I found a new website today called the Event Manager Blog which I am excited to explore as I plan for our 3rd Super Fan 5K. After clicking around on the website, I came across an article titled, Fill Conference Bags With Things People Won't Throw Away, which is great advice. While this article is referring to conference bags, you can take away great concepts for your race or sporting event.
This article discusses two main esstentials of the goodie bag: The look of the bag and what is inside it.
Bags are usually the first item your attendees recieve as part of the event they are about to take part in. For the Super Fan 5K, runner's bags filled with their bib, t-shirt and sponsor materials and are picked up the day before the race. Our pick up rate is about 70%-80%, so it is important your bag looks good to leave a good impression of your event to your participants.
It is also important that the items in your bag are good, really good. The Super Fan 5K provides the t-shirts each year, but we give our sponsors the opportuninty to place a marketing piece in the bag. Runner's love goodies and freebies, such as a 15% off coupon to a running store, water bottles, snacks, pens, etc, but sometimes sponsors aren't aware of what items to place in a bag. This article suggest sharing your expertise with your sponsor on what items your event participants would like to see most in the goodie bag.
Tell us below, what is the BEST goodie bag item you've ever recieved?
For all you regular Old Hat Blog readers, you may be familiar with Old Hat's Staff Infection. It's something I started many years ago as an annual company meeting that re-focuses our staff, addresses issues that need to be addressed, provides a sort of a "State of the Union" style update, etc. We also use this time to go over our one-page strategic plan that establishes goals and measurables for achieving those goals. I'm sure that half the staff places value in it and the other half hates it. But I think it's absolutely necessary.
It's so nice, we do it twice
We used to only do Staff Infection once per year but at that time, we were smaller and it was easier to make sure everyone in the company knew where we were headed and how we were getting there. We were also a lot less focused back then so there was less direction that had to be communicated. We were kinda flying by the seat of our pants back then. However, I feel that Staff Infection is so valuable that we now do it twice per year. We establish goals for the company and goals for us as individuals and we also check to see if we achieved the goals we established at the last Infection. If we did achieve them, we discuss our reward. Past rewards have included things like a shuffleboard table, a kegerator, etc. The better we do at accomplishing our goals, the more Old Hat turns into a sports bar. The next edition of Staff Infection is tomorrow so we'll see if any great rewards are in our future.
If there's one complaint I have heard more than any in the past many years of running Old Hat, it's, "There's not enough communication." And it's to the point now where that statement makes me want to jump out my window. Fortunately, there are bars on the outside of my window so I wouldn't get far (no, we're not in the ghetto... I'm not sure why there are bars out there. It's not as bad as it sounds.). Anyway, we're always trying to improve communication. Yet in the past two exit interviews conducted for departing members of our staff, we heard this line about communication repeated over and over. And my response is always, "OMG!!! WHAT DO THEY WANT ME TO COMMUNICATE?!?!!?"
To be fair, there are actually two levels of communication here. The internal communication (Client to Client Rep to Project Manager to Designer/Producer/Programmer/Etc.) and the top-down communication (from me to the rest of the staff). We have implemented numerous procedures to improve both and I feel like the internal communication is light years ahead of where it was 5 years ago. Or even 1 year ago. But what about top-down communication?
Any time I hear the "communication" complaint, I beg people to tell me what it is they're wanting to know that I don't tell them. And I typically get blank looks. So this year, I've implemented the anonymous Q&A session feature into the Staff Infection. I have placed a box in our office supply area (you know... over where the printer is) labeled "Infection Questions" and invited the staff to place questions in that box. I won't see who puts questions in and as long as they type them out, I will have zero indication of who asked the question. Nothing is off limits and I hope that I get a long list of awesome questions. If I don't, then I'm going to assume that the top-down communication is amazing and the next time someone says I don't communicate well, I'm going to kick them in the stomach.
Not really. I'll probably just lightly punch them in the head.
So here's to another great Staff Infection. Go ahead and plan for Old Hat to be much more awesomer by Thursday.
Lately, we've done several webinars to demonstrate and explain our new Stadium Trivia game. Many webinar attendees had questions about the trivia game. I've put together several of the most frequently asked questions from our last several sessions. If you are interested in Stadium Trivia, we'd love to answer any questions or even schedule a one-on-one demonstration for you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Old Hat Stadium Trivia FAQ's
Why/how did you come up with Stadium Trivia?
We are always trying to come up with new products that will be helpful to our clients. We know that many of the folks we work with are trying to come up with more ideas related to engaging and entertaining their fans. We think Stadium Trivia does both!
Does the trivia game have to be used with a big screen in a stadium?
No - you can also play just using a tv screen or a "host computer" to be the screen if you want to show at a meeting, social event, on a venue concourse, etc. When we demonstrated the trivia at NACMA in June, we set it up to display on a 32" television screen serving as our "video board".
Can the game work without an available wifi connection?
Yes - users can use on 3G or 4G as well as wifi.
Can you show more than 3 people on the leader board?
Yes, we can program the game to show more player's scores on the leader board, however, keep in mind that if you show too many names, they may be hard to read (small) or may get cut off depending on the size of your screen or board. We'll work with you to determine what may be best for your situation.
Can you change the number of questions per game?
Yes - you can play any number of questions in your game. Just make sure that you have at least that many questions in your database.
Explain the rationale behind the scoring.
The game currently offers a maximum score of 1000 points per question. Players are awarded points based on answering the question correctly AND how quickly they answer. So - answering the question correctly and as quick as possible will get you as close as possible to that maximum 1000 score. This also help eliminate ties during the game, as it will be harder for players to answer at the exact same millisecond.
Can you change the game questions?
Yes - this, in my opinion, is one of the best features of the game. You can change out questions as often as you like. We recommend changing them often. You could make questions be sports or pop culture trivia, you could create questions to educate your fans about a more difficult to understand sports such as wrestling or gymnastics, or you could form questions that would support an existing promotion (for example - Military Appreciation Night could have questions about military or history, Kids Night could be questions that kids would know.) When you purchase, we'll include a tutorial with step-by-step instructions on how to change the questions and we'll even offer one-on-one training if necessary.
Can you add photos along with the trivia questions currently?
Not on this version of the game, but it is something that can be added in the future. Let us know if you are interested in doing that.
Can we change out our sponsor graphic?
Yes, we can provide tutorial and training on how to do this.
Can we have more than one sponsor graphic (rotating)?
The current version does not support this, but we are considering adding in future versions. Let us know if you are interested in that option.
Can we limit the names that players can use - for example, can we make it so no curse words are allowed?
Yes - we have already added a list of curse words/inappropriate words that cannot be used. If players try to use these words, they are prompted that what they have entered is not allowed and to please choose another name. If purchased, we can also work with the purchaser to add more words/phrases that are not allowed that may be specific to the purchaser's situation (for example, The University of Oklahoma may not want players to be able to use the word "Orange Rules" as a player name).