Harnessing Your Attendees' Competitive Sides

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I was so excited on Friday when a mysterious box showed up on my doorstep (I know, I'm scarily easy to please sometimes). I hadn't ordered anything, so it was a surprise—from an organization I belong to, no less. I ripped it open to find a Movable.com MOVband, a wristband-based activity tracker for a health and wellness initiative that I had already forgotten signing up for a while back. I immediately charged it up and strapped it on, and have been checking its results against my Fitbit, checking to see how I stack up against others who are already playing (the initiative doesn't officially start for a few weeks), and looking to find ways to move my score up the organization's lederboard.

OK, so I'm perhaps a bit more competitive than some, but I find things like this so motivating. I know PCMA, ASAE, and MPI have been doing pedometer contests at their annual meetings, but I'm not sure if they include some public way to keep score, or if you just report in after the fact, or what (obviously, I was not paying close enough attention!).

Not everyone would be interested in playing, but for those who would be, I could see forming teams people could join. And maybe you could include a way for the groups to communicate via your event app—along the lines of, "Team Muevelo, let's meet at the bar to do some elbow bends," er, I mean, "let's meet at the entrance for a brisk walk before the reception." If you already include some sort of physical activity in conjunction with your event, like a fun run/walk, you could give teams a way to identify fellow members and maybe get to know each other a bit while working off that plethora of pudgie pies we tend to overindulge in at conferences.

While my group's activity hasn't yet officially started so I can't speak much to how well it works, I like the way the Movable program is built just for group activities like this—you also could start something at the meeting, then extend it afterward. And there's a fundraising function as well. 

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