Tuesday, May 10, 2005

GEL 2005 - Intro

What is GEL?
GEL is Good Experience Live. A creation of Mark Hurst, founder and president of Creative Good, Inc. The mission statement for Creative Good is “to encourage the creation of good, meaningful experiences in business and life.”

So what is Good Experience Live?
This is the third year of GEL. This year expanded from the single day format to a day and a half. The Thursday half-day being a choice of 11 separate activities hosted in and around NYC. I only attended the full day Friday session at the Equitable Theater on 7th Ave.

17 speakers were arranged over 4 sessions, with one (The Flying Karamazov Brothers) introducing the first three sessions and closing the final fourth session.

Opening Remarks:
Mark opened the day with a few remarks and an interesting story to highlight the theme of this year’s conference: Primary Sources. His story (briefly) went like this. He spent sometime growing up in a house on the campus at Annapolis where his father taught at the US Naval Academy. He had found a crawl space that lead to a window and from time to time would find himself there. It was one of his favorite places. On his last day, he left a note on an index card, in an envelop in a natural shelf in his crawl space. 12 years later, he got a phone call from a 5th grade teacher in Annapolis inquiring if he was the Mark who had left a note in a house once upon a time. Her class was doing a project on primary sources and one of her students, now living in the house had found the note. He acknowledged he was the note writer. He ended up receiving a box of over 100 holiday cards from each of the 5th graders at the school. He wrote back answering all their questions and eventually visited the school, was the subject of a local paper front page article, etc. He just got a note from the boy who had found his note. He too is leaving the house and also leaving a note of his own in the crawl space. So the story will continue. Mark challenged the audience to identify the “primary sources” of each of the presenters and see how they turned the source into a “good experience”. The remainder of the day was both fun filled and thought provoking.

A synopsis of each presentation will follow in subsequent posts. Where they are available, links to the web site (primary source) for each of the presenters are included. I’ll summarize my “take away” thoughts at the end of this recap.

I would encourage you to check out the Good Experience Blog (http://www.goodexperience.com/blog/index.php) and sign up for the weekly newsletter that Mark publishes. The main article is posted on the blog but he also includes some fun links in the email that don’t make it to the blog.

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