Category : interaction ideas

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Who Else Wants To Have Fun At Events?

What would happen if you made walking up the stairs more fun than taking the escalator? What would would happen if you made it fun to put bottles in a recycling canister?

This past weekend, I discovered a website called the Fun Theory that has figured out how to make walking up the stairs more fun than taking the escalator. In doing so, they created a brand interaction, created smiles and gave people something to talk about. Watch the video:


Bottle Return Game

In this second example – they turned the insanely annoying task of recycling glass into a really fun game. Watch the video to see how they did it. Be sure to checkout the results.


What Does This Mean For Your Events?

Just like the examples above, you can use technology and “fun” to change experiences and change behaviors.

Consider the dull activities at your meeting or conference. What would happen if they were fun to do? Would attendees learn more? Would attendees change their behaviors?

Fun is a serious ingredient! Let’s not forget about it. Who else wants to have fun?

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Could Flash Mobs Make Events Interactive and Fun?

This past weekend, I was mesmorized by Oprah’s 21,000 person Flash Mob Video (read). It was an amazing display of collaboration and affection from Oprah’s biggest fans for her 24th Season Kick-off. After watching this video, I realized that I didn’t have a clue what a flash mob was or how to start one.

I thought flash mobs were groups of people mobilized to stand still in train stationsdance in a subway station or eat ice cream in protest. But, as you can see from the Oprah video – they can be experiential and interactive.

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Is this an Idea for Meetings and Events?

Yes – I think you can create interaction and collaboration among the attendees using Flash Mob concepts. You probably need to adapt the Flash Mob process a little bit — but I think it would work and be a lot of fun.  Here are some of the benefits that are worth considering:

1. Insta-Networking Activity: Many networking discussions start when the participants establish common ground. Flash mobs create a common bonding experience that gives all participants something to talk about with each other.

2. People Need to Create and Connect:  The article, “Guerilla Event Marketing – A Mob in A Flash” sums up the motivations for people to join a flash mob nicely. The article states: “the psychology behind why flash mobs and viral campaigns work speaks to an individual’s inherent need to create—and connect.” Create and Connect – isn’t this one reason the attendees came to your event?

3. Promotes Your Cause or Organization: Flash Mobs are public displays and allow you to share your organization’s message with others in the public space. (See Create Heroes Project Flash Mob video).

4. It’s Easy to Assemble the Mob: Meetings and Events already have a built-in-mob. So, you don’t have the challenge of finding people. You just need to figure out what they should do and organize them accordingly. What if they poured a Coke? or Danced to Beat it?

5. Word of Mouth Marketing for Next Year: The common bonding experience gives participants something to talk about with their “like minded friends” outside the event. This word of mouth publicity for your organization and event can be further amplified by a short video of the experience that is easily sharable with friends.

Bottom Line

I think flash mobs would make a good interactive experience for *some* events. It would not make sense for all event formats or organizations.  What do you think?

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Will whiteboards become part of the collaboration experience at events?

This morning, I read an article on interactive whiteboards that got me thinking about whiteboards and collaboration in events.  The article indicated that interactive whiteboards were improving learning and collaboration in educational environments. Also, it said that 1 in 7 classrooms will be using these interactive whiteboards by 2011.

It made me wonder – will we start seeing whiteboards and interactive tables at meetings and events?

For those of you that are new to interactive whiteboards – Wikipedia has a great definition and description of the technology: Interactive Whiteboard. It should help you understand the difference between whiteboards and interactive whiteboards.

Collaboration Lounge for Events

Sometimes, we forget that people need the space and tools to communicate and collaborate at events. A few weeks ago, I learned about a new concept called the Collaboration Lounge that solves this problem (see Meetings Podcast Interview with Jay Smethurst). Essentially, a collaboration lounge is a networking space outfitted with comfortable furniture, markers and whiteboards. Participants use these whiteboards/markers much like they would use the back of a napkin or scrap paper to draw pictures and explain ideas. In some cases, Jay’s team will create visual summaries of breakout sessions and post those in the collaboration lounge, too. Then, participants can use those summaries to share ideas across sessions or expand on key points.

Interactive Collaboration Tables

From a technology point of view, it seems that the interactive technology is arriving in tables too. In this example of a collaborative table – you can start to imagine how this might work in large groups that are doing idea sharing, brainstorming, etc.


While that video gets me excited about the future of collaboration, it still seems a bit futuristic for most events – today.  Having said that, Microsoft launched an interactive table called Microsoft Surface in 2008. Sheraton Hotels is one of the customers using the technology – in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

Have you seen this?

To get a feel for the way people are using these tables checkout Fast Company’s “Killer Apps for Microsoft Surface.” The article pulls together several video links of different applications of Microsoft Surface — including my favorite the DaVinci.

What do you think?

Do you think that these tools can help you (or your clients) create interactive and collaborative experiences for participants? Will we start seeing whiteboards, interactive whiteboards and tables at events? Are you interested in using (or already using) these types of tools in your events?