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The 2008 Humour in Business Awards

Media release for Humour awards

Media statement March 2008

Profit from having fun at work: enter the 2008 Humour in Business Awards

The New Zealand business that makes life the most fun for its staff, suppliers and/or customers is about to be honoured.

That's because they will win the third annual Humour in Business Awards - now open for entries.

Businesses of all types and sizes are encouraged to enter, describing how they have fun at work; how they either planned or inadvertently affected business relationships, outcomes or productivity as a result of a humourous event or strategy.

The Minister for Commerce Hon Lianne Dalziel will again open the ceremony on awards night at the Comedy Club in Auckland on May 12. Even people who do not enter are invited to buy tickets to the occasion - where they will clap and laugh their heads off.

Awards founder and convenor, Pat Armitstead, operates her own speaking and training business, Joyology Limited.

She says the awards are designed to celebrate the notion of fun at work and contribute towards the general well being of individuals, teams and the nation. They raise awareness of the ways humour and fun contribute to workplace enjoyment and personal and team productivity.

"It is not necessarily about the most sophisticated application of humour or the best use of jokes, though these are all part of what it means to be good humoured."

Ms Armitstead has also toured Russia with the real Dr Patch Adams, clowning to entertain orphans. She's been selected to join his annual trip again this year, in November.

Auckland comedian Mike Loder was a category winner last year and he endorses the awards with these words of wisdom: "Used informally or with strategy, comedy is a large part of successful business in New Zealand. Those who understand this powerful tool have the advantage. I'm glad that this is now recognized with a regular annual award".

One of the funniest men known to humankind, British-born John Cleese, endorsed the awards when they were launched, which coincided with his comedy tour of New Zealand in 2006. He told Ms Armitstead: "I used humour for many years in the video arts management and sales training films. However, there's a right and a wrong way to use humour. It must grow out of the point that you want to make, and not be tacked on to it.

"It also has the effect of relaxing the listener so that they can become more receptive and, indeed, creative."

Last year's winner was Canyon Swing in Queenstown and the inaugural winners, in 2006, were New Zealand Window Shades in Mt Wellington, Auckland.

In 2008 the four entry categories are: Over 20 Staff, Under 20 Staff, Sole Proprietor and Overall Winner. Entries are due by April 1 (no kidding).
There are over $4000 worth of prizes to be won

The judges of the 2008 Humour in Business Awards will be Mike Hutcheson, business columnist and director of Lighthouse Ideas and former managing director of Saatchi and Saatchi advertising agency; Tony Falkenstein, chief executive of Red Eagle; and Dr Barbara Plester, lecturer at the University of Auckland whose Masters thesis was on humour in the workplace. All are based in Auckland.

Full more details, application forms and tickets to the awards night, contact Pat Armitstead at email joyologist[at] or phone 09-4283836 or 021 687635.


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