Swiss Bureau turns event professionals into rock stars for a night

Posted by Jenise Fryatt on Thu, Jul 08, 2010 @ 10:32 AM

rock star for a night

(Photo by SCIB London )

The following is a guest blog article by Paul Cook. If you are interested in guest blogging for Sound n' Sight, please read my guest blogging guidelines . And if you have any thoughts, please comment. Paul and I both would love to hear what you have to say!

Recently I became a rock star quite by accident.

The Swiss Convention and Incentive Bureau invited around 30 of their key buyers/influencers for a "Rocking Switzerland" evening.

They didn't really give much away as to what was expected which I guess was a good move. All the invite gave was an address and a note to get your singing voice in tune.

The venue turned out to be a recording studio in London and it was there that we met various band members from Song Division.

With wine and nibbles being shared out and the band performing a couple of numbers I for one was quite relaxed. All was going well so far.


It all Changed


The group of the buyers/influencers was divided into 4 teams and a member of the Song Division band effectively became a coach to the team. Each team also had representatives from various parts of Switzerland to help produce the song.

We had an hour to write a song and practice it before performing live in front of everyone.

The main stipulation was that the song had to incorporate key Swiss elements.


Developing Song Lyrics


First we had to come up with the words. This was great fun. I am not shy with words so that was good for me. My singing however is simply horrible.

We practiced, refined the song, played with our inflatable air guitars and basically threw ourselves into the task.

When we performed we encouraged audience sing along etc and that I think tipped the edge for us and we won the competition. This is the winning chorus.

Sing Along if you Like -

Our chorus was:

Which land, Switzerland

Which land, Switzerland

Which land, Switzerland

Oh man this is getting out of hand

We were rewarded with a fantastic prize which is a trip to Switzerland later this year and looking at the itinerary I cannot wait (what a brilliant bonus for getting thoroughly involved in the task).


The Event was Captivating


Looking back I know it was a great event but why?

I go to countless events and very few captivate me to the same degree. Digging a little deeper I think there are three main reasons why I enjoyed this event:

There was no proper e mail brief so I couldn't be sure what I was getting into. Scary and exciting all at the same time.

There was a real un-conference feel about the whole event as we made up our own song. It was our own thoughts and ideas which meant the team had full ownership and commitment. No one was telling us what to do. We were learning very quickly as we went along.

The task encouraged very easy and quick team bonding. The clock was ticking and we only had an hour so we just needed to get on with it rather than over analyse our situation.


A Serious Product


But the fun in drawing the song together did lead itself to a serious product at the end. Song Division took our song and then added their magic with the end result here - (Ours was Which Land, Switzerland)


Great Connection


There was a great connection between hosts, their buyers and the chaps from Song Division.

I loved the innovation of the Swiss Convention and Incentive Bureau who through working with an small group of people were able to offer an experience which also re-inforced the branding of Switzerland (after all we were producing a song with Swiss content along the way).

This was a very different event to cramming 100 people in a darkened room with loud music and classing it as a networking opportunity.

Well done to the Swiss for their innovation and for turning me into a rock star for a night.

Paul Cook is founPaul Cookder and owner of both Clarity Event Insurance and Planet Planit, a website that offers a wealth of events industry information. He also takes an active role at MPI UK & Ireland and most recently produced the Young Acheivers Awards benefitting students in the field of events. 


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Tags: brand, interactive meeting, Event Planning and Production, meetings, #eventprofs, meeting planners, interactive meetings, risk taking, Unconference, Brainstorming