Event: 2011 "Living Onyx" National Sales Team Meeting
• An innovative game for introducing new executives
• An audience-response knowledge-check game
• An amazing teambuilding event that truly had an impact
Team: Live Spark Internal; Dan Yaman, Kristina Gooding, Missy Covington
Situation Overview: Onyx had three needs:
1. They knew they wanted to use an audience-response game during their event to engage the audience and review material. We had produced a similar game for them the year before with great results.
2. They wanted an engaging, entertaining way to introduce their new executives that both allowed them to give a bit of their vision for the company and also show off some of their personalities.
3. They wanted a team building event that kept people engaged, utilized the location of Marina Del Rey, CA, and that wasn't just another bike building or scavenger hunt.
Their audience was a young-but-experienced sales team who tended to have a rather cynical view of activities designed to elicit their participation--whether in-session or in a team building setting. Our challenge was to come up with creative solutions that were not only unique (never seen before) but that also had a deeper, relevant message.
Solution 1: Audience Response Game
In the pharmaceutical industry, it is critically important that everyone learn and retain certain compliance, pharmaceutical and policy information. You can test everyone to see what they know and don't know--or you can play an interactive, competitive audience response game that both illuminates the gaps and rewards participants for active listening.
We custom-designed a game utilizing Onyx's theme graphics, brand and color scheme to create an engaging audience-response activity within the event.
Each audience member had a keypad--so everyone got to play along. People were put onto teams by region, and the competition was fierce. As the percentage of the team that answered correctly was revealed and the scores rose (or failed to rise), the room erupted into cheering (or groans of disappointment).
Solution 1 Result: Because the audience knew they were going to be engaging in a competitive game activity around the presentation content, we saw an increase in focus during the presentation and VERY high rates of information retention.
Solution 2: Getting to Know You Game Show
There were three brand-new executives being introduced at this event. Onyx wanted a way to break the ice--to stimulate conversation in the networking portions of the event--and to reveal some of the executives' vision for the company.
We designed a customized game show that was part "To Tell the Truth", part "Dating Game" and all competitive, interactive fun. We sent out a questionnaire to the executives beforehand to elicit information on their hobbies, personal heroes, backgrounds, families, etc. The game had multiple rounds:
The first executive was brought onstage and the audience was asked a question about that executive. (I.e. On his day off, you're most likely to find [John Doe]: A. On a golf course, B. Surfing in the ocean, C. Drag racing, or D. Playing competitive backgammon). The audience (in their team designations) voted on which answer they felt was correct (using audience-response keypads). The answer was revealed, and the executive in question used that as a jumping-off point to elaborate and go into a 3-minute pitch on his vision. After he was done, the team tallies were revealed and the next executive was brought up to repeat game play.
After the vision statement round, a series of questions were asked in which the audience had to assign certain characteristics, hobbies, goals, etc. to particular executives on stage. (I.e. Which of the following says that his personal hero is Sir Richard Branson? A. Steve, B. Joe, C. John.) The audience voted and the team tallies were compiled for a fast-paced round of about 10 questions.
For the final round, the audience made a bet on a physical challenge: Which executive was most likely to putt a golf ball closest to the hole? The audience considered and entered in their bets. The bets were revealed--who did the audience think would be most successful? The executives then tried for a putt. Once the closest to the goal was determined, points were awarded to the audience with the correct bet.
Solution 2 Result: The audience got a much better handle on the personalities of their new leadership, were able to have a little fun and establish some early rapport with the new executives, and were able to participate in a way that is usually not available when vision statements are being given.
The audience had very favorable feedback on the activity:
"Creative and engaging introduction to the team..."
"Great way to know more about where we're heading!"
"Great way to know more about where we're heading!"
"Nice way to 'get to know' some of our new team members..."
Solution 3: Persuade Me Team Building Challenge
We wanted a team building activity that went so far beyond bar-side networking, build-a-boat or scavenger hunt activities. This experienced group had been-there-done-that and didn't seem to think that team building could be an impactful experience in any way, shape or form. They also wanted to figure out some way to utilize their sales skills: to mimic the rapport-building that they, as reps, had to exhibit on a day-to-day basis with doctors in their field.
Then came the Persuade Me challenge; a team building event unlike any other. It was an activity that challenged their sales skills; their ability to quickly establish rapport, uncover information and maintain a positive relationship—all with a stranger.
Logistics: Teams were given three flip-cameras each and bussed over to Venice Beach, CA, where they had 45 minutes to complete their activity. They were then bussed back and prepared for their presentation.
Objective: They must persuade a stranger to share their human interest story with them. Their challenge is to interview a stranger and capture the interview on video; creating a moment of trust to come up with a deep interaction that is engaging, heartfelt and emotional.
This human interest moment can be a wide variety of things—at the discretion of the team--but should be something that one wouldn’t normally share with a stranger.
The Teams Delivered:
· ONE clip—up to and no more than 90 seconds.
· Given that each team had three cameras/crews to shoot, they had an abundance of clips to select from. Part of the challenge was figuring out a strategy to locate the most compelling clip.
- The final clip was the best representation of the team’s interaction. It could be:
· Each team delivered a final presentation (4 minutes) including the clip. They also described their experience, for instance:
- Setting up the video clip (What are we about to see/hear? What’s the story? Why is the clip compelling? Etc.)
- Describing the experience of your interaction
- Describing their strategy
- Illuminating challenges and insights (What did or didn’t they expect? What made them successful?)
- Describing what the team got out of this interaction
- Etc.The teams were then scored on both their clips and their presentation by a panel of judges.
Solution 3 Result: Teams produced some amazing, truly moving clips. They were able to quickly get into rapport with strangers on Venice Beach and capture wonderful human moments of humor, sadness, forgiveness, regret, optimism, etc.
The audience said, of the activity:
"Taught me a lesson about judging people...also about collaboration amongst co-workers."
"Liked it...it was different and surprising!"
"Loved the teambuilding!! It was surprising. Really helped us use our skill sets to get people to open up! Key in sales!"
"Team building was fun and collaborative. Infused meaning into my work and added humility to my belief system."
"...an eye-opening experience"
"Outside the box!"
"Leveraged our strengths as sales people. Didn't know what to think at first, but it was fun!"
"Loved it! Helped us to focus on rapport--which I think we forget sometimes..."
And many more similar comments. It was definitely a hit.