tw in fb

Call: +44 (0)1293 608750


Who Stole Our Orchestra?

The Brief

The programme for a one-day company conference for 60 of the client’s staff included a team building activity designed to stretch the delegates’ capability to work closely together to achieve a focused, high-quality outcome, all while learning totally new individual skills.

‘Orchestrate’ was the planned activity in which all of the delegates would be taught to play a range of orchestra instruments – in time and in tune – and then perform together to create a single, unique and harmonious piece of music.

All was planned and the day of the event dawned brightly in central London.  The venue was prepared, the delegates were on their way…and then the phone rang.

The van transporting all of the instruments to the venue had been broken into overnight and every instrument had been stolen down to the last triangle & violin bow.

Now, as an agency with over 100 years’ combined events experience around the globe, we’ve experienced many unforeseen issues in our time, from bad weather to illness, problems with venues, transportation or catering.  We’ve even had the odd item that’s gone missing…but never a whole orchestra-load of instruments.

Our Solution

With less than 3 hours until the planned start of the teambuilding activity, we had to move fast if we were going to recover the situation.

We knew we’d never be able to replace all the instruments in such a short time frame, but, how about if we focused on just one instrument – the drums?  Our activity partner was experienced in running a drumming activity and we were confident that together, we could locate 60 drums from various sources around London.

Swift consultation with the client, combined with quick research and a rapid flurry of well-placed phone calls to the right sources resulted in a perfect ‘Plan B’ and when the delegates walked into the main plenary after lunch, they were greeted by an array of various types of drum and a professional drum leader who galvanised them into action.

The Outcome

There were no delays and the delegates were not aware there had even been an issue. Most importantly, they had a superb time. The replacement activity achieved all of the original objectives that had been set for the event when the concept was first conceived and the client was delighted with the end result.

Perhaps most telling of all was at the end of the afternoon when the client’s CEO decided to tell the delegates the story of what had happened. They simply couldn’t believe what had been achieved; some genuinely thought the whole story was a ‘wind-up’ and that the drums had been planned from the start.  Despite our very best efforts to the contrary, we’re convinced that some of them still don’t believe us.

Just goes to prove what the Activate team can do when genuinely faced with the unexpected!


Venue search & management

Pre-event logistics

Audio visual production

Teambuilding coordination

Video production