SPAIN – Agency La Despensa turns the Burning Man into the ultimate team building
The 50-people creative agency decided to take its entire team to what could be the most innovative event in the world, the Burning Man.
How does the Burning Man work? This ‘festival’, although the word reduces such an atypical event, takes place in the Nevada desert, where an ephemeral city emerges, in which 70,000 participants gather for a week. Its promoters define it as an experiment in community, of radical self-expression and self-reliance. People live in caravans in a self-sufficient and collaborative way (no stores, no money). People share, and this changes the relationship between the participants to an event where they live, according to Miguel Olivares, founder of La Despensa, “the economy of generosity”.
The event features a program, but attendees only discover it at the entrance of the event; one does not go there to ‘consume cultural products’ but to live an experience. During the week, artistic animations of all kinds alternate.
What did La Despensa do there? They created a ‘camp’, ie. a group of people with a clear identity on the map. To do this, they presented a project to the organizers. “We said we were going to bring the Spanish wizard, and create the camp paella-cosmos where you could eat paella and drink cosmos. So every day, hordes of people came to eat paella and each team of the agency, from the CFO to the copy, took turns to make paella. And we created amazing relationships with people”.
Every day, the communication team of the agency indicated on the caravan the things to do on that day. Everyone could go their own way, but most experiences were lived in common among team members.
Did the team talk about work? Not at all. According to Miguel, the experience is so incredible that people don’t talk about work. People had their mobiles and there were wifi points, but the important thing there is to live the experience. In fact the agency did not publish this on social networks from there.
And when back at work, what happened? “In terms of team cohesion, a winner” says Miguel. And in terms of creative impact and regeneration of ideas? “Another winner… You find new ideas everywhere.” In fact the event is still living in the agency, which has established the Burning Friday, in which people dress as they like, either with tutu or unicorn head, etc. The experience is still alive.