To add camaraderie and creativity at annual meetings, the Association of Public Health Laboratories encourages members to share morale-boosting moments.
How to hack it? It’s been a tough year for the Association of Public Health Laboratories. One of their biggest advocacy issues, public funding for laboratory research and science, has been caught in the political crosshairs of budget cuts. “This year our meeting theme was to make headway on science policy in a climate that’s particularly challenging,” says Scott Becker, APHL’s executive director. “Our members needed a morale booster.”
Which is why APHL posted a whiteboard near the meeting’s main entrance and registration earlier this month, simply asking members to share a moment when their lab made them proudest. Becker tweeted a photo:
— Scott Becker (@scottjbecker) June 14, 2017
Why does it work? Morale boosters like APHL’s whiteboard can add an element of creative member engagement to a meeting or event. Becker’s board received more than a dozen written responses from scientists and public health specialists, sharing some of their proudest professional moments in the last year. “This was a quick, easy, and cheap way to get members’ responses and reactions in their own words,” he says.
What’s the bonus? Comments written on the board made their way into several sessions, including a keynote address on cultivating resilience in challenging times. APHL also used the whiteboard as part of a strategy to reinforce conference messaging and themes in a variety of engaging ways. At the end of the meeting, each attendee received a test tube with a piece of paper rolled inside. The message delivered, a “ready for results” checklist, provided next steps for members to stay connected and motivated.