In the last week of August we delivered exciting Haka events across the world.
Our first trip was to the very picturesque venue of the Swedish National Olympic Training Centre, which was set deep in the Swedish countryside and surrounded by trees and lots of water. We arrived in late afternoon, which allowed for us to have dinner and meet with the client for a run-through and find entrance points.
The event was a very-well-kept secret with only two members of the company, who were to perform, knowing about the Haka session the following day. As an event manager, organisation of a secret event is where my role really comes into place. Trying to keep six Maori warriors separate from 1500 Swedish delegates, who were all staying on the same site, proved a little tricky!
Indoor and outdoor rehearsals went on until the evening and we were able to successfully set up everything ready for the next day. One of the reasons that so many companies choose a Haka activity to slot into their team days is that rehearsing a Haka event is relatively straightforward since equipment or props are not required.
The morning session took place in the indoor Olympic Stadium, with a surprise entrance and performance by our authentic Maori warriors. The Haka is always a spectacle to watch but, on this scale and setting, this particular session provided an immense experience for the group. The performance was aided by the acoustics within the Stadium to produce a particularly powerful sound. During the performance, the client company’s CEO was invited up onto the stage to perform the Haka with the Maoris. During the next 30 minutes, the delegates were taught the words and actions before breaking for a BBQ lunch served by the beautiful lake nearby.
As lunch came to an end, the Maoris took to the imposing outdoor stage to welcome everyone back by performing a beautiful guitar-led welcoming song. As soon as the 1500 delegates were in place, it was time for them to perform the Haka as one group. We believe that this was the largest Haka to have ever taken place in Sweden. A drone flew overhead capturing shots and footage of the powerful final Haka face-off, which was an amazing sight.
A few days later, we were in Brussels, Belgium to deliver a large 2000-person Haka event at a forum conference for a major global IT company. With a format very much different to the previous week, the session started with a sit-down TV interview between the company CEO and our Haka Master, which was screened throughout the conference on several huge screens. Our Haka Master discussed how the Haka is used by the Maori people to encourage them to work together as one and how this is so relevant in business. After the interview, the other members of our Haka team stormed on stage to perform a powerful Haka to the captivated audience.
Within four minutes of stepping on stage, the performance was over, and it was time for the ever-important photo opportunity for the delegates. This is always very popular.
What is so impressive about the Haka is how flexible it is, enabling us to incorporate it into any brief. It can range from an interview and performance all within four minutes to a two-hour session that incorporates a performance, workshop and uplifting finale.
From large groups in a conference like these down to a small group in an office meeting, the results are always the same: full commitment, lots of laughs and a totally transformed day.
For more information about our Haka events, or any other activity, please contact us now.