The Apprentice 2013, episode 6

“The Apprentice” teaches us that event planning is harder than it seems!

If you’ve been keeping up with The Apprentice this year then hopefully you’ll have already seen last night’s episode  which was… awkward to say the least. This week the candidates had to organise a corporate “away day.” However Lord Sugar was adamant that this task was not a “jolly” and oh how he was right about that, in fact it was almost painful to watch.  Not sure what an “away day” is? Well essentially it’s a company team building day; where office workers get to leave said office and partake in activities that are designed to strengthen them as a company and as individuals.

Here at Eventa we offer corporate team building days (and company parties) so were all very excited about this episode, after all many people assume that organising an event is easy and that all we event professionals do is sit around and sample canapés all day. Sadly this is not the case. So we pretty much knew that the candidates would underestimate this task and get it horribly wrong.

Anyway the candidates were given a budget of £5,000 to organise a team building day for a big client. Team Evolve quickly decided to latch onto a “School” theme whilst Leah’s team idea evolved from “Medieval” to “Army”. Clichéd, random and awkward comes to mind.  Needless to say, the ensuing “away days” were awful with the Army day being interrupted by heavy rain and the School day consisting of such bizarre and irrelevant activities (cupcake decorating??) that guests at the event were left feeling confused and incredulous most of the time.

When the candidates got to the board room they were told that both companies asked for a substantial refund.

So whilst I cringed behind a cushion I couldn’t help but think that this all could have been avoided. They were given a decent budget but the day they supplied as substandard and shabby. This would have been fine if everything had been cheap but it wasn’t and for that amount of money the clients could have experienced something really good.

Instead one group got an embarrassing speech from Francesca,

“We really, really wanted to get across to you today, the feeling of communication, teamwork, motivation and taking you all as separates and individuals, taking the best elements from those and moving you forwards towards the one goal, which is either success at work, success in yourselves or just success in life, and happiness.” The other group had to endure awkward tea and coffees in a dimly light tent whilst being quizzed about how to avoid “office conflict.” Urg.

Still, this episode did successfully do one thing though, and that was show people how NOT to organise a corporate event. Ah if only they’d been allowed to ring us… but then that would have been considered cheating, wouldn’t it?

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