How Conventions Are Setting New World Records

Author: David McMillin       

Most pallets toppled in domino fashion. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Montoya at Guinness World Records Ltd

Many event organizers are focused on setting new attendance records each year, but some conventions are working to earn some unconventional achievements: spots in the Guinness World Records™ book. From a record for the most cereal boxes toppled in domino fashion at Kelloggs UK annual employee conference (2,686 boxes of cornflakes, to be exact) to the largest rock, paper, scissors tournament at Gen Con (2,950 players), a range of face-to-face gatherings have put their attendees to work to claim a spot in history.

“We understand that conference organizers are challenged with finding new and unique ways to break up the monotony of what can be similar at conferences year after year,” Keith Green, vice president of marketing and commercial sales, Guinness World Records North America Inc., told PCMA. “So working with us is something attendees and organizers alike remember, and as we are starting to see, come back to us with the hope of attempting a different record in subsequent years.”

Setting a Record, Making a Difference

Green said that record-setting attempts offer an opportunity to infuse extra fun into a conference program, but the fun activities can also fuel some additional community impact. For example, Veritas Technologies hosted an event in May 2017 to set a new record for the most 3D-printed prosthetics donated to charity in one hour. “The event involved Veritas employees from around the work at their week-long conference working as teams to assemble prosthetic hands, to decorate the pouches the hands would be sent in, and to write cards with inspirational messages for the children in need who will receive the prosthetic hands,” Green said.

At another healthcare-related event, DaVita Kidney Care brought together 3,500 attendees for a development and training program. In addition to training, attendees set a new record for the most bicycles donated in one hour, giving 929 new bikes to schools throughout Denver. “I can’t even begin to describe how it made me feel to see the kids come in to get their new bikes,” said Cece Keller, one of the attendees. “I love it when we do stuff like this. I love that we care for each other and the community.”

Connecting the Dots at Convening Leaders

Green said that a title attempt is “a great way to tie into the overall event goal or theme and help bring any key messages, products, or initiatives to life.” At Convening Leaders 2018, PCMA is connecting the rich musical history of host city Nashville and the conference theme in an attempt to set a record that feels right at home for a place where some of the best songwriters in the world are found: the largest human image of a musical instrument. The attempt will take place on Wednesday, January 10 at 8:15 a.m. “Working to set a new Guinness World Record ties in perfectly with our theme of ‘Amplifying Engagement,’” said Corey Fennessy, PCMA’s director of marketing. “The attempt will be an opportunity to facilitate closer connections between all our attendees.”

“From making a difference during our pre-conference community service projects in Hospitality Helping Hands to raising money at Party With A Purpose, Convening Leaders attendees accomplish so much together each year,” Fennessy said. “Now, we’re giving the community another opportunity to work together with a fun and unexpected addition to the program. We hope everyone joins so they can be part of Guinness World Record history.”

Event organizers can be part of that gargantuan guitar by registering for the program here. For those looking to give attendees a goal of their own, go here. And if you’re looking for a brief break from work today, be sure to check out this video of 1,069 robots in choreographed harmony — a new Guinness World Records title for the most number of robots dancing simultaneously.

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