Aurélien , 06/03/2019

whereez tells you all about the organisation of this colossal event!

Find out how we organised a day of immersion in the Middle Ages at the Musée de Cluny. One of our biggest ever team-building events!

Today, 80% of companies organise their own events. So, to convince a client, you have to know how to take risks.

"And if you change your habits"... the Whereez slogan wasn't chosen blindly!

250 employees to be transformed into troubadours for 10 hours in a row, in the heart of a National Museum listed as a Historic Monument... Is the setting set? The gamble's on. It's the kind of event that reminds us just how important experience can be! Ingenious, rigorous and organised, this is how we mobilised ourselves over many months, between administrative procedures and organisational challenges, to achieve the perfect day. In the skin of the organiser!

December - The beginnings: submission of 4 proposals

Convincing a reinsurance company looking for a unique "Staff Day" was exhausting.

4 themes to work on. The "Cinema" theme came first.

We had to think about the ideal venue. Then develop an original proposal for activities and entertainment.

Strangely enough, finding a venue for the "Medieval" theme was the most difficult. We imagined castles and estates, but they were all too far from Paris. The difficulties kept piling up. There was no availability, and the capacity wasn't as large as we'd imagined.

A well-chosen venue that best suited the theme would have a huge impact. The venue is where the participants will evolve. It's the image that will remain when their memories bring them back to the event.

As we wandered around Paris, one place suddenly jumped out at us: the Musée de Cluny: the National Museum of the Middle Ages.

An imposing stone building on the boulevard between Luxembourg and Saint-Michel. With our hectic lifestyles, we don't even pay attention to the monuments around us any more... This place had all the criteria. It was the very symbol of our desired theme. When we selected it, we thought we were going to be chosen because of this emblematic location.

A stroke of poker and a winning return! The venue had been orphaned due to renovation work.

Although they had never hosted a full-day event of this kind, the temporary closure meant that they were able to accept our request. We were in a position to make an incredible commercial offer, and we were going to make a real impact.

The real challenges were about to begin!

January - The start of the organisation: Whereez was selected.

A phone call, a few words, and immense inner joy: Whereez has been chosen to organise the event!

There were 6 agencies competing to organise the event around several themes. Medieval" was not the first choice. It was clearly the venue that made the difference: THE National Museum for the 'theme' in question... and right in the heart of Paris! And that's all there was to it!

The event will take place on Friday 29 June. The date is set, and the honour of being entrusted with organising the event is matched by the number of participants: 250 people.

The winter chill made us think that there was no hurry and that D-Day was still a long way off... a long way off! But reality caught up with us very quickly. You don't organise a day like this as an introduction to Graffiti...

February - March: Insurance

Once we'd found the venue, we were faced with a new challenge!

It was unthinkable that we could hold our event in a venue listed as a "historic monument" without appropriate insurance. 1st veto from our insurance company. Prospecting and canvassing for a new one. Our contacts didn't feel comfortable: "Insuring an event in a historic monument? Certainly not sir...".

On our side, the workload was growing: preparing files for each insurance company. Time-consuming! Weeks went by... No insurer in sight! The event was approaching. Time was not on our side. Just when all seemed lost, the very identity of Whereez enabled a solution to be found.

A committed insurer was finally won over by the "Responsible & Local" aspect of our project. Encouraging the development of the local economic fabric with human-scale structures was a project that made sense to them. The advisors decided to support us throughout the adventure. We're still here, and we're very well supported.

March - The content of the day: Activities & Entertainment

But how do you keep 250 people occupied for 10 hours?

To design a day on this atypical theme, we mobilised our network of partners. Brainstorming. Searching for new partners (providers of activities around the Middle Ages). Seven workshops related to the theme were selected: Initiation to falconry - Initiation to ancient fencing - Stone carving - Initiation to calligraphy and creation of coats of arms - Initiation to medieval cooking and hygiene - Introduction to the arts of the Middle Ages. medieval cooking and hygiene - Medieval wooden games - Introduction to medieval dance to round off the day.

And to top it all off: dress up in period costume!

250 costumes to bring along. With accessories. A major new mission. But the medieval atmosphere will be fully recreated! However, we needed something more: to get the 250 people who don't necessarily meet on a daily basis to mix, share and get to know each other. To achieve this, we created teams mixing the different departments.

These teams will help to structure the day. In order to organise a breakfast reception, a lunch break and a cocktail reception at the end of the afternoon, with time for activities between each of these breaks, we needed to organise the day to perfection.

Especially as the museum was paying particular attention to security. And space (as exceptional as it was) was still limited for such a large number of participants. Working closely with our partners, we were able to devise (and in some cases 'impose') activities, timings and dedicated spaces.

The story was beginning to look good. The pressure of an event like this created a real sense of solidarity between everyone involved. This collective work created an atmosphere that involved us all on an individual level. The partners ended up feeling as invested in the challenge as we did, and helping each other out! They had to do their utmost to adapt the format of their activities to the many constraints. Without realising it, we were offering our partners, as well as ourselves, our own Team Building.

April - Logistics

The activities we wanted to offer each had their own format and duration. We defined a standard format of 45 minutes. An ancient fencing session, which normally lasts 2 hours, was adapted to a shorter format. The same applied to the other activities.

Working on the proposed activities took a lot of time and thought. But putting them to music took even more! So we came up with activity stands on which the different teams would rotate during the day, so that they could take part in each workshop. All the while respecting the Museum's time constraints. We were invited to an exceptional venue, but we had to work within its constraints. The Museum had to close at 8pm. And it didn't open until 8am in the morning. So we had 2 hours to set everything up before the participants arrived. And we had to have everything tidied up before the Museum closed.

Mission impossible with 7 different partners, plus caterers and logistics providers. To overcome these deadlines, we managed to negotiate a pre-installation the day before D-day. By organising parking slots for each of the service providers. (There was no parking nearby, so we had to use the Museum's main courtyard).

Finally, we appointed "timekeepers". Their job was to remind the speakers, throughout the day, of the timing for the end of each group session. Thanks to this "military" precision, each team could make the most of each stand. And the introduction to medieval dance, during the cocktail party at the end of the day, would allow us to start tidying up all the workshops... to leave no trace of our presence at 8pm precisely.

June - The event itself

You're very curious... you've already got a few photos... isn't that enough? Here's a little Youtube preview of everything that went on during this crazy day:

It couldn't be easier: experience the same event... let's talk in private?

2019 - When you return?

To conclude, we can say that the Middle Ages Day at the Musée de Cluny was a real success. "The best Staff Day for 25 years", according to the Managing Director. What a pleasure to hear that when it took hundreds of emails, dozens of Excel spreadsheets, dozens of hours of meetings between us to put everything in place, and many months of preparation.

The accountants, managers, directors, sales people and communication officers were transformed for the space of a day. They took off their costumes and put on a soul. A troubadour's soul. They left their open spaces, their files, to embrace the basements of a room from the XIIIᵉ century. To don a period chef's hat. They smiled. They laughed. They widened their eyes. They went back in time. They made memories.

P.S: Anecdote of the event

19H39. The Whereez team is standing in front of the Museum entrance. Pride on their lips. The obligatory "tchecks". Incredible self-satisfaction. a successful event from A to Z. No mistakes made. The speakers reloaded their equipment and left.

Only one lorry remains: the one that has to clear the Museum courtyard of all the banquet tables and chairs. Folded up and gathered in the entrance hall, the Museum is just waiting for them to be loaded before closing. But the lorry doesn't arrive.... Scheduled for 7.30pm, the minutes ticked by and the pressure mounted. What should we do with all this material? Leave it on the pavement? Trouble with the prefecture.

7.55pm, the museum closes. No lorries. No response to our calls.

20H10, the museum has closed. Equipment moved to pavement. Truck nowhere to be seen. Our smiles fled. ...

8.30pm... A lorry appears. Stuck in endless traffic jams, and unaware of the exact time, two young people mingle in apology and load the equipment... in a tense atmosphere.

This time, it's over! We're finally going to sleep soundly!

Equipe Whereez