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2008 Humour in Business Awards

2008 Humour in Business Awards        

Celebrating the contribution of humour to wellbeing and productivity

The winners of the 2007 Humour Awards were Canyon Swing in Queenstown.  Laughingly referred to as "not your average backyard swing",  the reason their entry won was it demonstrated their genius in successfully combining humour and safety.  With an incident/injury free track record they have used their humour to market and provide the customer with a unique and memorable experience. 

They use humour to calm, entertain and distract.  Their philosophy is "VIBE" , V for vitality, I for innovation, B for being safe and E for experience.  Customers are raving about the farting gnomes, blind van driver and funny telephone prompts.  The 2006 Lets Go New Zealand tourist guidebook said " AJ Hackett may have written the book on bunjy jumping but he won't play you Barry White, attach a  doll to your harness, and strap you upside down 109 m over Shotover Canyonâ¦" 
Matt Hollyer GM says ‘delivering this high standard of experience is only possible from a 100% safety record, and from the well being of staff"

Businesses of all types and sizes are encouraged to enter for 2008, 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.  Entries need to be in by 25th July. 

Even people who do not enter are invited to buy tickets to the occasion - where they will clap and laugh their heads off!
This years Humour Awards will be celebrated at an awards evening at the Classic Comedy Bar in Auckland on the 11th August.  Mike Hutcheson will be MC for the evening which will be opened by the Hon Lianne Dalziel Minister for Small Business. 
Awards will be given in 3 categories, sole proprietor, under 20 staff and over 20 staff with an overall winner.  Prizes to the value of $1000 will be given for each category with sponsors being Geewiz, Quest Hotels, Foresight Institute, and Ignite Systems, CM Digital and Grant Cole.  The evening will close with comedic entertainment.

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."

Awards founder and convenor, Pat Armitstead, operates her own speaking and training business, Joyology - Department of Humour Resources .  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.  Being good humoured is about being appropriately responsive.  High trust environments foster this space. "

Ms Armitstead has also toured Russia with the real Dr Patch Adams, bringing joy to some of Russia"s 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". 

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.


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