As an early-stage startup, Vessel team including me conducted a 3-day showcase at VergeNYC, an annual conference for transdisciplinary collaboration at The New School(TNS).

Goal

 

Since Vessel and VergeNYC have the same goal of reducing disposable waste during the event, the sponsorship was not difficult to start.

The goal for Vessel: To reduce waste + to allow guests to experience the service
The goal for VergeNYC: To reduce waste + to align the mission and to make the practical impacts with guests

 

 

Challenges

 

1. The short-term customer engagement
The conference model was the first try for Vessel. The big challenge for the team was inventory management. Since it was for a conference, the mugs and lids should be ready and be clean every morning for more than a hundred guests. Fortunately, TNS cafeteria welcomed Vessel to use their dishwashers.

2. Tech support
Since Vessel was the early-stage startup, the tech system has not been developed enough to signup the guests and to track all inventory. Eventually, the Vessel team members manually filled the weak points.

3. Multiple locations
– We would like to encourage guests to use Vessel at any location, but since the tech devices were limited, we had to return the mugs manually.

 


Planning

 

1. Stakeholder Mapping

 

My team identified the related stakeholders around the sponsorship to VergeNYC. Primarily Vessel supplies reusable mugs for the conference guests, but the service requires some help from TNS cafeteria and staffs. Eventually, Vessel substitutes disposable cups and it impacts on NYC management and city government.

 

2. User Journey Mapping

For collaborate use, I made the map in a Google Spreadsheet. It helped to manage logistic issues and to find touchpoints to minimalize the human labor in the service.

 

 

3. Touchpoint Design

Some touchpoints needed a visual communication method. So I designed posters for the users to learn the checkout process. Also, I produced a small handout for drop-off.

 


Execution

Although the tech support wasn’t perfect, most of the guests signed up for the drinks, and we gained total 287 signups, which means Vessel saved more than 287 paper cup waste in 2 and half days! It is almost 80% of the guests. Some guests even started bringing their own mug to consume coffee. Also, we gained many positive feedback and ideas from the guests and other people at school.

 

 

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