Breaking Records – Over and Under
Our World | On 15, Aug 2013
Recently we were tasked with producing a large conference for one of our clients. Normal brief I hear you cry? Well not really. It was to be the first time the client was going to bring multiple teams from around the business together. Adding to this, the client wanted a way of creating high energy throughout the event. So we suggested staging a Guinness World Record attempt – a perfect solution, bringing the 700+ audience together, and create a memorable and exciting experience. Working with Guinness World Records to try and find a suitable attempt was great fun and certainly made me realise how many records are out there.
We needed a group activity that would promote team work, be achievable with the number of guests and ideally have a link to Wembley Stadium, our chosen venue. After throwing a couple of ideas about, we settled upon the longest ‘Over and Under’ line. It meant the entire audience would be together in one joined line to reach their goal, and the use of a football tied in nicely with the venue.
We kept the attempt a surprise until the last minute – interest started to build as we handed out branded footballs to each line before our official Guinness World Record adjudicator (complete with a GWR branded blazer!) bounded onto the stage to explain the rules. The senior management were invited up onto stage to demonstrate the ‘Over and Under’ line before a 10 minute practice session. The idea is that the ball is passed along the row, alternating between going over the head and under the legs. The practice sessions were messy to say the least, with 46 balls flying around the room as we directed them along the rows (and yes we did manage to get this checked by Health & Safety!).
The whole event was being followed by our cameramen and played live on the big screen, giving everyone a perfect view. The two official adjudicators, two official witnesses and I took to our positions and held our breath.
Time to step up!
All eyes were on the man with the ball. The man who would be making the first pass to start off the attempt. Everyone was in the zone and ready to break a record! However… no sooner had the second person reached for the ball, I saw the adjudicators hand in the air. How had we been disqualified already? Oh. Our first man had passed the ball under his legs instead of over his head, a big no no!
Ok, rules clarified again, let’s try attempt number two! It got off to a good start. We were about 200 people in when we were signalled to stop again. Someone had moved out of their place in the line – you’re kidding me, as explained at the beginning this was strictly against the rules. Tension was high as we went back to the start – this would be our third and final attempt. 721 pairs of eyes followed the ball as it snaked along the rows. We needn’t have been worried about holding the audiences interest – every line got a huge cheer as the ball reached the last person.
After a tense 25 minutes we were finally on the last row and were all holding our breath as the ball was passed along – if the ball was dropped at this point we would be disqualified, no matter how many people had passed it along. As the ball reached the final person, he lifted it up into the air and the entire audience jumped out of their seats to cheer. There was so much excitement and jubilation in the room, we knew we had achieved the goal – this was truly one team, they had worked seamlessly together and celebrated together.
The feedback on the record attempt was unanimously positive. It was a huge talking point during the post event networking drinks and left a noticeably elated atmosphere among the group.
I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending a Guinness World Record attempt to another client – what an experience and one none of the guests will forget in a hurry!
The feedback received on the day was brilliant – “The Guinness World Record was a fantastic and inspirational idea. To think up a team building experience that 800 people could all take part in together was incredible. Everyone was talking about it, and will always be remembered!”