July​ ​23,​ ​2016:​ ​News​ ​&​ ​Views​ ​Roundup​ ​For​ ​Events​ ​Wranglers​

Here is the July 23rd curated smattering of recent events wrangling news and views. My goal is to have this Saturday’s items inform you or inspire you. Maybe you’ll even do something a little different for your next event because of what you read here! For complete details on any of these goodies, click the headline link and read the juicy cyber-details at the source.

What the Pokémon Go Craze Means for Venues and Eventspokemon go

Venues and existing events are already taking advantage of the popular augmented-reality game. Posting a photo to Instagram or taking a Snapchat video are commonplace at events, but now it’s quite possible that catching Pokémon will become the new norm for using phones in a social setting.

…Pokémon Go has become one of the most popular mobile apps ever, and it’s already taking over venues and major summer events. The global augmented-reality scavenger hunt, which through GPS tracking encourages users to catch Pokémon by walking to various locations on a map, has led to mass amounts of players flocking to locations…that range from event venues and restaurants to national and city parks, museums, and historic monuments.

In just two weeks, there have been a slew of community-organized events such as park meetups and bar crawls for people to gather and catch Pokémon en masse…”

So I’m going to get the obligatory Pokémon GO article out of the way first.

pokemon go 3[For those who wondered, the upper case GO is the format used by Niantic, the game’s primary creator. The “Go” format is the lazy, uninformed or misinformed version. Which I had also started using until I read a couple posts by John Hanke.]

There are many cyber-opinions being voiced regarding the longevity of Pokémon GO, as well as most other PokéTopics. Although I feel the game has a better than even chance of continuing strong for years, my main opinion is that the initial wave of opportunity is HUGE. People and organizations who don’t try to quickly and appropriately leverage the massive interest in Pokémon GO will miss out on two things.

  1. A very significant potential boost to their venture or organization.
  2. An opportunity to practice strategies and tactics for the next major innovation wave.

Pokémon GO is a product — a single game. It may be a long-lasting success, or it could end up being a short-lived, but valuable, learning opportunity.

Niantic Labs is a platform. It will be a long-lasting success. John Hanke did his Masters degree work at UC Berkeley in the mid 90s on essentially creating a platform like Niantic Labs. Before Pokémon GO, he created Ingress at Niantic Labs, which became the foundation for Pokémon GO. Before Niantic Labs, he was the lead person for Google Maps. Before Google Maps, Hanke was the founder of Keyhole, which Google bought to build Google Maps. Mr. Hanke knows what he’s doing…

If you don’t get Pokémon GO involved in some way at your next event, you’re missing an opportunity. And there’s a 99% probability that most events wranglers will be using some aspect of the Niantic Labs platform at one or more of the events they do in 2020.

[For more on Pokémon GO, see last week’s News & Views post and “Pokémon Go & Social Interaction.”]

Get Your People Enrolled in PreCheck!tsa precheck 2

Your attendees’ experience starts as soon as they walk out the front door. You can give them a smoother journey by showing them how easy it is to enroll in the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program—and by helping them do it.

Through TSA’s partner MorphoTrust, companies can arrange for mobile enrollment on site at the office as well as set up corporate accounts to pay for the program on behalf of employees…”

If you have to fly commercial airlines frequently, you probably are already in the TSA PreCheck program. If a significant number of the attendees at your future events will fly commercial to travel to your event, this article recommends you consider helping tsa precheckinterested registrants get plugged into the PreCheck program.

As pointed out by the article, the “attendees’ event experience starts as soon as they walk out the front door” of their home (or office), assuming they don’t leave through the back door of the building when they head to the airport. If they miss their flight due to long TSA security lines, or if they make the flight but have a horrible experience getting to the gate for their flight, they may show up for your event with a very poor attitude. You probably will then have to expend extra effort or resources trying to improve their attitude.

If those long TSA security lines cause them to miss your event, well, you won’t even have a chance to improve their attitude.

7 Tips to Extend the Value of Teambuilding Activitiesfacilitate success

Teambuilding activities such as retreats, community service projects, competitive games, and problem-solving challenges can be great tools for companies to strengthen employee relationships, improve communication, break down barriers, re-energize staff, and ultimately improve the work climate and positively impact the bottom line.

But those outcomes don’t just happen—they require advanced planning and follow-up. We surveyed four teambuilding professionals for ideas on how to create long-term value from a teambuilding activity…Here are their tips for extending the value of teambuilding activities…”

As the subtitle of this article puts it, it just makes sense to “keep the collaboration and communication going long after the event ends.” As I mentioned in the post “#6 Priority: Follow-Up For Greater Impact,” extending the value of events long after the last person leaves the event venue can have a multiplying effect. Doing the right follow-up will make your event far more successful than immediately moving on to your next project as soon as that last attendee gets hit by the door on the way out.

The Planner On… Balancing the Pie of Lifepie of life

In our profession, stress is quick to the plate. Those 90-hour workweeks creep up, and next thing you know, you are up at 2 a.m. scribbling to-do lists. In 2016, I set forward to allow the pieces of my “life pie” to match my priorities. Here are four tips for balancing your professional pie wedges:

  1. Make your schedule transparent…
  2. Limit smartphones and email…
  3. Cross-train your colleagues…
  4. Take your out-of-office one step further…”

Any way you slice it, your pie of life only has 24 hours per day. That’s pretty much a mixed metaphor, but my point is that most people want to get more done, and that can only be done by making better choices.

This “pie of life” post is a short one, but we can all take away two valuable lessons from it:

  1. Four is a good number of tips.
  2. Do more by delegating.

pie of life 2Google can help us find at least 44 tips for balancing our life.

Wait, what am I saying?? Google can find us 444 tips for balancing our life. At least. Probably more. But I’m a mere human. And you probably are, too. Unless you’ve been biohacking. The thing about humans is that we can only focus well on a limited number of ideas or tasks. This means establishing a list of four ways to improve your life pie is plenty to start with.

To a certain extent, each of the author’s four tips involve delegating. Rather than doing everything that everyone wants or asks you to do, delegate some of your authority and some of your responsibilities. Cross-training is especially important for delegating. The first manager I worked for when I got out of college told me the most important objective for someone who wants to be promoted is to deliver fantastic results on their high priority responsibilities.

The second most important objective is to find someone who can replace you. My manager said that if you make yourself nearly irreplaceable, bosses tend to leave keep you in your current job. If you cross-train colleagues, not only can they help you or fill in for you, but managers will be less hesitant to promote you.

The author’s four tips might not be exactly what you need to balance your hectic work life, but they are good ones to consider when you start making your life pie improvement list.

Does Your Team Say Your Mandatory Workshops Are Unbearable?weird face, kids, unbearable

Mandatory training…even trigger groans in the presenters. They are usually long, tedious and unforgivably mind-numbing as well as butt-numbing. Most of us despise them…

For those of us in the training design and delivery world, mandatory training triggers a triple-groan. Not only do we need to create or update mandatory training every year, but we also have to complete it, and then spend countless hours cajoling, begging, or threatening our trainees to complete it. So how do we move beyond the collective groan and design it to feel a little less like an annual punishment?…”

Per the previous post “Value Of Events And Meeting For Coffee” on Events Wrangling, a significant number of people recommend not going to events, or at least greatly limiting the number of events you spend time on. My daughter, wife, and sister all feel mandatory workshops are “unbearable” and should be made a thing of the past, no more than a distant and distasteful memory.

However, government bureaucracies, corporate policy makers, and professional certification organizations will never eliminate mandatory training. In upcoming years, a portion of in-person mandatory workshops will be reduced by online training and certification, but there will still be IRL events which require your butt in an event facility’s seat.

The above “mandatory workshops” post presents an infographic with ideas on how to make Torture Time Training less painful. Maybe even useful and enjoyable…


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