Take a moment to watch a short video on the creation of Emoji Madness. 

At Alley, we pride ourselves on being creative and having fun outside of the projects we work on for our clients. We love coming up with our own internal activities that garner delight and community participation. In this spirit, we recently held our inaugural March Emoji Madness Tournament! The idea began in our Community Leaders group, composed of representatives from every Alley team who are focused on fostering community engagement across Alley. 

Sound like something you might want to try at your own workplace? Here are the 4 steps for kicking off an Emoji Madness bracket competition to delight your team:

  1. Determine a way to categorize your emojis for the bracket. At Alley, the Community Leaders first needed to figure out a way to categorize Alley’s many custom emojis (we have 7,149 emoji and counting at the time of this post). They ultimately broke them down into four categories: Sassy, Weird, Party, You’re Frequently Used
  1. Choose potential emoji contenders! This was a tough decision since as noted above, we have over 7,000 custom emojis that have been created or even custom made by our team members at Alley! We needed to narrow things down and did so by first asking our community. We posted an announcement for people to vote on what emojis should be included. After the voting was complete, we narrowed it down to the top 16 emojis per category. 
  1. Create your own Bracket form. Once the categories were determined, the Community Leaders used Bracket HQ to make our customized bracket in the style of NCAA Basketball March Madness. We created the bracket in a PDF form to make it easily editable and accessible for our team. The team members who wanted a chance at glory  filled out their brackets.
  1. Decide how an emoji champion is declared (it’s a tournament after all!). Using Slack, we threaded the matchups for every round. The Alley team emoji reacted with their favorite emoji of each pairing. Players got 1 point for every correct emoji they selected in their bracket. (i.e. Players receive 1 point for every correct emoji that makes it to the next round.) The first round of 32 is 1 point each, the sweet sixteen is 2 points each, the elite 8 is 4 points each, the final four is 8 points each, and the championship awards 16 points.  

…And so the madness began! It started on March 14th and concluded on April 4th when :party-dead: was deemed the champion of our inaugural March Emoji Madness Tournament. 

Agile Process Leader Jaime Allpress had the bracket with the most points and won an increase to her monthly lunch stipend – you go Jaime A!   

The Emoji Madness Tournament started out as a fun idea amongst our Community Leaders and launched into an energizing Alley-wide competition that we’re sure has become an annual event. It allowed us to showcase our custom emojis, celebrate the creativity put into making them, and appreciate the people behind the emojis in the process!

We hope you give it a try at your own company. If and when you try it, tell us what you think on Twitter or LinkedIn!

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