Friday night and our first hack challenge weekend has begun! At The Bonham Hotel, Edinburgh our Impact48 team gathered along with other supporters, beer (kindly provided by Innis and Gunn) was drunk and we officially started the weekend.
We started with some short presentations. Barry from Impact48 introduced their goals and thanked all our wonderful sponsors, The Bonham, Innis and Gunn and Yard Digital.
Ezone is the supporting company for this weekend and Iain gave a brief overview of what they do before handing over to Music in Hospitals Scotland.
This was the moment everyone had been waiting for – to hear about the charity and what they wanted from the weekend. Alison, Chief Executive, introduced MiHScotland and a brief overview of the challenge. Sarah, sponsorship and marketing, spoke a bit more about the concerts themselves and Laura, fundraising coordinator, spoke about the effect live music has on people.
The challenge was then laid out:
- To seek a means of raising MiH’s online profile to a younger demographic
- To devise a means of prompting small – even tiny – donations on a large scale
- MiH is bound by a strict code regarding privacy issues: ie no use can be made of any image on or offline without express written permission
- MiH must retain control of any mechanism or device and have the capacity to remove it if necessary
The floor was then opened to questions and the poor MiH team came under fire as people wanted to know information such as what events do MiH already do to raise awareness, what are their targets, what existing methods do they have to reach out to the younger demographic. Ideas quickly followed and after a group discussion (naturally forming a circle – how nice!) we had a break and broke down into two groups to discuss more in-depth ideas.
The first group identified that lots of bands and musicians have their own following, normally amongst younger people, and they wanted to tap into this. It was felt that a new brand or campaign, under the existing title of Make Music Happen, would be beneficial to reach out to a younger audience. Some of the ideas were to have a YouTube channel that people could submit videos to or a sort of PostSecret Music list where people could showcase pieces of music that had an emotive effect for them. They thought they could use MiH’s existing supporter base to help moderate the music, voting for them etc. Lots of focus was put into how to CONNECT younger people to MiH with the theory that once people are engaged, donations will follow.
The other group had a different dynamic and went in a different direction. They looked more at how to get lots of small donations. Ideas such as video sharing via sites like Keek.com and using a QI code to link people to the MiH site were discussed. Also looked at an existing MiH tool – the “Perfect Present” where people can give a donation of a minimum £150 to have a concert for a specific person – and how this could be adapted into a more widespread fundraising appeal. There was the idea of “Gift a Concert” where people could donate towards the full cost of a concert (£247). There are restraints involved with the MiH charter so the group came up with the idea of running a separate campaign “Make Music Happen”. Interesting to see the same idea come up in both groups separately, although with very different aims. Intense discussion happened in both groups as people began to buy into their ideas and develop them.
It was time to draw the groups together before they went down completely separate roads. A list of all the different ideas was drawn up and we started to narrow them down based on the restrictions laid out by MiH and Ezone. The idea of musicians and amateurs performing was taken off on ground of quality control. People liked the “Gift a Concert” idea and a couple of widgets were discussed. One, to count the number of concerts that MiH gives each year, maybe represented on a map. Another idea was a badge people could put on their websites, especially musicians, that declared themselves supporters of MiH that linked to the website. Finally the idea of a “Gift a Concert” counter where people could see how much was needed to make the cost of a concert and how many concerts direct donations had bought was discussed.
These were the main ideas put forward for going ahead with over the weekend and it was a tired, but excited team that finally departed The Bonham at 11:30pm!