JCI Manchester held their first charity event of the year last night at Revolution Parsonage Gardens, in aid of our nominated charity for the year Mancunian Way. This of course was the day storm Doris threatened to ruin everyone’s evening plans! Thankfully attendees were not deterred by her ferocity and they came down to experience an event that was the first of it’s kind for our chamber.
The idea for the event came from members who asked for more opportunities to network and meet new people. Often we’ll attend an event and because the room is so packed full of people already in groups we’ll immediately find those we know or have met before, which immediately defeats the object of attending an event to meet new people. Then there are those who have never met anyone in the room and are attending by themselves. An extremely intimidating situation however friendly the group of people in the room are. Often they will only have the opportunity to meet 1 or 2 people when actually they wanted the chance to speak to everyone.
With the Younger Games we wanted to change this! We wanted to create an event with an environment that naturally stimulated genuine conversation between all the attendees, that wasn’t speed networking and wasn’t the awkward stand up and tell us about yourself for 2 minutes. Ice breakers can be very hit and miss and put people on the spot. We certainly didn’t want this. We wanted people to come down and genuinely feel like they got to know people. So we put on an evening of interactive networking games and activities, and we are happy to report that it went down a treat!
On arrival attendees were given a small square piece of paper with either a red, blue, green or pink bee, (as well as a prosecco).
After some initial mingling for the first 15 minutes where bees were mixed together they were asked to group together and find their fellow bees of the same colour. On completing this task they were given tasks 1a and 1b to complete as their bee group. Task 1a was to remove the question cards, take one each and answer the question that they had chosen. These included such questions as ‘What would be your last meal on death row’ and ‘Who would you spend a year on a desert island with…’ – this seemed to generate some very interesting conversation and got the attendees chatting generally rather than just about business. A much warmer way of introducing yourself!
After this the group stood around and were asked a series of questions as a group. If the answer applied to them they were to step forward. For example:
Q1. Step forward if you can play a musical instrument – Turns out 70% of the room could play a musical instrument!
Q5. Step forward if you have been in a theatrical production that wasn’t one from your school days – turns out we had a few theatrical types in the room who have starred in such classics as Les Miserables, and Big Brother the musical.
Q7. Step forward if you have ever been thrown out of a bar or nightclub – turns out a fair few people had! For one person this was because they had slid down the stairs on a tray…
This was a great way for people to discover hidden talents or experiences about the other attendees with them having to volunteer them themselves.
After this the groups were given a 4ft bamboo cane and challenged with raising it in particular way without losing contact! Harder than it sounds.
After a short break for some of Revolutions finest bar snacks, we began task 2. For Task 2 the bee groups joined another bee group to form a double group and were given the ‘over the line challenge’ where everyone had to step over the line at EXACTLY the same. Gradually getting more and more difficult as they completed the previous level. Eyes closed and silent gave everyone the biggest challenge.
Finally there was the social media treasure hunt where they stayed in their groups and challenged to capture a group shot, a group shot holding something that wasn’t theirs, and finally a group shot with a stranger holding up an I love JCI Manchester sign.
That concluded the evening and everyone reported that they had a great time and were able to chat to everyone there. Exactly what we wanted.
Due to it’s success we will definitely be running another evening of it’s kind where people are guaranteed to meet new people in a fun, friendly and non-awkward way!
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Simon Anderson