it was simply an amazing sight to see the whole room alive, creating a night-club atmosphere so early in the morning!
At the end of the day, as a conference conclusion activity, we let loose our unstoppable vocal team. Led by Carrie, the delegates were quickly taught harmonies and backing vocals to sing along with the company’s specially designed theme tune. On stage, we added more musicians to complete the sound. Then, it was time for one last combined singing performance to close.
Over the three days, we had a truly inspiring time and we loved every minute of it. A huge thank you to all members of my team for all their hard work and a massive thank you to everyone from the production company, the AV team and (not forgetting for a second) our clients who trusted us and gave us this opportunity.
If you would like some new ideas to make your next conference unforgettable, just give us a call to talk over the options. Please contact us.
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