There is no better way to celebrate a birthday than with a little bit of friendly competition. Over the past two weeks we, the interns, have created and filmed “FLIRT’s 9 Challenges.” FLIRTie’s had to compete head-to-head in highly competitive office challenges. There were clear winners and losers and unfortunately not everyone was able to walk away with their head held high. This video not only contains moments of fame and glory, but instances of heartbreak and betrayal. Listed below is an in depth description of the challenges as well as the outcomes:
Trash Can Basketball is not only a good way to kill time in the office, it’s a great way to go head-to-head with the person in the cubicle next to you. Pete Burns and Jamie Proctor faced off in what seemed to be a very balanced match up. The outcome was very different than expected. Jamie not only won, she blew Pete out of the water. Maybe next time Pete.
This challenge requires ultimate focus and an extreme attention to detail. The challengers, Lynda Franco and Fran Marciano, had to enter the open space for 30 seconds and observe every little detail about the room. Once they left we quickly altered the room in 3 different ways and had them re-enter. They each had 30 seconds to discover the three changes. You would think Lynda, being the office manager, would walk away with an easy victory, but unfortunately for her things didn’t go as planned. Lynda ultimately lost, going 1 for 3. Fran never looked back and went 3 for 3, with time left on the clock.
The Office Organization Challenge was one for the books. The two lucky contestants, Brianna Kozlarek and Andy Flanagan, had 30 seconds to place all the miscellaneous items within the bowl into their appropriate location in the kitchen. What should have been a friendly competition between two coworkers quickly turned into a battle full of lies and deception. At first glance it looked like Brianna took home the victory with only 2 items left in the bowl, opposed to Andy’s 3. We later found that she had put the mustard in the incorrect spot. A tie? I think not… We did some further digging and discovered that Andy had also attempted to trick us and put the rubber glove in the wrong place as well, thus forfeiting the win.
The Pencil Flip seems simple, yet when put in action it is one of the harder challenges. All you need to do is bounce the pencil, using the eraser, into the bowl. Easy enough. Pete Burns and Francie Flanagan had the task of bouncing as many pencils in their specific bowl as possible within 30 seconds. It was close at the start, but Pete quickly found his technique and ran away with the W. A much needed win for Pete after his embarrassing loss to Jamie in Trash Can Hoops.
The interns, Abbey Mazur and George Loftin, went head to head in the Package Retrieval Challenge. This was one of the more physical challenges and ended up being a nail biter. Simultaneously Abbey and George had to race to the loading dock to retrieve a package and race it back to the office. First person back wins, simple. Abbey strategically decided to take the elevator while George went for the stairs. They were practically tied running to the finish line, but Abbey took the situation into her own hands and pushed George to the floor to secure the win. Dirty play may have been the deciding factor, but a W is always a W.
Balancing 3 balloons at once without holding them at any point is extremely difficult. Kari McGlinnen and Norma Smith faced off and the results were not what we expected. Both challengers struggled immensely with the task, so much so that it was hard to even determine a winner. The challenge was exceptionally entertaining even despite the outcome being a tie.
The Phone Transfer Challenge was FLIRT’s attempt of recreating David versus Goliath. The challengers received a call from a random employee and was prompted to transfer the call to another employee as fast as possible. Whoever’s faster wins. George Loftin was put up against the Phone Transfer Goddess, Lynda Franco. It was a very accurate interpretation of David versus Goliath, but in this version Goliath crushed David in a matter of seconds. Lynda with the W.
If there is one thing to know about FLIRTies is that we drink a lot of coffee. Some might saw coffee is our forte. Our contestants, Brianna Kozlarek and Francie Flanagan, had 3 cups of different Starbucks Keurig coffee and they had to determine which coffee matched with the different K Cups. Going into the challenge Brianna was thought to be the underdog, but went 3-3 securing a win. Francie unfortunately lost going only 1-3.
Creating a FLIRTini is very delicate art. We placed all the alcohol and mixers we had in the office on the table and Norma Smith and Kari McGlinnen each had 30 seconds to pick out the 7 ingredients that make up a FLIRTini. Kari McGlinnen came very close only mixing up two of the ingredients. Norma on the other hand took a very different approach and picked only the alcoholic options. Kari might have won, but Norma is probably going to having so much more fun after these FLIRTinis.
In honor of FLIRT’s 9th birthday we will be talking about the 9 lives of an event coordinator. The life of an event coordinator or production manager is not a simple stroll through the park. The days are long, but the nights even longer. It is highly challenging and highly rewarding. You need to be constantly expecting the unexpected, because just about anything is possible within the production world (ask us about the fishbowl story sometime). We asked FLIRT’s in house producers the following question: What are the 9 things you couldn’t live without when on the job? Their answers might surprise you! See below:
You might say that the smartphone is the right arm of an event producer. Texts, calls, emails, zooming in on an updated floor plan – it takes a lot of battery when you’re running a show. An event producer always has a second and third back up plan, so a portable charger and backup battery is always close by.
Some might call this the key ingredient to our success. When on-site there is no time to lay around and soak up the sun. You need to be constantly on the move and energized even if you’ve failed to get any sleep the night before. Coffee is the production manager’s fuel and afternoon coffee runs are the key to their hearts.
Digital or hardcopy, having a well-organized show book is key to putting on a successful event. The book contains anything and everything you need to know about the event. From the rehearsal schedule, contact list, security schedule, floor plan, event schedule, and everything else in between, the Show Book is where to find it.
Now the PA Kit is nothing to mess around with. The Show Book might have all the information you need, but the PA Kit has everything you might need and more (including twizzlers). The PA Kit not only has the necessary equipment for the event but also contains a makeup kit, safety kit, and not one but two office supply kits. The PA Kit is kind of a big deal.
Having plenty of gum or mints at the event is critical not only for yourself but for the people around you. We mentioned how much event producers love coffee right? Gum and mints, my friends, gum and mints.
When you’re on site you don’t have the luxury to walk on comfortable carpets and rugs like at the office. Nope, you’re walking on thick warehouse concrete all day every day and easily clocking 20,000 steps on your Fitbit. That is why having a pair of comfortable shoes is not just a suggestion it’s a necessity.
The life of a production manager can be very overwhelming at times, especially during an event. Taking even 5 quick minutes to center and refocus keeps you refreshed and destressed. Our favorite meditation app? Headspace!
Is having a Fitbit really a necessity for production managers? We say YES, especially if you want to join in on a friendly competition with friends and co-workers. On-site you’re constantly on the move running from place to place, so why not document all steps you take? You’d be surprised how quickly they add up (see: wear comfortable shoes). And once you see those numbers add up, it’s a great excuse to try out the local delishes in your event town
Maintaining your sense of humor is hands down the most important. This is an easy one, because we love what we do! When there’s a last minute change or something goes awry (which it will at some point) keeping a sense of humor is important for yourself, but also all the people working with or around you.
We’ve all been there, staring at a blank sheet of paper or computer screen without a clue of how to tap into your inner creativity. Sure, thinking outside the box seems simple enough, but when the possibilities seem unlimited, it’s hard to know where to begin. When it comes to imaginative projects, inspiration is key. Lucky for you, we’ve got the top 5 hacks to finding the best inspiration that will boost your creativity.
Creativity often comes when you least expect it, and if you’ve got time to kill (i.e your project doesn’t have a fast approaching deadline), this website is the perfect place to start. StumbleUpon works by introducing you to random websites that fit your interest. These sites can feature anything from photography and design to science and math. Once you’ve filtered your search to a specific category, simply press the stumble button, sit back, and enjoy as you browse through a plethora of websites that are suited to inspire and encourage discovery.
Believe it or not Pinterest has a lot more to offer than just wedding mood boards and “mom crafts”. It’s an excellent resource for all things DIY, artistic, and creative. Use key words to search through dozens of articles and tutorials posted by local artists, self-taught crafters and even expertise businesses. Better yet, save your findings in categorized folders for future projects.
There’s no denying that hobbyists and bloggers can teach you a thing or two, but if you want to learn from the best, Behance is the website for you. Behance features the top photographers, artists, and designers who are breaking new ground in their industry. It showcases innovative portfolio pieces from a variety of mediums to inspire experimentation and curate popular creative trends. Behance users can interact on the site by following their favorite artists, liking posts, and even contributing their own work (once the creative block is conquered).
Creative inspiration comes a lot easier once you’ve expanded your skills and hand-on abilities. That’s where the website Instructables comes in. This site boosts creativity through DIY tutorials that show you how to make everything from anything. Whether it’s a glass bottle chandelier, a paper doll house, or homemade biscuits, Instructables has tutorials it all. Search for specific ideas or browse through their endless feed of projects to find inspiration in the most unexpected places.
Like Instagram for all things design, this website is great resource for finding visual inspiration. If your creative block is partnered with a dash of boredom, then Designspiration is a great place to start. The feed features a wide variety of design work all in one feed, so it’s an invaluable resource for finding photographic, illustrative, and stylistic inspiration.
Reality TV shows just seem to never go away. You can now make a reality TV series about anything you want and it’s almost a guarantee that someone will watch it. This got us thinking…there’s actually a pretty interesting parallel between Reality TV and one of our favorite subjects: Apps. (Stay with us on this one). If you think about it, Reality TV and Apps actually have a lot in common. Neither have many restrictions or limits. They are both conversation starters and don’t show any sign of slowing down. FLIRT is of course all about App news, since it’s an award winning offering of ours, and some of our staff members definitely would say Reality TV is their guilty pleasure (although they may wish to remain anonymous 🙂 )
Interestingly enough, Apple has combined both of these seemingly different worlds as they recently announced their new TV show, “Planet of the Apps,” where celebrities judge developers on their apps. It’s basically the app version of “Shark Tank” where entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to the “sharks” and the sharks decide whether or not they would like to invest in the idea. People watch the show for different reasons, whether it be strictly for entertainment or whether they are thinking of their own entrepreneurial endeavors, but whatever the case may be it seems that people can’t get enough and Apple wants a slice of the pie.
Planet of the Apps will differ from Shark tank in the sense that instead of the typical elevator pitch developers and entrepreneurs will have to make an escalator pitch where they have to pitch their idea on an actual escalator. They will be pitching their ideas to celebrity judges such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Will.i.am, and Jessica Alba for potential funding by the celebrity as well as prime real estate within the Apple Store. The show not only judges apps; it COMES with an app where viewers can be interactive during the show and swipe left or right depending on whether the app sounds promising or not. The show will even be released in the Apple Store. This is one we’ll definitely be tuning in for. So what do you think? Over reality TV? App’d out? Already DVR’d it? Let us know in the comments!
Today we’re very excited to share a guest post from Brian Kolb of Wright’s Media. We’ve collaborated with Brian on the event app for Content Marketing World over the past few years and it gets better every time! We always walk away with a new insight or idea after talking to Brian (and usually a few laughs too!) Today on the FLIRT blog Brian is sharing his tips on how to successfully integrate technology into your events. Take it away Brian!
Integrate Tech for Event Success
You can have a jaw-dropping splash page, seamless registration system, brilliant email campaign and every early bird discount gimmick known to the civilized world, but filling the seats at your event is only half the battle.
Let’s face it – anyone with a checkbook can throw a party. Yours has to pay off for your company.
So how do you assure that your event generates the desired return on investment? You’ve got to integrate technology throughout the experience, and that includes before, during and after the event.
First Things First
But before you hook up the espresso IVs for the creative team, determine what you want from the event. What specific results will be your definition of success? Here are a few likely measures:
Total Attendees from Each Target Industry
Number of Contacts Acquired
Number of Registered Booth Visitors
Total Appointments Held/Scheduled
Total of Sales Contracts Signed
Establish your goals and then focus on deploying tech. For 2017, there are several trends that, when integrated effectively, promise to fully engage and enthrall any group.
These devices are now available at all price points ranging from $10 to the thousands, and everywhere in between. Of course, the real value with AR/VR is the ability to immerse anyone in any experience at any time without the dreaded airport or bus station shuffle. Product demonstrations, exotic travel destinations, extreme sports immersions – these can obviously have a huge impact on potential customers.
However, don’t limit AR/VR to just demos – think bigger. Before the show, how about getting some industry personalities to experience some alternate reality? If it’s great (and it will be, right?), they will be sure to blog, tweet, snap and more. Their followers will pay attention and share, creating awareness, excitement, and perhaps most important, credibility for your product. And all along the way, you will happily collect the contact information of new potential customers, increase your social media following, and generate earned media to be used across all marketing channels. Continue using AR/VR during the show to engage those who couldn’t make the event – it’s a natural for many products and services, and the company bean counters will be surprised to see that in most cases, AR/VR is less expensive to develop than transporting and setting up your actual equipment.
Remember the old days when you received multiple on-site reminders to turn your phones off? Not anymore! Now marketers want you “distracted” as long as they are providing the distractions. Get your audience involved – preferably long before the event even starts. Six or more months before, poll your audience on where they might like to see the next conference held. It is said that scheduling and location won’t make a winner out of a bad conference, but bad scheduling can kill a good one (for example, try not to compete with that big football game held in early February every year.)
How about an event app? You’ll have to be careful with these because many people won’t want an app to be used only with a single event, but again, use your imagination. These apps can remind attendees of special offers, networking opportunities, special guests, impromptu gatherings that weren’t on the program – you name it. These can also push polls to users that will obtain their opinions on any topic you want. How about letting your guests choose the last presentation topic of each day? That’s good service, people, and it will generate huge social buzz and shares.
Events Can Be Smart
Event apps can also deliver scads of data to you (be sure to get permission at download). Want to know where people are lingering? Interested in how the traffic is flowing? Curious why the same group of people seems to be walking by your booth? You will know. With real-time data you will be able to make all sorts of adjustments on the fly that will be immediately noticeable to your attendees. This ability to adapt will pay huge dividends on your post-conference surveys, and will boost your repeat business.
Make It Click
In today’s digital landscape, event planning isn’t complete without the integration of technology. From social media to mobile apps, from AR/VR to interactive technology – sponsors need to weave technology into every corner of their event. The result will be increased booth traffic, better networking opportunities, more lead generation and ultimately, a return on investment to make an accountant proud.
How do you plan to utilize tech at your events in 2017? What advancements are you the most excited about? What’s missing? Let us know what’s on your mind in the comments!