Find out how we organised a day of immersion in the Middle Ages at the Musée de Cluny. One of our biggest team building events ever!
Today, 80% of companies organise their own events. So, to convince a client, you have to take risks.
"And if you change your habits"... the Whereez slogan was not chosen blindly!
250 employees to be transformed into troubadours for 10 hours in a row, within a National Museum classified as a Historic Monument... The setting is set? The challenge is launched. The kind of events that remind us how important it is to have experiences! Ingenious, rigorous and organised, this is how we mobilised ourselves over many months, between administrative procedures and organisational challenges, to achieve a perfect day. In the skin of the organiser!
December - The premises: submission of 4 proposals
Convincing a reinsurance company looking for a unique "Staff Day" was exhausting.
4 themes to work on. The theme "Cinema" was the first.
We had to think about the ideal venue. Then develop an original proposal of activities and entertainment.
Strangely, finding a place for the "Medieval" theme was the most difficult. We imagined castles, estates... but all too far from Paris. The difficulties were piling up. No availability, no capacity that large.
A well-chosen space that best suited the theme would have an enormous impact. The venue is where the participants will evolve. It is the image that will remain when their memories bring them back to the event.
During our walks in Paris, a place suddenly came to our attention: the Musée de Cluny: the National Museum of the Middle Ages.
An imposing stone building on the boulevard between Luxembourg and Saint-Michel. With all the hustle and bustle, you don't even pay attention to the monuments around you anymore... This place had all the criteria. It was the very symbol of the desired theme. When we selected it, we thought that we would be chosen because of this emblematic place.
A stroke of luck, a winning return! The place was orphaned of its works because of works.
Although they had never hosted a full-day performance, the temporary closure allowed them to accept our request. We were in a position to make an incredible commercial proposal, and we were going to make an impression.
The real "challenges" were about to begin!
January - The start of the organisation: Whereez was selected.
A call, a few words, and an immense inner joy: Whereez is selected to organise the event!
Several themes were competing between 6 agencies. The "Medieval" theme was not the priority. It was clearly the venue that made the difference: THE National Museum of the "theme" in question... and in the heart of Paris! That's all there is to it!
The day will take place on Friday 29 June. The date is set and the honour of being entrusted with the organisation of this event is commensurate with the number of participants: 250 people.
The cold winter weather leads us to believe that there is no hurry and that the D-day is still far... very far! But very quickly, reality catches up with us. You don't organise such a day as an initiation to Graffiti...
February - March: Insurance
Once the venue was found, a new challenge was offered to us!
It was unimaginable to hold our event in a place classified as a "historical monument" without appropriate insurance. first veto from our insurance company. Canvassing and canvassing for a new one. Our contacts did not feel comfortable: "Insuring an event in a historic monument? Certainly not sir...".
On our side, the workload is growing: preparing files for each insurance company. Time-consuming! Weeks go by... No insurer on the horizon! The event was approaching. Time is not on our side. While all seemed lost, the very identity of Whereez allowed a solution to emerge.
A committed insurer was finally seduced by the "Responsible & Local" aspect of our project. Promoting the development of the local economic fabric with human-sized structures was a project that made sense to them. The advisors decided to accompany us throughout the adventure. We are still here and now we are very well supported.
March - The content of the day: Activities & Entertainment
But how to occupy 250 people for 10 hours?
To design a day on this atypical theme, we mobilised our network of partners. Brainstorming. Search for new partners (activity providers around the Middle Ages). Seven workshops related to the theme were selected: Initiation to falconry - Initiation to ancient fencing - Stone cutting - Initiation to calligraphy and creation of coats of arms - Initiation to initiation to medieval cooking and hygiene - Medieval wooden games - Initiation to medieval dance to close the day.
And to mark the occasion: dress up in period costume!
250 costumes to bring. With accessories. A new, large-scale mission. But the medieval atmosphere will be fully recreated! However, we needed something more: to succeed in mixing the 250 people who don't necessarily meet on a daily basis so that they could exchange, share and get to know each other. To do this, we created teams mixing the different departments.
This division into teams will allow us to structure the day. To succeed in organising a breakfast reception, a lunch break and a cocktail party at the end of the afternoon, with time for activities between each of these breaks, we needed a meticulous organisation.
All the more so as the museum paid particular attention to security. And the space (as exceptional as it was) was 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 starting to look good. The pressure on an event like this developed a real solidarity between all the participants. 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 multiple 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 applies to the other activities.
Working on the proposed activities took a lot of time and thought. But putting them to music, even more so! We therefore imagined activity stands on which the different teams would rotate during the day, so that they would participate in each workshop. All the while respecting the time constraints of the Museum. Indeed, we were invited to an exceptional place, but we had to respect its constraints. The Museum had to close at 8pm. And it only opened at 8am. So we had 2 hours to set up everything 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 timings, we managed to negotiate a pre-installation the day before D-day. By organising parking slots for each of the service providers. (No parking nearby, we had to use the main courtyard of the Museum).
Finally, we appointed "timekeepers". Their aim was to remind the speakers of the timing of the end of each group session throughout the day. Thanks to this "military" precision, each team could take advantage of each stand. And the initiation 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 are quite curious... you already have some pictures... isn't that enough? Here's a little Youtube overview of everything that happened during this crazy day:
Nothing could 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 Director General. What a pleasure to hear that when hundreds of emails, dozens of Excel spreadsheets, dozens of hours of meetings between us to put everything in place, and many months of preparation were necessary.
The accountants, managers, directors, sales people and communication officers were transformed for 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 put on a period chef's hat. They smiled. They laughed. They widened their eyes. They went back in time. They made memories.
P.S.: The anecdote of the event
19H39. The Whereez team is standing in front of the Museum entrance. Pride on their lips. The "tchecks" are de rigueur. Incredible self-satisfaction. a successful event from A to Z. No mistakes. The speakers reloaded their equipment and left.
Only one truck remains to come: the one that has to clear the Museum's courtyard of all the banquet tables and chairs. Folded up and gathered in the entrance, the Museum is only waiting for their loading to close. But the truck does not come.... Scheduled for 7.30 pm, the minutes pass and the pressure increases. What to do with all this material? Leave it on the pavement? Trouble with the prefecture is guaranteed.
7.55pm, the museum is closing. No trucks. No answer to our calls.
20:10, the museum has closed. Material moved to the pavement. Invisible truck. Our smiles have fled. ...
8.30 pm... A truck appears. Stuck in endless traffic jams, and not warned of the exact time, two young people mingle in apology and load the equipment... in a tense atmosphere.
This time, it's over! We will finally sleep well!