This Is Your Life
When a long-serving and well loved team member leaves there's no better way to salute them than with a "This Is Your Life" type show and when its done really well it takes things to another level.
It was my absolute pleasure to take part in such a tribute for MyFarm's Cliff King. The evening, held in Fielding, was a fantastic coming together of a whole lot of things that made for a magical night.
Firstly Cliff, the actual subject, not only had an interesting life but he was a great character in and of himself. I've hosted a few of these events before but I don't think there's been one with some much, heckling is the only word for it, from the subject. This made for a great atmosphere and really felt like a conversation between mates and family rather than a stiff presentation.
Secondly, the guests themselves entered into the spirit of things - they were well-chosen, well briefed and had plenty of time to think things through. So their stories were funny, pithy and never dragged. This is always a bit of a worry with occasions like this. Although they are tributes for a certain person you can never forget the audience in these things. They have to sit through the stories and so they need to be short, sharp entertaining and not too full of in-jokes that exclude people.
Thirdly the book that Cliff got at the end made the whole thing tie together so well. there are a number of sites on the internet nowadays that allow you to send in photos and text and have them transformed into books or albums of amazing quality. And to have this as both a prompt for the evening and a memory at the end made things very memorable.
When they are done really well these evenings transcend just a roast or a tribute and become a real, affectionate farewell. A big congrats to the MyFarm team for pulling together something that was so great to be involved in.