My background for almost 20 years has been in Events, Hospitality & Leisure. Apart from making me feel very old, nearly a quarter of a century in these sectors mean that I’ve been fortunate to work all over the world, with events of every kind; from small to large, in venues and sites that have been totally awe-inspiring and others that have been outlandish to say the least! Those working in events do it because we love what we do and have a passion and drive where, frankly, we couldn’t see ourselves doing anything else.
In my many years in the sector I’ve been part of my fair share of charity events, fundraisers and awareness campaigns that have aimed to shed light on a range of charities, causes and other real-world issues. I’ve had experiences in my industry that I couldn’t even put down on paper because they would seem stranger than fiction. Some have been nothing short of Gatsby-level decadence, with champagne trees and living photo walls with celebrities. Some other times it’s been honestly scary. I remember working in Turkey in 2015 and having to be flown over to Tunisia following the terror attacks to make sure all our guests at the time were looked after. They were flown home whilst we liaised with the authorities on site to look after our guests, with us being the last teams to leave the resort.
So why am I telling you all this? Well, the point I am trying to make is that events, hospitality, and leisure are a different breed. With a diversity of experience and the right platform, these sectors have the scope to make a real difference, regardless of how small or large, how well publicised or how little noticed an event or venue may be. I read about this experiment recently which really highlighted something for me…
‘In Washington DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
After about four minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.
About four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
At six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
At ten minutes, a three-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception – forced their children to move on quickly.
At forty-five minutes: The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
After one hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theatre in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.’
This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment.
What this made me think, with my events hat on, is that regardless of where, who or how Joshua was preforming, I am sure that he was giving it 110%. Whether that was at the sold-out theatre or on the subway. This is something that at Play Fund Win we’ve really started to instil. We’re young but growing fast and have worked with charities, partners, and hosts of all sizes and with varied reach. From huge football clubs like Manchester City to a local homeless charity that supports people on the ground with simple supplies like food or fresh socks. Each project we commit to, we do so with heart and intent to make sure that we’re doing the best for our hosts.
If you’d like to find out more about hosting a draw at your event, or for a cause you are associated then click here or email Kyle.Blythe@playfundwin.com