By Matt Greff, Principal Program Manager
You might have heard this in the hall if your company has a variety of products, “I have no idea what that team over there does… the product looks cool, I think I heard about it once at a company meeting, but why is it important? What problem is it trying to solve? Who are their customers? Why should I care?”
Enter MarchExpo, a companywide event designed to fit perfectly into our agile and lean design thinking culture. We believe in showing off our work in a fun, informative and interactive way. A big part of agile software development is demoing recent releases to customers and gathering feedback quickly in order to iterate improvements into the next release. Our goal is for every Marchex employee to interact with and learn about the variety of products that Marchex has to offer—especially the products outside of their own focus areas.
MarchExpo turns a boring demo or PowerPoint presentation into a real life product fair. Product development teams present what they’ve been working on in the context of their team’s Vision Statement, and show validated learnings from their product’s key metrics.
“At the end of the day we’re about shipping working software that delivers real customer value with every development iteration. Taking a few hours every couple months to allow the product and development teams to show off all their hard work is an amazing thing to see.” – Joe Blotner, Sr. Director of Advertiser Product & Engineering
This year, employees were invited to travel “around the world” of Marchex. In about an hour, walking from floor to floor, they visited 6 of our main product groups, witnessing a 10-15 minute product demonstration at each station. The groups were kept to 10-20 individuals, which is designed to be small enough to ask questions and interact with the demo speakers.
Each traveler received a “passport” to collect stamps from each of the product team demos to make the event more engaging. Anyone that collected all the stamps was invited to submit their passport for a gift card drawing. Each employee was able to vote on their favorite presentation, as well. This immediate feedback signal helped us use elements of the top presentations to refresh our public facing marketing content and update our sales demos.
MarchExpo is a quick way to educate employees, show off what everyone’s been working on, generate product buzz inside the company… and just have some FUN.
What does your company do to make product demos fun? Tell us in the comments below!