staff scavenger hunt we organized at my association's trade show, which is co-located with the trade show of one of our major customer markets.
In teams to two, venture out onto the show floors and take a picture (or video) of a fluid power component. On our show floor it's worth five points. On the customer market show floor it's worth ten points. If everyone gets at least one hundred points, we'll host a celebratory lunch when we get back to the office and everyone's name will go into a hat for a drawing for a free iPad.
It was an experiment, and it worked better than I could have imagined. From the very beginning, staff was focused on getting out on the show floor and getting their photos and videos. How many points do you have? It was a common question asked in our booth, and a common activity was one staff person showing another the photos on their phone and telling the stories behind each individual shot.
Some components were more challenging than others. A simple stroll through the exhibit hall was all that was necessary to get plenty of photos of hydraulic cylinders and hoses, but what about fluid reservoirs or filter elements? We quickly learned that those components are usually hidden under housings or somewhere in the undercarriage of the piece of equipment. The creative solution? An actual conversation with one of the equipment sales people and a scramble on top of or under the dozer or excavator to get the necessary shot.
To say I'm proud of my team is an understatement. What could have easily been dismissed as a cheesy team-building exercise was instead embraced as something both fun and educational.
Why? I believe because it was relevant. The connection between what we were doing and its relevancy to our jobs was evident. If we are going to do the job we've been asked to do--representing this industry and helping it grow--the more we know about how it interfaces with one of its primary customer markets the better.
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This post was written by Eric Lanke, an association executive, blogger and author. For more information, visit www.ericlanke.blogspot.com, follow him on Twitter @ericlanke or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.