So far this year, there has been an incredible demand for our boomwhacker sessions. We have had to significantly increase our stock of these amazing musical tubes. We often have more than one event on the same day and, typically, the sizes of the audiences are such that we have needed to expand.
With my portable boomwhacker bags slung over my shoulder, I have not long returned from a sizzling hot Arizona. Chris, Owen and Pete have also been all over the UK and across Europe delivering boomwhacker events. In this blog, I wanted to go into more detail about a very recent trip to Bulgaria. With boomwhackers, it is just so easy and efficient to inspire and entertain conferences and meetings of any size, anywhere in the world.
Wes Linden, the best selling author and network managing professional, very kindly brought Creative Team Events in to work with one of his many global companies he consults with. We were asked to provide a conference energiser with 600 boomwhackers.
With very careful packing, we had all 600 instruments in three large bags to go into the aircraft hold, just like regular luggage.
Requiring only one facilitator to lead this event means that providing an amazing conference experience for up to an hour, with everyone playing together, becomes no fuss to organise and incredibly affordable.
On arrival in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, it was a swift taxi ride to the hotel, where my bags of undercover, secret musical tubes were sent on to the conference venue. These bags are discreet and black in colour so the audience never notices them in the corners of the room, right by the stage or even sitting behind a PA speaker. If only they knew that these innocent-looking bags contain all the tools needed to instantly transform an entire room into a rainbow of colours and harmony. And all this is achieved in the first 30 seconds of the event!
Wes did a fantastic presentation before bringing me on-stage as the surprise facilitator. Sixty seconds later, in a speedy, mass pass-out, the whole audience had an instrument in their hands.
As ever, this interactive musical activity had all the delegates playing one of five separate parts, which, when layered together, created a one-team orchestra.
Along the way, we had all the usual fun, surprises and lots of laughs. Most importantly, we demonstrated the power of successfully creating something together.
The way we lead these sessions means we can encompass and demonstrate so many business analogies, including leadership, communication, change and the power of teamwork.
While I was there, I found out about a traditional Bulgarian dance called the Hora. So, we added it into the mix! Over the wonderful music being played, I casually mentioned it and the stage was immediately flooded with willing Hora dancers straight out of the audience.
After our performance finale, it took roughly a minute to have all the handheld instruments passed into waiting bags and out of the room.
All our delegates were now wide awake and totally engaged – ready to continue with the conference and fantastic guest speaker, Stefan Thomas.
I caught up with Wes Linden and Stefan Thomas, and here is what they said:
I hope this shows that, with our boomwhacker event, you can have maximum impact and entertainment for your meetings or conferences of any size, anywhere in the world.
Please contact us to be amazed just how easy it could be for you to have all this excitement as part of your next event.
It all seems so long ago and far away but, as we launch into this new year, I think it is only fitting to summarise some of the high points of 2018.
It would be impossible to list, thank and recognise every client and colleague but, just off the top of my head, here goes.
Last January started with a bang with lots of rhythm events and with our Haka team in Texas and nearby states.
March saw us working closely with Rolls Royce on many team building adventures and then a mammoth event with 7000 delegates ‘boomwhacking’ for Utility Warehouse.
May and June were swamped with even more boomwhacker events and saw our new Animate team event launched. We didn’t know it then but this video stop-motion capture challenge became one of the biggest hits of the year.
Throughout the year, we responded to so many requests for our Beatbox and rap activities. Patrick and Ewan transformed many conferences and meetings into instant-rhythm riots!
July saw a drumming trip to Jersey and a spate of our Strictly Come Dancing evening events. We even combined the two on one occasion for a themed Charleston dance and huge jazz band percussion extravaganza!
Throughout the year, we had huge success with all our One Voice singing teams. In August, our Crashing Waiters seemed more in demand than ever, creating the best dinner party surprises.
Our behind-the-scenes, but vitally important and appreciated, web designer, SEO developer and business guru Mark Heath introduced video blogs and has started to offer all our clients ultra-quality 4k video footage to watch throughout the website.
In October, we delivered back-to-back huge Haka events across Europe, and our much-loved gumboot dancers were called upon to surprise a sales meeting.
The second part of the year saw a significant uplift in our drumming events. Our teams were all over the country delivering this ultimate power and unity team experience.
Throughout the year, there was an insatiable appetite for our boomwhacker sessions. Our stellar facilitator Chris Abington and I travelled to the USA, all over Europe and the length and breadth of the UK, each bringing with us mysterious big bags of plastic tubes!
December finally arrived with a fantastic mixture of themed dinners, Clap Happy, a mini Grease musical and a festive company Big Picture team building painting event.
I have only just scratched the surface of the year as I haven’t included the many epic, multi-themed and full conference productions that our creative team in the office brought together. There will be more about these in our next blog.
2019 I’m sure will be more of the same, with lots of new ideas making an appearance.
All of the above only happen because of a long, long list of people. We thank them all for their professionalism and fun.
To the hundreds of clients that put their staff, brand names and confidentially in our hands, a massive thank you from all our team.
There is just one special memory from 2018 for me to share with you as it is a perfect example of what we try to leave our participants with, no matter what the activity.
“I’ll never ever forget what just happened to me here today. This was a real gift.”
This was said by a senior manager who, at first, was a little unsure why he was drumming with his colleagues. He then recognized the benefit and depth of what we as a company are trying to do. That is to get individuals, teams or entire companies to feel totally positive in experiencing something new…together.
Please have a healthy and creative year ahead.
If you would like more information about any of our events, please contact us now.
September certainly was a month of variety for us, with the month seeing more than its fair share of interesting events and surprises. Below are just some instances that have stood out, which may give ideas for your future events.
Our amazing dance team, which leads all our Thriller and Street Moves events found themselves featuring in the opening sequence of the Brits and then, more recently, on the hit TV show X Factor. It is exactly these types of experiences that participants in our team dancing activities get to learn from, and there is always some behind-the-scenes gossip!
Our drumming team has been disguised as builders in their overalls and hard hats, dragging ladders, wheelbarrows and buckets into venues and then playing them in our Stomp-like Junk Funk activity. Our team can change a perfectly respectable conference room into a rubbish dump in seconds! What at first looks like a pile of cardboard, plastic and useless items becomes the unique set of instruments used by the entire room.
It’s not all been indoors. On a beautiful summer’s day in a hidden forest, our clients learnt the Haka from our in-house Maori warriors. In an inspiring location, our new tribes found out about Maori myth and legend before learning the words and movements, adorning traditional face markings and performing the Haka together.
Helen and her team designed and project-managed a huge summer event inside and out. More and more clients are asking if we can use our creative ideas and project management skills to deliver an entire team event or conference, and not just deliver a specific team activity. So, from first concept to venue finding, theming, sound, lighting, food, drink and entertainment, Helen and her production team successfully planned, and oversaw the delivery of, the entire event.
It would be remiss of me not to mention another member of the office team who not only has been busy supporting everyone this summer but also has had time to squeeze in organising her own wedding! Congratulations to Mel and Josh.
There have been many drumming events in the month and I’ve been regularly sneaking in drums through fire exits and staff corridors to keep them secret from our unsuspecting clients. When participants have returned from coffee break or lunch, they couldn’t quite believe their room was awash with instruments on every seat and ready to go! My right-hand man Chris has also been all over the country drumming and bringing boomwhackers to meetings and conferences.
We have been busy delivering events at private parties. We had a memorable 50th birthday celebration that ended with an emotional ‘friends and family’ drumming finale performance. We also added a boomwhacker surprise to a Bar Mitzvah, filling the room with sound and colour.
Throughout dinner, we entertained a firm of accountants with our Antiques Auction. It got very competitive between tables as they bid for items from their fictional budget. When we finally revealed the real values of the lots that had been won, there were hilarious hurrays and howls as participants discovered which tables had won or lost profits.
On top of this has been a fun afternoon of filmmaking with our Animate activity, an unforgettable One Voice team building singing activity, which brought harmony to a training workshop, and an amazing Crashing Waiters activity at a charity dinner arranged by the wonderful Janine Edwards.
Bringing new experiences and laughter to teams and individuals is just what excites us, and I hope that this post will give you a little inspiration for any of your future events too. If you would like more information about any of our events, please contact us now.
Over the years, we have had to deliver a variety of our team building activities to groups that require a translator. This is normally because the particular teams or delegates participating don’t all have English as a first or second language. After our recent trip to the USA to deliver a morning icebreaker for 400 Chinese delegates using a translator, I thought it might be useful to explain how easy this was.
I’m sure there must be many lost opportunities to reach other countries or business communities because the organisers think that the impact might get lost in translation. My personal experience has been to the contrary.
We have been trading for almost 20 years. On some of these early trips, for example in Russia, Brunei, Malaysia, Turkey, Thailand and Columbia, our clients had translators working alongside our facilitators. We quickly realised that working with translators was a perfect fit and would cause no problem to the event flow or end result. I think one reason for this is, particularly for music and rhythm events, that the facilitators dramatically express with their hands and their bodies what is needed. No matter if it’s drumming, boomwhackers or Clap Happy, participants instantly understand what is required of them just by watching their instructor or the people around them. Over recent years, we have worked all over Europe where translators have been employed.
All our dance team building activities fall into the ‘easy to translate’ category too. Because of the positive energy and clear-cut delivery of our choreographers, we have taken our interactive team dance activities, including Thriller, Street Moves and Bollywood, to many countries.
We at Creative Team Events think there is a vast opportunity of working with more companies situated in the Far East, Japan and China as these companies look towards the West for insights on employee retention and conducive working environments. More and more, we witness companies investing in maximising the happiness and creative engagement of their employees and teams. This is exactly why we are brought in with our event options. Our expertise is in making group of any size feel happy, motivated and united.
In our recent experience in Seattle with our 400 Chinese delegates, we had a perfect example of the facilitator and translator working hand-in-hand to literary raise the roof! I shared the stage with the translator and, speaking slightly slower than usual and leaving tiny gaps, we delivered a motivating boomwhackers activity, which soon had the room in uproar! I think the photo attests that the delegates had no problems getting involved or finding the session easy to follow. In the end, we had the perfect timing and understanding between facilitator and translator to take the audience to a whole new level of communication.
Sometimes, our clients prefer not to use a translator on purpose, to gently encourage participants to use eye contact and communicate with each other to understand how they can do the right thing at the right time. Our facilitators are skilled in both approaches.
So I ask you to look once more at the image and ask yourself, “Would my conference benefit from that instant colour, sound and energy”? Now that you also know there are no language barriers to hinder you, please do contact us. We can provide a quote for any event within an hour.
I am delighted to present our first ever video blog, recorded in our new Creative Team Events studio. Over the coming months and years, we intend to use the power of video to bring more insight and information on our team events.
In our very first video blog, I caught up with Nathan Taylor, our Head of Animation, to find our more about our new Animate team activity. Click on the play button below to view our video blog.
For more information about Animate, visit the following page: