Once or twice while I was on leave recently, I happened to have the TV on during the daytime. One of the programs that was on was Ready, Steady, Cook (originally a BBC show apparently).

The basic format of the show is as follows:

  • In the first half, two chefs (each with a regular assistant) create a meal from some random ingredients that they haven’t seen before.
  • The audience then votes on the completed dishes.
  • The second half sees both chefs then suggest a meal from another lot of ingredients, but this time the audience votes on which idea they like the best. Then both chefs work together to make that meal.

So what I was thinking was whether you could adapt this format to a user group setting?

Have two teams (ideally with two data projectors so the audience can see what they’re doing), and give each of them 3-4 random technologies and they have to come up with an application that uses all of them in a fixed time period.

At the conclusion the audience can vote on which they think is the best.

You might need a little more time, and the audience could get involved shouting out suggestions if they get stuck.