CEXY CHAPTER EVENT IDEAS AKA PART 2
Our hiking/camping theme was quite noticeable in the CEX workbook we provided to attendees in the swag bag. Measuring 8-1/2 x 6-1/4 inches, the spiral-bound workbook has a sturdy cover and is tabbed by conference agenda items. This year, we divided the agenda into “trails” instead of sessions.
The entire workbook was filled with cute thematic graphics. Geez, I just love this workbook—can I say that out loud? Shout out to our amazing graphic designer, Paige Kooiker ! Each trail in the workbook was preceded by a hiking/camping-themed inspirational quote that related to the trail topic, like this one, “Go explore. Because it’s cheaper than therapy.”
The conference program and workbook featured “Trailblazers,” CRPs who shared chapter success and turnaround stories. All the trail names related to the theme, for example, trail 3 was titled “Earn Your CRP Badge: First Aid for Chapters in Crisis.” Trail 4 was a collaborative table exercise, “Choose Your Own Adventure: Campfire Chats & Stories.”
The workbook included information about the agenda, hosts, sponsors, speakers, and our Experience Squad—more on them later. We included tips for maximizing the CEX experience, and prompts for goal-setting and turning ideas into action. Throughout the workbook, we included additional prompts, spaces for notes, aha moments, and takeaways as well as questions to ponder.
Many of you asked about the conference app we used. Swapcard charged us $1.99 per attendee, which I thought was a bargain considering it included all the features we wanted in an event app: speakers, sponsors, agenda, my visit, attendees, and a link to the conference website. I especially appreciated having:
- Sponsor descriptions with links to their websites
- Banner ad for a top sponsor
- Push notifications to attendees
- Attendee connections even after the conference
- Profile pic upload
The app was user-friendly and easy to set up. The integration with Eventbrite made everything a breeze.
ICEBREAKERS & ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDIES
We couldn’t do CEX without Peggy Hoffman and Peter Houstle of Mariner Management, our CEX co-hosts. At the start of the day, Peggy introduced us to a great icebreaker—one that had a hidden purpose. Here’s how it goes…
Ask attendees to find someone they don’t know and discover something they have in common. Next, each pair looks for another pair and finds something they have in common. Finally, each quartet finds another quartet and the exercise is repeated.
You end up with groups of eight people—in our case, we called them hiking buddies. But, during the last trail, we told them they were accountability groups for putting ideas into action.