54 hours is a lot of time. You can sleep for 54 hours. You can watch TV for 54 hours.
Our Forge 54 team worked for 54 hours straight–well kinda.
Why would anyone commit such mental suicide?
- We provided marketing services to a nonprofit to get them more exposure which means more people caring, more volunteers and more donations. We were working on something greater than ourselves.
- By helping Playworks SoCal, we were helping the kids that they would have an impact on. Watch this video and tell me you don’t want to help out any way you can.
- It’s not often that you get to work with 80 other ambitious, intelligent people for 54 hours straight.
The theme of the 54-hour weekend is skilled giving. It’s about dedicating your time and skill and providing something of long-term value that will empower an organzation–not simply signing a check.
Nonprofits don’t have the necessary funds to have a marketing staff. Torrey Tayenaka created Forge 54 to bring together a team of marketing professionals from various backgrounds to donate their time and give a boost to a great cause. The team consists of advertisers, graphic designers, videographers, photographers, developers, creatives, strategic thinkers and students.
This year, Forge 54 adopted Playworks Southern California.
Through creative activities at recess, Playworks teaches students personal development skills and provides an environment for safe physical activity. They also provide training programs for teachers to facilitate these games on their own. Through these games, there has been a decrease in bullying, improvement in overall school climate, more participation in academics, and an increase in students’ abilities to focus on class activities.
In the end, its about ensuring that school is a place for students to learn and grow.
Results of the 54 Hours
The Forge 54 Marketing Weekend began on a Friday, September 12, 2014 at noon with a meeting that would determine how the weekend would play out. Ideas were outlined and deliverables were assigned to teams.
A projector displayed a countdown from 54:00:00.
By the end of the 54 hours, our team successfully delivered a new mobile app, a new microsite for the app, three video trailers to promote the app, 150 new icons, an infographic, an animation, a three-month social media strategy, three social media campaigns, 20 graphics to promote the top 20 Playworks games and a comprehensive PR strategy with PR kits created from scratch.
$308,500 was accounted for in in deliverables. It’s safe to say that it was a successful weekend.
What I got out of the Forge 54 Weekend
Forge 54 pushed my physical and mental limits.
Over the course of the weekend, I drank at least 15 cans of Monster or Red Bull and 10 cups of coffee to stay in the game. As much as I love coffee, I wouldn’t normally condone the consumption of that much caffeine. I didn’t mind, though, because I was channeling that energy into something I believed would improve the lives of others–the students.
I watched over peoples’ shoulders as they edited photos, cut videos, designed icons, built websites and wrote copy. I asked plenty of questions and learned through experience.
I realized the true value of delegation and recruiting the help of others so that you and your team members can each focus on what you’re each good at. This concept was unfamiliar to me. I was used to working on a small team where everyone wears multiple hats.
When a group of hard-working, intelligent and driven people collaborate and focus on what they’re good at, amazing work is created.
I had a weekend filled with challenges, fun, new friends, education and meaningful work–all values that I foresee helping me in the future.
Photos courtesy of: Forge 54, Daniel Tayenaka and Reggie Ige.