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So how do you get strangers to bond? By giving them a shared experience. Even better, an unforgettable, life affirming, emotive one.
A three-day event for BP’s global and European sales and marketing teams – 170 people.
They asked us for something different, something innovative; “what would Google do?” they said.
Blow it up
When delegates arrived, their welcome packs contained comedy inflatable animals – monkeys, giraffes, snakes.
(Backstory #1: due to a supplier error leaving them several animals short, two Bray Leino people embarked on a last-minute quest for inflatables. Late at night. In Amsterdam. Not dodgy at all. Not one bit.)
Delegates with matching animals were instructed to form teams in which they would carry out assigned tasks, earning points over the three days.
The inflatable animals activity was designed to break the ice – the client described it as the moment they realised we were going “to deliver perfectly against the brief”.
Hold your horses (or inflatable flamingoes), there’s more...
(Backstory #2: take 170 people to one of Europe’s party capitals and fun will inevitably ensue. One Bray Leino team member recounts her nightly 4am crusade to find or replace delegates’ lost room keys.)
Team tasks followed. Teambuilding activities, including a particularly interesting treasure hunt around the city.
Build a bike
Then the 13 teams were asked to work together to assemble a bicycle out of various parts – these bikes could be embellished with extra adornments purchased with points won on previous activities. Good task. Bonds built. Great, move on.
Later, at the gala dinner, Nathaneal, the head of a local orphanage, was invited to speak. It was revealed to the audience that the bikes they’d built were to be donated to his orphanage. A couple of the kids from the orphanage were there to receive them and say thanks. It was a great moment. The teams had actually made a difference to real people’s lives.
One delegate, the global retail director Jurgen Bloemers, was so moved that he made a snap decision. The presenter paused for a moment as someone said something in his earpiece – then informed the crowd that he’d just been told BP would donate a bike for every single child at the orphanage.
Cue tears, cheers, indelible memories – a global team bound by an unforgettable experience and a new CSR initiative spawned.
Steve Saunders, Head of Marketing – New Markets at BP, said: “We asked for something different and that’s what we got. The energy, creativity and professionalism Bray Leino brought to this meant the whole project was delivered in the best possible way. Our people will remember this event for a very long time.”