Sometimes the oldest are the best
I've just finished a gig for RCP which reminds me that sometimes the old formats are some of the best.
RCP are a bunch of Project Managers - they got their start 20 years ago and their first project was the Skytower (which is pretty impressive). Every year they get their team from all over the country together for a "conference" and they wanted to do something special to help celebrate their 20th birthday.
I gave them a fair few options but threw in a time-tested favourite; the "This Is Your Life" show. Based on the TV show of the same name it's an oldy but a goody. With the help of a number of guests from the company we flesh out some of the company history as well as as the funny stories and great characters. All you need is an audience who are comfortable with each other, a couple of good guests and you are away.
For RCP I got a bit of a briefing, but not too much. I'd met some of the team and they seemed to be fun so I extrapolated that the company would be up for a good time. I got a little bit of information about each guest and I was ready to tease out the rest.
This time it was a case of light the fuse and stand back!
We were upstairs in the Museum of Wellington City and Sea - it's an odd space, dominated by a staircase, and the tables were on both sides. Sensibly RCP and the Museum ha a camera and a projection to make sure there weren't too many blind spots but when I invited people up front if they wanted a better view we had people on the floor, perched on the stairs and sitting on each other - a good sign. The 3 company directors were good "talent" and it was more a case of shutting them up than coaxing anything out of them. We got some great stories, good laughs and a hint of bromance from the evening.
You might be hard pressed to see "This Is Your Life" on TV anymore but I've found on several occassions it's a great way to get history involved in an event. And because it's told by the people themselves it's extra engaging and a great shared experience.