Hainesnet shortlisted for prestigious C&IT Excellence Award

Hainesnet’s experiential teambuilding event – “Record a Song at Abbey Road Studios” – has been shortlisted by judges at this year’s Conference & Incentive Travel Excellence Awards, for Team Building Solution of the year, for its event that was delivered to ComVort, an international network of owner managed advertising agencies.

The ComVort group of global owner-managed marketing communication agencies hold an annual conference, a major focus of which is to improve communications, resulting in more effective joint pitching for future business. A key feature of each annual conference is a teambuilding exercise designed to help members bond together.

Not only did ComVort rate this as their best teambuilding event ever, far exceeding the return on objectives which had been set in advance, but Abbey Road Studios themselves were so impressed that Hainesnet is now their exclusive partner for teambuilding at Abbey Road.

The success of the day was a combination of planning and execution. In advance, as part of the registration process, delegates had been asked a number of questions related to the teambuilding exercise. This included whether they had previous experience, or a preference for any particular instrument, or type of singing. This enables the teachers, who are also performers, to bring the right number and mix of instruments.

On arrival the delegates were shown a short film of the history of Abbey Road Studios which immediately pumped up the enthusiasm of all in Studio One. There was deliberately no dressing in the studios as we wanted to create the normal working studio environment.

Delegates were able to choose between a range of instruments, rock choir or lead vocals, with professional musicians and singing coaches on hand to provide tuition in small groups. Parts are carefully arranged to cater for all abilities, so that even those who have never sung or played an instrument before can take part in the final performance. The fact that delegates could just sit down at the “John Lennon” piano and other artefacts added to the sense of presence.

“Music is the perfect metaphor for getting the team building message across,” says Jonathon Hall. “You start the day as a group of individuals many of whom you’ve never met before, and by the end you’re on stage performing together as a cohesive band. It feels like you’ve achieved the impossible and makes you realise the power of teamwork. In our case the experience led to a group of ComVort members deciding to explore how we can work more closely together in the future, pitching for business as a group rather than individually.”

ComVort’s day at Abbey Road Studios was a runaway success, delivering its business objectives and a sensational highlight to the network’s London conference. After the event, Jonathon Hall received “a whole surge of emails from people saying how amazing it was”. The final word goes to a delegate from Amsterdam, who wrote: “This was the best conference we’ve had since becoming a member… and Abbey Road, well that was fantastic, a dream. Nothing can ever top that.”