The event :

Alzheimer’s Australia Blog Trivia Tournament

‘To celebrate International Brain Awareness Week. Give your brain a workout by taking on the best bloggers in town.’

Background:

Everyone knows I hate trivia nights. I say ‘everyone knows’ because I haven’t been shy about verbalizing the fact on Facebook, face-to-face and in-yo’-face whenever the idea of a trivia night comes up. People mostly screw up their faces and say ‘BUT WHY? TRIVIA IS SO.MUCH.FUN!’ and I begin to count the ways for them: ‘too noisy’; ‘can’t chat with anyone’; ‘sound system is always troublesome therefore cannot hear questions properly’; ‘don’t like to lose’; ‘goes too long’; ‘the pace is frantic and anxiety producing’.. of course they tuned out around the word ‘…noisy’ because it is a known fact that people LOVE trivia nights.

One of my very best mates – in fact the winner of the inaugural and once-off annual BFF awards 2 yrs ago – runs a regular trivia night and I am compelled to support him and his business in every way I can so I’ve swallowed my reasons-to-loathe-trivia-nights a couple of times and (don’t tell anyone).. quite enjoyed myself.

Recently I ran around Melbournes ‘The Tan’ track. When I say RAN I mean I ran INTO a bunch of people who were running. I walked with a few gal pals followed by coffee at my mate’s brand new café Boneshaker in St Kilda. These gals who shall remain nameless (Caroline, Jane, Nicole, much?!!!) were talking about a trivia night they were attending a few days later and Major FOMO kicked me upside the head and started making words come out of my mouth: ‘WHAT! WHY WAS I NOT INVITED, DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I LOVE TRIVIA, WHY IS THIS THE FIRST TIME I AM HEARING ABOUT THIS?’ Their response: ‘but everyone KNOWS you hate trivia!’ Not one to miss out, next thing you know I’ve invited myself along to the Alzheimer’s bloggers trivia event.

Venue: The Apartment, 401 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. (between Elizabeth and Queen)

The venue is where we hold our regular Social Media Club Melbourne events so it is familiar to me – it’s a central location (IF YOU DO NOT LIVE IN THE EASTERN SUBURBS AND HAVE TO DROP A CHILD TO ST KILDA ROAD FIRST) with a car park nearby (hardware lane, just off Bourke Street, behind Maccas)

The lead-up:

Once I heard about the event, I tried to track down some information like a flyer, an event page or invitation. I figured it was invitation-only because I couldn’t find a thing even though I am very resourceful.

We started trash-talking the other teams and pumping our own team-mates up over Twitter using the official #yourbrainmatters hashtag.

Porter Novelli (PR firm) started tweeting that they were looking forward to seeing us which was nice.

Porter Novelli Melb Tweet

TOP IDEA: Organisers of the event should always engage in the tweetstream and encourage banter in the lead up to the event. For an event like this blog trivia night, consider even do some teaser trivia questions and announce some funny team names or give your sponsors a shout-out. Consider also running a tweetstream-only little prize to encourage interaction in the lead up to the event such as ‘first one to find the polaroid camera in a hidden corner of the venue wins it’ or ‘the most retweeted trivia team name wins a prize’.

BONUS IDEA: Tweet some parking considerations for those driving in. Plus instructions and directions to the venue, and most importantly tweet well in advance if the venue has been changed (this one had, a few days before, and a couple of people went to the originally advertised venue).

The event:

Upon arrival, smiley staffers were taking Polaroids and handing them to us to process in our armpits “please don’t shake this, contrary to popular belief and unlike the song lyrics, you actually do NOT SHAKE A POLAROID PICTURE” (here, I shall pause so you can have a little bop in your chair and sing)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWgvGjAhvIw‎]

Shake it, shake, shake it, shake it (oh oh)
Shake it, shake it, shake, shake it, shake it, shake it (oh oh)
Shake it, shake it like a Polaroid Picture, shake it, shake it
Shh you got to, shake it, shh shake it, shake it, got to shake it
(Shake it sugar) shake it like a Polaroid Picture

Now all Beyoncé’s and Lucy Liu’s
And baby dolls, get on the floor….

I can only assume Polaroid were a sponsor of the event, because it seemed quite strange to have polaroid pictures at an event for social media peeps – because we are supremely used to snapping, filtering, multi-platform sharing our pics from our iPhones (or Samsungs which are three times the size and look completely WEIRD but Samsungers say the same about iPhones now too).

As people were hugging hello and shaking hands, undeveloped Polaroids were dropping out from underarms – totes hilarious. Once developed, the pics we liked were then photographed with our phones from a weird angle so as not to get the flash reflected in the pic then zoomed in and posted to Insta, etc.

As the event start coincided with dinner-time, we were all a bit HANGRY and tried hard not to bug the venue too much but suggested gently that it would be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious if the food were to come out, like, yesterday. The Apartment staff were extremely friendly, smiley and patient and made sure everyone was attended to.

The trivia:

It was super-well produced and well-rounded, with the trivia-master (Quiz Meisters) giving questions and also using the big screen to ask video based and audio questions including a bonus sheet of questions on the tables to be completed through the evening.

Trivia Teams

(photo courtesy of Alzheimer’s Australia team)

HOT IDEA: consider having your event MC/trivia master give compelling instructions/reasons and allocate time for tweeting/instagramming to ensure you gain the most traction from having that many social media people in the room.

Each participant left with a ‘showbag’ full of brain food, information about brain health and a brain-shaped stress ball which was nice.

The chatter:

After the event, the most common phrase I heard was ‘that was a really great night!’ and the tweetstream remained positive and upbeat with Alzheimer’s Australia getting good traction although I would suggest an event specific hashtag in addition to the standard #YourBrainMatters tag – this would have enabled us to group the tweets from the event without them being tangled up in other general events going on that week for Brain Awareness Week.

INTERVIEW WITH THE ORGANISERS:

I sent a few questions along to Porter Novelli, the PR firm for Alzheimer’s Australia…

Q: What was your aim with this event?

A: ‘… logging is another brain healthy activity. We know bloggers are active and influential on social media, so working exclusively with bloggers and their personal networks provided a great platform to engage with them one on one as well as to reach out to people virtually and spread the message of brain health’.

Q: What outcomes did the night achieve?

A: ‘… we connected people that had never met before in a positive way as well providing an increased awareness of the concept of brain health and different ways to look after your brain. We had people jumping in to conversations on Instagram and Twitter not present at the event wanting to know more which is an ideal scenario.’

Q: Is there anything you’d do differently next time?

A: ‘… Some bloggers were a bit overwhelmed with the task of putting together a trivia table of 10 on a week night, so if next year we would make the tables smaller. We would ideally share information about the event sooner so people could potentially engage in social media chatter further in advance of the event, extending the conversation over a longer period of time.’

[youtube=http://youtu.be/eCOFuTuUNIA]

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