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Why Gamify Your Next Event

Although the concept of gamification has been around for centuries, it has recently made a huge leap into the digital world and it only makes sense that associations join in the ride.  Using awards and badges to motivate people is nothing new, but taking that concept and dressing it up a bit to attract the younger generation will behoove the future of associations.

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They Gamified My Cereal! 

 

We have been preparing a presentation for our webinar on gamification next month, so the topic was on my mind.  This morning I was surprised to see a game on the back of my Honeycomb cereal (yes I'm still eating kids cereal once in a while). Actually I was not too surprised to see a game. In the past they've had activities like a maze or Where's Waldo game. But now they have jumped on board the Social Meda and engagement train. "Its not about what you do, it's how you make it yours", is the heading on the back of the box.  "RU Honeycomb 2 UR Core?", they ask. They specifically call out to skateboarders, music lovers and gaming. They give examples of the kinds of posts you could make.  Highest number of cereal pieces stacked, unusual foods to eat the cereal with.  They suggest posting a video to show "what makes you an original, like Honeycomb."  Brilliant! 

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Iteration: One Key Element of Design Thinking

Recently I was doing some research on a new technology and I was reminded of the value of iteration. During the research I noticed a very large number of failed attempts of getting the new technology to work. This reminded me of similar past experiences where trying something new often caused many, many failed attempts before something of value or usefulness was produced. It was a good reminder for me that many attempts actually produce very valuable insights. Each failed attempt is a painful experience, an emotional experience. That emotional experience forces a memory of what does not work. This emotional connection allows us to move forward in a new direction away from the failed attempt. The cycle of build, test, fail, feedback, learn and iterate, is invaluable to the development process that can be accomplished in no other way.

It is this process that design thinking emphasizes. Design Thinking is an approach whereby this process is accelerated allowing multiple iterations and in much shorter timeframe. The end result is a shorter time to a useful product or solution.

What problem would you apply Design Thinking to in your organization?  Comments welcome.

Crowdsourcing - What is it good for?

Crowdsourcing allows business to take innovation and creativity to a new level by collecting information from hundreds of minds and varied experiences. It allows anyone to contribute their ideas leaving race, gender, social standing, out.. There are a plethora of ways to utilize crowdsourcing for your next association conference that will engage your crowd and keep them talking after it ends.

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App Engagement Validation from Analytics and Metrics

Creating a solid app with a team of people is just the beginning.  Measuring and analyzing the use of your app is key to app success.  Carefully tracking progress not only aids in understanding how your app is being utilized, but it enables you to focus on whether to adjust features, or devote more energy toward promotion of the app.   By measuring information like shares, comments, likes, and bookmarks you can get a good feel for what your members want more of and content that you should reconsider.

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Gratitude is Stronger than Caffeine

Attitude is everything!  That has been my experience.  Recently I was working the mobile app support booth at an event we serve.  It was a large event. The users had lots of questions, mostly about Wifi, not the mobile app.  I helped hundreds of people over the course of a few days and it occurred to me that attitude is so important, both my own and that of the customer.

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Listening Leads to Learning

Recently at a "event wrap up" meeting, which we do after most client events, we recevied some very helpful feedback. We listened, we planned, and we reviewed. We brainstormed on how to make things better for next year.  We planned a few new features and the client learned a thing or two.

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Awards: Why They are a Big Deal for Members and Organizations

When a volunteer is working really hard on a program or for an organization, it is important to be recognized for work well done.  Awards Programs provide an opportunity to recognize volunteers and organizations that go above and beyond. Thanking organization members not only encourages them to continue working hard, it gives a sense of place within the organization.  Awards programs are something members can look forward to each year. It inspires one to push beyond what they believe they are able to do.  Leaders also see the effort made, allowing members to further their organizational objectives.

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Mentoring by Matching

Mentoring has become increasingly popular with associations recently.  The basic premise is to “match up” the experienced with the novice to exchange ideas, guide and even challenge each to grow beyond their current limits. Some groups are moving past informal to formalized programs and even going hi-tech in the process of matching.

 

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Collaborative Work Space - For Real

It is a term often heard recently for those getting new office space, we are moving to a “collaborative work space”.  This was the conversation recently at a business event.  One person was relating to the others in the group about her new office space.  It sounds new, hip and evokes a sense of cutting edge.  Another person made the comment that those “collaborative environments” don’t seem so collaborative when workers put on the earbuds or headsets and “tune out” the people around them.

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