With all the available options and directions for an event there is nothing more effective at bonding people, team building and creating a lasting impact than moments attendees can feel.
There is abundant research to support the value of fun and entertainment. According to communications guru Dale Carnegie, “People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing.” By creating an environment where people enjoy the time they spend at an event, you set a welcoming and exciting atmosphere. Not just for fun or as an added reward, though those are important reasons, but by recognizing that shared experiences ultimately cultivate a positive culture and give people permission to relax. Positive experiences influence team behaviours, workplace productively, problem-solving and efficiency.
There are many ways to keep things light and happy while encouraging strong work ethics. Incorporating elements of entertainment into your events, results in enhanced motivation, reduced stress, higher job satisfaction and improved task performance.
Whether you are hosting a conference, a day-long seminar or other work-related meetings, your attendees need stimulation as well as education. Selecting the right entertainment to break up the day is as critical as choosing the right menu. The best entertainment is getting your attendees to become the entertainment. This type of exercise can be used for team bonding, and keep everyone alert as you proceed with the messages of the day.
So, what is entertainment? The dictionary defines it as the action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment. Having fun is a great way for people to learn about each other. It builds a sense of belonging and reduces feelings of isolation. For the past two years we have been living in a virtual world where our interpersonal connections are on a screen. It’s time to open the gates and let the personal connections resume.
Entertainment as team building can be a form of escapism; driving bonding and shared outcomes while experiencing a sense of escape or reward. Experiential entertainment also enhances a celebration. Entertainment activities or events that centre around celebrating teams, individuals, achievements and promote appreciation enhances the value of relationships and increases the value of your investment in your team/staff.
Over the past two years, employees have undergone new levels of stress as we all worked through the challenges of our new environment. Experiential entertainment is a great way to promote a strong corporate culture and maintain healthy work life balance. Happy teams produce more and better results.
In our activities the participants become the entertainment. We incorporate them into the event so they enjoy themselves while learning new skills and absorbing useful information.
An example of this is Rock the Stars. An innovative way for organizations to build team spirit while motivating participants to strive for higher levels of performance. Attendees require no prior skills or musical abilities. Rock the Stars is packed with challenge, creativity and excitement. In all of our Rock the Stars programs, we have experiences that meet any team building goals: For example, we incorporate entertainment infused teamwork that provides challenges, promotes cohesiveness, confidence, ingenuity and builds connections.
What do participants get out of a Rock the Stars event?
Rock the Stars allows all participants to become creative and do things outside their daily routines – for example – play in a rock band or write a pop song. They will have fun building trust and team spirit and shared memories that last long after the event. They will leave a Rock the Stars event energized and empowered.
What is Rock the Stars’ philosophy?
We believe that team building should be time away from the office that allows attendees to learn new skills and share a meaningful experience with peers. Our philosophy can be summed up with an acronym:
Meaningful – impactful and real
Unforgettable – experience that stays with you
Special – fun and empowering
Inclusive – appeals to all personality types
Challenging – fosters a sense of achievement
What is the Secret Sauce?
Why, the music of course! Popular music forms a soundtrack to our lives and is associated with events and memory in a big way. That’s why most of us learned the alphabet by singing a silly rhyme. Listen to a song that was popular the summer you graduated from high school and you’ll immediately remember things you did, people you were with, and sensations you felt at the time. Music evokes memories and emotions which we use to create a deeper, more meaningful experience for participants.
Music is one of the earliest forms of human communication. Music stimulates multiple parts of the brain. It is exercise for the mind, and affects us emotionally. Singing or making music as a group has an amazing effect that reduces stress and energizes us at the same time. It does this, in part, by releasing endorphins and chemicals like dopamine. This produces the same kind of high you feel after a great workout or when falling in love.
Imagine being at a concert with your favourite band, singing along at the top of your lungs with the rest of the audience. It’s exhilarating and gives you a sense, in that moment, that anything is possible. Sharing a musical experience with others makes us feel like we are part of something bigger; like we’re members of the same tribe.
Debbie Arato, CSEP, is partner and experience design strategist at Experiential Experts Inc.