Call 'em gizmos, marketing tricks, or widgets. But there are more techniques designed to get people more involved and plugged in at the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative, unfolding in New York this week at a packed conference attended by 1,200 government, nonprofit and corporate leaders. A few examples:
Using a trick on view during last year's Presidential campaigns, the big plenary panels are taking questions via YouTube, Twitter and text messages from people in the room. From what I've seen, the queries so far are well-chosen and have led to some interesting exchanges.
Instead of the typical goodie bag filled with consumer giveaways and corporate tchotkes, delegates to CGI (who pay $20,000 apiece to attend) received 200 "points" that can be used at special Giving Back Center kiosks. The points can be used for things like a water filtration packet from Proctor & Gamble, books for schools, shoes, and other items paid for by corporations and nonprofit organizations.
You wouldn't call it a trade show for international development, but there's an exhibit hall for the first time at CGI - a place for organizations to show off their programs and link attendees with work in the field as they pass through.
There's a great online quiz up from the Clinton Foundation that cleverly introduces users to real numbers in large-scale world issues, while taking up only five minutes of someone's coffee break. Check out President Clinton's Global IQ Test.