This morning there was definitely more than a sniff of autumn in the air. The kids are back to school and our attention will turn to closing down the shutters and stocking up on firewood. The onslaught of winter slowly approaches...
This reminds me of one of the best parties I ever attended. I say attended, but actually we jointly threw the party, shared with another company in our dilapidated mansion house set of offices.
Some of you may know of Newton House, Dinefwr Park in Carmarthenshire, West Wales? It is currently in the hands of the National Trust, but not that many moons ago it was privately owned and rented out as offices to local firms. When we started our business 20 years ago it was the only place in the locality where we could find office space to rent. The room was shabby and damp, and the only saving grace was that it was huge and we had the run of the whole place. And as a bonus we had a turret as a storage room!
Reportedly the house had several ghosts. A maid apparently threw herself to her death from our office window ( high second floor) after the mistress of the house discovered her having an affair with her husband. Now the house is subject to many TV programmes and ghost hunts - but I can tell you in the 2 years we worked there when i was often on my own in the whole house - I never heard or saw a single thing. And this is an isolated building, surrounded by parkland and woods. At that time there were no outside lights and even the corridor lights were on a timer, so you would often find yourself feeling your way along the corridor, if you mistimed your trip to the loo!
Anyway back to the party... It was Christmas 1990 and we were chatting to the guy in the office next door one day and somehow agreed to share a Christmas party. With two disparate sets of people we had to come up with some ice breaker ideas to get this party to work.
Being in the events and team building business it didn't take long to realise that our spooky, collapsing mansion would be the perfect setting for a murder mystery type ice breaker game. We had the run of the whole building, including dark, rotting cellars and star-gazing rooftop. We started to get excited about the possibilities.
Quickly we had drawn up a plan of the whole house and committed it to a big board, a bit like a Cluedo board. When guests arrived they were split into teams and we played the board game, shaking the dice and moving from room to room. Each time teams landed on a room they set off with flashlights to visit the room in the house. The house was in darkness and at its nighmarish best. Teams gingerly entered rooms to find hidden clues and chilling audio greetings added by our media friends next door.
What fun a hoot! Everyone absolutely loved this ice breaker game and didn't want it to end. It was meant to be a party icebreaker to get people interacting and having fun, but it became the whole focus of the evening and has been talked about ever since. It was quite simply one of the best parties ever! And it's a game we have since used for many of our corporate events and private parties ever since.
If this story has inspired you, you may want to visit our web-site to find more creative ice breaker ideas and games for your parties, events, reunions, team meetings and social and work functions. If you are also interested in running this game for yourself for Christmas or Halloween, or any other time please get in touch or leave me a comment.