Last week, the Leapfrog team set forth once more across the water to the beautiful Isle of Mull, a location where the team has worked before on major projects involving tools. This time, the trip was taken in pursuit of an opportunity spotted during the team’s last round of reflection and discussions: creating tools to support the management, planning and delivering of public events, which are a great way of engaging with people in the local community.

During the two sessions, the team met with representatives of vibrant businesses in the local community, including Mull Electric Bikes, the Playpark Committee, an Active Schools Co-​Ordinator and Mull Aquarium. Our aim was to gather their individual experiences in holding events and work together to brainstorm some fantastic ideas for tools. We began by introducing the origins and prior work of the Leapfrog project to the new faces among us, noting the importance of event planning to community engagement, and sparking off the session by sharing our individual “superpowers and nemeses” of public event planning. The team introduced two project planning tools they have previously worked on as examples of our prior work:

1) The Creative Cards

2) The “Raffle Tickets”

With the introduction of a colourful A3 underlay as a guide to the stages involved in event planning, and a few amusing personal anecdotes of event planning gone awry, the attendees were able to fill in a few gaps in the event planning process, and lend invaluable insight into the practicalities of planning public events on an island. It was immediately clear that public and fundraising events formed an integral part of community engagement and development. Key obstacles raised in both sessions included the recruitment of volunteers to help with event planning and execution, role delegation within the planning group and raising community awareness of public events, particularly the latter. During two dynamic discussion sessions, ideas from the groups included a “Jigsaw” recruiting tool to “fill in the gaps” when recruiting volunteers with particular skills, “Tokens and Tubes” – a fun, interactive way of communicating feedback and ideas, and a digital calendar which can be updated with events, alongside with a paper counterpart that can be carried around in your pocket.

As a result of these dynamic discussions, the Leapfrog team left the workshops armed with insights and inspirations based upon the personal experiences of representatives of the local community, which can be integrated into the development of future tools.