If ever there was a great example of making sure the people you book to run your corporate event can actually do the job properly (and not just say they can), then this week’s episode of the BBC hits show The Apprentice was it! This week’s episode was of particular interest to me as the two competing teams had to organize and deliver a corporate off-site event. Lord Sugar gave the teams just a couple of days to prepare, and a very generous £5,000 budget. The team that spent the least money and received the best client feedback would win.
Without being able to view all the unedited TV footage, it’s almost impossible to judge their efforts properly, but what I ultimately saw on screen were two poorly put together events.
While participants at the events had a go (they could hardly do otherwise with a film crew and director around them), there was generally very little ‘buy in’ to the separate team building tasks. There were a few notable exceptions when the teams employed external professionals (for the archery task and as a motivational speaker), when it started to resemble a professional corporate event.
This brings us back to a familiar theme in our articles – the importance of employing the right people for the right job. When the TV contestants, in a bid to save budget, took on the roles of instructors and facilitators, you could see their already suspicious clients disengaging.
This is why, on the events we deliver, we use experts for each activity. Clients know (even subconsciously), when something is real and genuine, and this is vital if you are asking participants to ‘jump in with two feet’ and trust you!
Our Haka, drumming, One Voice and Thriller events just wouldn’t be the same without the masters in their fields leading them. Even our own Team Apprentice team building activity employs experienced actors to recreate the feeling of the TV show.
All in all, it was an entertaining programme with an interesting outcome, but I must say that I disagreed with Lord Sugar. He thought employing a motivational speaker wasted the particular team’s resources. For me, it was the high point of the team’s event and the enthralled participants loved it! Furthermore, I have had the pleasure of working with the speaker in question and I know how masterful he is at delivering motivational speeches, every time.
Sorry Lord Sugar but that was the right person for the right job. You’re fired!
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