A few weekends ago, we were asked to deliver conference energisers for 7000 delegates over two days. The objective was to wake up everyone after lunch, incorporate the conference themes into an activity and simply unite everyone in the room. In this article, I would like to show you just how easy it was to incorporate one of our activities, en masse, into a busy agenda.
We have extensive experience of delivering team activities to large groups. Recently, we have had 5000 participants learning the Haka, 2000 delegates drumming, 1800 delegates singing and an audience of 3600 becoming a rubber glove clapping orchestra!
This particular enquiry came to our office via our soon-to-be new client Paul Collin from his event production company Behind the Scenes. Behind the Scenes helps organisations, TV and film producers and charities create, design and deliver engaging events that deliver results. Paul chose Creative Team Events after a recommendation from one of his contacts within the events industry.
What made it easy from the beginning is that Paul knew exactly what activity he wanted for his end client – boomwhackers!
Being an experienced facilitator himself, Paul knew what was required on and off stage. During our first phone call, we discussed all the options available to Paul’s client in terms of dramatic event introductions, audience interaction and opportunities for linking the activity to specific conference messages.
Boomwhackers provide the perfect fit for large groups, being very light, easy to use, not too loud and highly visual. They fill a large venue with colour and harmony in seconds.
Once confirmed, we were against the clock to procure 7000 boomwhackers because the client loved the idea of everyone going home with their own branded boomwhacker as a great reminder of the day.
As soon as the boxes arrived, our speedy team created a mini production line to put the company logo and conference strapline on every one of these wonderful musical tubes.
We had a face-to-face meeting with the end client, where they added quite a few new ideas. We pride ourselves in being flexible and each of our activities can be augmented to give our clients free range to customise what we deliver. We added their leadership team of 15 people playing drums on stage with us and some funny interactive moments with their Manager Director too.
As part of the planning, we had to tackle the obvious challenge of instrument distribution to the audience. We have a few different options when it comes to boomwhacker dispersal but, after close scrutiny of the venue layout, we decided on pre-bagging instruments and assigning them to each seating row. We had about 80 volunteers on the day at our disposal to help with this.
Leading an activity from the stage, I’m always trying to engage everyone in the room. Sometimes, in very large rooms, you can lose the very back rows a little through poor sound but this was perfect. The end client had organised many huge video screens and crystal-clear PA speakers throughout the room. When you are making music with this many people, this makes all the difference.
After the first day, we were asked to tweak a few tiny details for the next day’s session and this was easily done. The second day was just as successful in terms of instrument distribution and the way the actual session went.
Judging by the sea of smiling faces, selfies, high fives and handshakes we received from the audiences afterwards, both days provided totally rewarding experiences for participants.
Members of the audience repeatedly told us how fantastic it was to actually do something rather than just watch speakers and presentations. By adding an exciting group activity to your conference, you can re-energise the room and make it easier for the next speaker to deliver their messages because the room will be so responsive and alert. Furthermore, you’ll leave your audience with an emotional memory of your conference. Surely that is the reason for the effort and investment in the first place?
A great team effort meant that 3500 boomwhackers were given out in less than 50 seconds. Paul Collin from Behind the Scenes was a great help and totally hands-on with all aspects, helping our event manager Mel Froggert.
Paul said, “It’s great when a plan comes together. Having met Mel and chatted extensively on the phone, we were totally aligned with what the client wanted to achieve. At that point, it was about refining a process that would work. Mel created the right plan from the start and all we needed to do on the day was to work together with the client to deliver an amazing result. I trusted Mel and the plan 100%, and I was impressed with Mel’s level of detail.”
He added, “The 45-minute session was a huge hit. The room was absolutely buzzing with excitement. We had lots of laughs and the collective sound was palpably impressive. The event was a huge success and for both Behind the Scenes and Creative Team Events, happy clients are what we are all about. 7000 smiling, happy faces provided a great measure of success.”
This was a huge team effort overall, and I would like to thank Paul Collin, all our office team, our ten on-stage performers and the production manager Tina Blake, who masterminded on- and off-stage content.
If you are planning your next event for a large group, please do get in touch if you want to totally change what you normally do. Please contact us now.