This month I’m visiting Ontario from Alberta for 3 main reasons:
- To spend time with my sisters and mother
- To attend and present at Canada’s creativity retreat, Mindcamp and
- To support my friend, Ryan Jeans as he builds his busines bringing miniPong facilitated services to events around the GTA
Until today, I have already enjoyed some wonderful time with my family both at home and at the family cottage near Kincardine, Ontario. I very much look forward to Mindcamp later this week, and have just concluded one of the busiest weeks of events ever with Ryan and miniPong Toronto.
To clarify – yes you read that correctly – that’s miniature Ping-Pong. The week was so busy because we did 8 events in 6 days and I was doing the social media as well as videography and editing throughout.
What happens at a miniPong event?
A LOT of Ping-Pong! That’s what.
We set up these custom made miniature weather-proof tables in places where you couldn’t normally fit Ping-Pong and create a space for people to play and have fun. This works as a great compliment to events of all kinds – big or small – and is sometimes the event itself.
Day 2 miniPong Toronto Rogers Cup Video
The tables are 36 inches wide and 72 inches long and the paddles and net are the same as on an official table. Ryan has 20 years of experience in constructions and can build anything. He currently designs and manufactures these tables for his buisness himself.
So why the small tables?
The small tables are used so that people can more easily converse, play together, and connect. The smaller tables allow for more interaction and less competitiveness. This type of “Pop-up Ping-Pong” is a social enabler because you are physically closer to your opponent. It is a more intimate playing enviornment. Sometims there is the misconception that miniPong is just for kids. While children certainly love playing on the smaller tables the concept was inspired through adult play.
What were the 8 events?
5 of them were facilitated events at the 2015 Rogers Cup in Toronto from Monday to Friday. We were hired to set up the miniPong tables on one of the promotional courts and to create a place for people to play miniPong. Most of the time all of the tables were full and at times we had a line with a wait. Unsurprisingly Ping-Pong was a hit with this audience.
Day 3 miniPong Toronto Rogers Cup Video
Often people say that they are good at “real” Ping-Pong but unfamiliar with the small game however one can make the adjustment in just a couple of games. It is just as much fun as the full sized game if not more so.
Tuesday night was the weekly miniPong Meetup which is a free event for the growing miniPong community in Toronto at Mây Cafe on Dundas Street West.
On Saturday we facilitated a miniPong exhibit as part of Family Fun Festival at Regent Park.
Finally on Saturday night for our 8th event we brought the miniPong to a boat cruise for 416Cruises.com that went late into the morning.
Now that’s a lot of Ping-Pong!
This week we must have given out about 500 business cards / flyers and collected dozens as well.
Here is an excerpt from a book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan called, “The One Thing“. I was reading it today and it seemed relevant for me to share here. It’s a good read.
“Don’t fear big. Fear mediocrity. Fear waste. Fear the lack of living to your fullest. When we fear big, we either consciously or subconsciously work against it. We either run toward lesser outcomes and opportunities or we simply run away from the big ones. If courage isn’t the absence of fear, but moving past it, then thinking big isn’t the absence of doubts, but moving past them. Only living big will let you experience your true life and work potential.” p 92. The One Thing
I can’t remember the last time that I saw someone so passionate about something that they HAD to speak to everyone about it. Having known Ryan since 2012 he’s become completely obsessed with miniPong – his ‘One Thing’ – and it comes up in just about every conversation we have.
Although this can be a little frustrating at times it also impresses me because history has proven that it’s that type of entrepreneurial spirit and passion that brings big ideas to life. In the last two years this fellow has gone from playing miniPong on my kitchen table (in his house) to earning a living by brining multiple branded custom tables and experiences to:
Large scale concerts
Many random parties
Toronto District School Board events and schools
The Downsview Park Hanger with Human Moves
Sick Kids Hospital
Mindcamp Creativity Retreat
Professional speaking events
Nuit Blanche Toronto
Toronto International Film Festival
And now The Rogers Cup
He has been interviewed by the Globe and Mail as well as a number of curious bloggers and there seems to be no end in sight.
Days 4 & 5 miniPong Toronto Rogers Cup Video
As this business continues to grow I am excited for my friend and colleague’s big success – past, present and future. As I continue to build my own dream career as a keynote speaker / performer it will be interesting to see how much more collaboration lies ahead for myself and Ryan. It does seem that I’ve got some of the tools that he needs to really launch this business on a bigger scale and certainly there is plenty of opportunity for me to meet prospective clients while supporting his excellent cause. We are currently in discussion about this.
But for now it’s off to Mindcamp this week! Time to incubate on this incredible opportunity.
Join us for a rally sometime. Beyond the laughter and exercise, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from the game of Ping-Pong. Myself or Ryan would love to speak to you about this. Connect with us!
We look forward to seeing you wherever miniPong pops up next!