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Mice Net : August 2009
i scream, you scream “On a recent incentive event we planned a sugar hit to kick off the afternoon start of the conference. We ordered ice cream cones for everyone. As the time to start approached we ask again for the ice cream cones. They arrived just on time but just the cones. When asked where the ice cream was there was a mad flurry of catering staff to the kitchen who returned with very frozen ice cream and a scoop.” the angry mob “In South Africa a number of the big brands promote their products by taking a big 18 wheeler rig into the densely populated suburbs or the rural areas. This rig has what looks like a shipping container on the back but the longitudinal side drops down to form an impromptu stage attached to the main container. The rig carries generator lights, etc, so what you get is a mobile stage for performers that can go almost anywhere in Africa. Well this particular client wanted to hold an all night Kwaito concert (a popular genre of African music) with a string of Kwaito performers from early evening to 6.00am – daybreak – the next day. That’s 12 hours of music and performers – non stop. The brand was a very well-known type of soft drink. The show was free and families were welcome. It was in a field so there was no perimeter fencing of any kind. People just joined in which is fairly common in Africa. People came from miles and the 12 hours was a terrific success. There are liquor laws in South Africa but in the rural/densely populated areas they are not enforced rigorously. So everyone brought their beer/food/soft drinks (and the brand soft drink was being given away), and enjoyed the event. The problem came at 6am. The performers said goodbye and the support crew began to winch up the side of the truck but the people didn’t want them to leave so started to throw empty glass beer bottles at the container. The beer bottles caught in the long hinge side of the truck and the technicians couldn’t winch it back up. Meanwhile, the crowd was getting crosser and crosser because the truck was leaving. Finally. some undercover police who had been hiding in the crowd for drug busts fired off a couple of shots and everything quieted down, the glass got swept up and the stage winched back onto the truck and off they went. It did give the organisers a few very nervous moments. The onus was on the organiser because they should have been warning everyone that the truck would leave at 6am but if all went well it would be back. It shows what happens when you don’t communicate with your audience and alcohol gets involved.” bright sparks There were no flies on the fuzz at this food and wine festival! After a full day’s entertainment, the headline act had just taken to the stage when it was thrown into darkness and the power went down. The festival’s sparkies quickly hot- footed it to the back of the stage area. Seeing staff donned in their crew shirts racing through the crowd, the police blazed a trail behind them followed by the event’s security team who were unsure why they were following, but figured if the police were in a hurry – they should be too! Mass confusion followed the congo line of uniforms but the sparkies quickly took “charge” and ensured the festival continued…