User Innovation in Practice

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the concept of user innovation versus producer innovation.

As a follow up, I thought it might be fun to share a small example of user innovation in practice.

One of the hats I wear at NACHRI is to fill our exhibit hall and keep our exhibitors happy.

You know what keeps exhibitors happy? Traffic.

So we’re always looking for ways to increase traffic. And I love to “borrow” good ideas from other places. One thing I noticed a lot of shows do to drive traffic in the exhibit hall is various types of exhibit hall games for drawings. So we instituted an exhibit hall passport game, drawing for one big prize (we’ve done a Wii, a Nook, and an iPad to date) and some smaller prizes.

Another thing we do after every show is survey our exhibitors about the experiences. The three most important questions we ask are:

  • Please rank your overall satisfaction with the show.
  • How likely are you to exhibit with us again?
  • If there was ONE thing we could do make your show experience better, what would it be?

In the fall, one of our exhibitors indicated that, while he liked the passport game because it did bring people to his booth, many of them only wanted to get their passport stamp and move on. He asked if we could maybe set it up as a trivia game, where you had to get the answer to question from each participating exhibitor. So we did.

Result? About 1/3 of our exhibitors generally participate in the game, and our recent spring conference was no exception. But 85% of our spring conference survey respondents said they’ll participate next time because of the meaningful exchanges they either experienced with attendees themselves or watched other exhibitors having around the cards this time.

What great ideas are lurking out there among the users of your products and services? Have you asked them recently?