• Greg Ellis

A New Sheriff in Town

That ornery looking fellow is Sheriff Rusty Buckets and he was one of 3 characters I unleashed on the unsuspecting folks of Insurance Advisernet in Queenstown over the last few days. This was another conference organised by the folks from HQNZ and they are always a great time. That's for a couple of reasons - HQNZ gigs are usually in Queenstown which is not too shabby a place to go and work for a couple of days. Secondly they always have clients who are up for a good time.

This job was no exception.

Things kicked off for me with a Winter Olympics themed team-build cooked up by HQ on the slopes of Coronet Peak. I helped keep enthusiasm levels up as "famous" Austrian Olympian Lutz Koenin. Truth be told very little enthusiasm needed to be drummed up as everyone was in to a series of goofy activities up on the slopes in and amongst the slightly perplexed skiers.

The next day saw me MC the conference proper as Sheriff Rusty. He had a dual purpose - MC, sure, but also acting as the dispenser of justice in the form of fines. Yep I got to hand out fines for misdemeanors real and imagined.

Turning up late to the session? Fined. Sitting in the back row while the front row was empty? Fined. Wagging the morning session because of a hangover from the night before? Fined.

I've seen this sort of thing fall flat before but the way these guys did it worked. And here's why I think it worked:

Firstly the fines went to a charity and the first presentation of the day was about the work being done by the charity for this particular gathering, Women's Refuge. So there was always knowledge that the fines you were paying were going to a good cause.

Secondly, by devolving the responsibility for handing out the fines to me there was a neutral person involved who had no agenda.

We carried it on through the Bond themed dinner where I became Q (Bond's gadget guy) and around $20,000 was raised from fines and other contributions. It was a great twist to an enjoyable couple of days.

#character #MC #charity #queenstown

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