7 Ways to Make Meetings More Fun

It’s Monday. Take a look at your calendar. If you’re like most of us, you have too many meetings scheduled. They interrupt your day and somehow never seem to accomplish enough. But meetings don’t have to be boring or ineffective. With a little creativity, you and your department or team can make your meetings a lot more fun and productive!

We’ve got 7 out-of-the-box tips to help you do it!
1. Move Your Body

Sitting in one place makes you tired. Your mind wanders and drifts. If the meeting topic is already pretty boring, people might nod off or spend the time daydreaming. Ask attendees to stand, stretch, or even bounce or jog in place. Or better yet, go bowling at your next meeting.

2. Schedule Social Time & Connect with Everyone in the Room

Far too often meetings start with the agenda. Everyone looks down at the piece of paper in front of them and no one connects. Plan for about 10 minutes of “social time” before a meeting officially starts to engage people—they can socialize and catch up with each other.  This builds rapport among your team.

3. Change Locations

Do you always have your meeting in Conference Room C? Change it up. Go outside. Or schedule your meeting on one of our lanes or in The Nelson Event Center. The novelty of change will help keep people engaged.

4. Bowl to Boost Creative Brainstorming

Games are a great way to build connections among team members and to simply have a blast. Got a big planning/brainstorming meeting coming up? Go bowling then get down to business. When you’re done, finish the event with drinks, snacks, and another game in the all new Nelson Event Center!

5. Celebrate Success

Too often we’re “on to the next” before we’ve stopped to recognize the success we achieved. Don’t let this insatiable attitude poison your meeting. Recognize and celebrate your team’s achievements. Just finish a tough project? Take time out to congratulate everyone because every win is a step in the right direction.

6. Change Facilitators

When things are always the same, we tune out. Change keeps us on our toes and interested. Rotate the meeting’s facilitator to keep everyone engaged and bring new perspective. You may be amazed at what occurs and how fun and interesting meetings can become.

7. Promote Positivity

If you really want to make your meetings more fun and productive, start off by recognizing something positive. Ask people to list something they accomplished since last time or name a person who helped them do something. If you start off with complaints and problems, you’ll end with complaints and problems. Intentionally foster more positivity to set a tone for your meetings that is more supportive and creative.

Now Go Make Your Meetings More Fun!

We all know that thinking outside the box is great for innovation. Although these out-of-the-box tips might seem slightly weird, they can make your department or team meetings much more productive and fun.

Here at Lang’s Bowlarama, we often hear a lot of whooping and laughter at our corporate events. Plus we have an awesome space in The Nelson Event Center with all the tools to make a meeting successful! If you want some more help with making your meetings a blast, contact Dayna (401.944.0500, email: dayna@langsbowlarama.com) to discuss our packages for all tastes and budgets!

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Want to Be a Rad Rhode Island Company? Appreciate Your Employees!

Your employees work hard to make your business run effectively. Without their countless hours of effort and determination, your profits would be lower and your business wouldn’t be what it is.  Keeping your company’s morale up starts with simple, daily acts of appreciation. Managers need to recognize a job well done and applaud their team’s hard work. A little recognition goes a long way to boost morale.

However, occasionally you can surprise your employees with something special! The following ideas will help make your business one of the raddest places to work in Rhode Island.

Cater to Your Employees

If you give a slice of filet mignon to a vegan, the gesture of appreciation falls flat. So, before you jump headfirst into planning how you’ll give back to your staff, you need to know what they would like. So, ask!
Create a simple survey using free services like Google Forms or Survey Monkey to discover whether your employees are bowling fanatics, cupcake lovers, or adventure junkies. Once you know them better, you can give your staff something they will truly appreciate and enjoy.

When to Give a Gift, or Throw an Event

Sometimes it makes sense to single one employee or a select team out for a spectacular job. In this instance, a gift could be perfect, something like flowers or a custom-made gift basket(s) could do the trick. Or if your employee is a millennial, an Amazon or iTunes gift card or cash bonus can be very effective.
An event allows your company to show appreciation for a group or all employees. Whether it is a team, a department, or everyone, you can plan something special to show them you care and let them know their hard work and impact on the company’s goals hasn’t gone unnoticed. From something as simple as Friday happy hour – in the office or out – at the end of the work week, to throwing an all out team building bowling bash, can go a long way toward fostering camaraderie and appreciation. (Read our blog post The Science Behind a Great Corporate Event! to see how important team building is to your end goal and productivity!)

Bowling events can put your employees on the same team (literally!) and force different departments to mix, mingle and have fun all while working together. Consider giving gifts to the highest (or lowest!) scoring bowler or team, or encourage teams to dress up for a best-dressed prize. Either way, bowling fosters the team atmosphere you need to make your event successful and get yours employees mixing and moving.

Lighten Up! Don’t Take It Too Seriously

Employee recognition and appreciation should be fun. If it feels like a chore or another obligation, you’re doing it wrong – and it won’t go over as well as you’d like. Choose a place that will help you plan the details to make for a perfect event. Great catering choices, fun activities, prizes, and healthy competition all make for a fun event.
When it comes to ranking as one of Rhode Island’s “raddest” places to work, less is more. Remember to appreciate your employees regularly. Luxurious events or special prizes cannot make up for a lack of appreciation on the daily job. But once that’s handled, invite your employees out for some fun.

Does a fun bowling party sound like a great way to appreciate your employees? All of us here at Lang’s are ready to make your day memorable. Contact Dayna at 401.944.0500 or dayna@langsbowlarama.com to get the ball rolling!

Plan Your Bachelor or Bachelorette Bowling Bash!

A bachelor or bachelorette party must accomplish two things: bring you and your friends together to celebrate the momentous occasion of marriage, and be fun!

If you’ve been thrust into the role of Best Man or Maid of Honor, you’ve got a lot of planning to do for your party! Fortunately, some friendly competition on the bowling lanes can be a great way to have fun and bring friends together.

Settle on the Details … And Send the Invitations

The first step to planning a bowling-themed bachelor or bachelorette party is to pick a location and a date. Unless your mansion has lanes built in, book the time and space at your local bowling alley before another event steals the date.

Not every facility accommodates a private party well. But The Nelson at Lang’s Bowlarama offers you a beautifully renovated mid-century modern space with a private bar, along with 40 pristine lanes for fun bowling!

You also should get your guests in the bowling-frame of mind with themed invitations. Not only are these enjoyable, but they tell guests what they can expect.

Ask to Speak to the Events Manager

When you call the bowling alley to plan the party, speak to the events manager. At Lang’s you would talk to Dayna (401.944.0500 or dayna@langsbowlarama.com), who would go through all the details with you to ensure your party is memorable and offers what you want.

Ask how the facility can help you plan the themed party to honor your special bride or groom. They’ll help you decide what food to serve and walk you through everything else.

 Personalize the Experience

While the bowling alley will provide most of your supplies (shoes, bowling balls, beverages, and snacks), the groom or bride will have a more memorable time when you personalize it.

Order custom t-shirts or baseball caps for the party. Besides being a great way to divvy up teams, these items can serve as party favors when the party is over.

Competitive Shenanigans

After your teams are assigned, get the games going. Friendly competition will keep your bachelor or bachelorette party rolling along. And it will motivate the party-goers to play their best.

Bachelorette or Bachelor inspired bowling team names can add tons of fun and humor. Perhaps you can offer a prize to the team with the best name.

If you live in Southern New England and want to plan an unfogettable  bachelor or bachelorette bowling party at Lang’s, call or email Dayna at 401.944.0500 or dayna@langsbowlarama.com.

 

 

Business Lessons from Google’s Private Bowling Alley

For years, we’ve heard how Silicon Valley is an amazing place to work. With free lunches, napping pods, and games to be played at almost every corporate headquarters, it’s a mystery how any work gets done at all … or is it?

While corporate culture might seem incompatible with bowling alleys and ping pong tables, things have changed in the last decade or two. Now, companies want to focus on employees at every level – because they risk losing them to competitors who will appreciate them. Doing so reduces turnover and boosts loyalty.

Google understands this workplace trend and has stepped ahead of it. Let’s examine some business lessons from Google’s private bowling alley. See why it works for them, so you can improve your business.

Promote Team Building from Within

Since Google has a bowling alley at their corporate headquarters, Googleplex, in Mountain View, California, teams simply book time on the lanes and go roll a few strikes and spares together. Considered the most popular participatory sport in America, bowling has been proven to bring people together and forge relationships.

Want to know more? See our blog post about why bowling strengthens your business team.

Reduce Turnover

Hiring a new employee is said to cost about 150 percent of that person’s first year of salary. When you tally up HR costs, employee turnover is expensive. When companies invest in their employees, turnover drops. Maybe the bowling alley at the Googleplex campus is a better investment than it appears to be on the surface.

Boost Focus

Since employees are encouraged to have fun while on the job, Googlers aren’t dying to clock out at the end of the day. Instead, employees at Google work longer and harder without complaint. Since they can go bowl a few rounds during their corporate meeting, there’s no rush to get out by six.

Happy Employees = Happy Business Owners

A grumbling employee drags his feet through the day. One that feels appreciated and happy is excited and eager to get things done. While it can be difficult to measure this, small actions to improve workplace morale can produce a lasting impact. And simple appreciation events, like taking your team bowling, can make a difference.

Apply Google’s Business Lessons to Your Company

Since Google employs thousands of people, building a bowling alley in their corporate headquarters was a sound investment. For smaller companies, this just isn’t feasible. But borrowing from their lessons could be good for your business.

Instead of dedicating the ground floor of your office building to your own private lanes, book ours and we’ll set everything up for you. Take a hint from Google – Contact Dayna at 401.944.0500 or dayna@langsbowlarama.com to set up an unforgettable event!

Why Off-Beat Brides Love a Bowling Bash

Every year, more couples decide to forego tradition and get married in more unique and creative ways. For example, we know of a friend who recently proposed to his fiancé by giving her a KitchenAid Mixer rather than a traditional engagement ring. Can you imagine how creative their special day will be? Rec_0397.jpg

Although weddings remain a multi-billion dollar industry, a new trend has emerged. Couples choose to shirk the consumerist mentality and focus on having fun – both for themselves and the guests. This often means doing things on a budget. And doing things their way without compromise.

Why Offbeat Weddings Are Trending

Not only has the internet bred a crafty, do-it-yourself subculture, it has shown people endless options on how to save money on almost anything – including weddings.

Not only does an offbeat wedding give you more autonomy, you create a unique wedding experience, and you stand to save thousands of dollars. Plus, it’ll be a memory of a lifetime that is yours alone.

Rec_0290Offbeat weddings save couples thousands and why does it save money? Because traditional wedding venues and services raise their prices as soon as you utter the word “wedding.” Sometimes the location rental alone can cost $5,000 to $15,000 – before you’ve done anything else!

But making it “DIY” can add hours of extra projects and tasks to your to-do list. That’s why more brides every year choose to host their weddings at unique venues like bowling alleys because the venues relieve some of the burden.

Dancing, Buffet, and Bowling

When she learned she would not get a raise, Rachel Sifuentes decided to host her 70-person wedding at a Chicago-area bowling alley.

“Luckily, everything turned out to be great,” Sifuentes told CNN. She saved money and had a blast hosting her bowling bash. With the cash she saved, she was able to invite more friends and loved ones and have a delicious Italian buffet.

Sifuentes worried that her guests might notice how much money she saved by going off the beaten path. She also didn’t want her special day “to be a tacky wedding.”

But as Sifuentes and her now-husband followed their attendees down the center bowling “aisle” through an artful bowling pin design that faded into the dimmed background, the offbeat bride’s worries melted away. Her special day was a dream come true. And guests danced the night away in between bowling games in her private area.

Rec_0315.jpgIn August of 2016, Lang’s Bowlarama hosted a 200 person wedding for a special couple. They were married off-site, but guests enjoyed cocktail hour in The Nelson Event Center, a 3 course seated meal, and danced and bowled the night away to a DJ. It was as fancy as any wedding could be – with beautiful linens and centerpieces, a sweetheart table on the actual lanes, and a beautiful cake and candy buffet display! Guests raved about it was one of the most fun weddings they’d ever been to, and at the end of the night they wanted to stay and bowl longer because they were having so much fun!

Look Back at an Amazing Memory

Weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. And couples will look back at their special day for the life of their relationship.Rec_0004.jpg

At Lang’s Bowlarama, we have experience hosting offbeat bowling weddings. We offer private accommodations and work with you to make your dream wedding happen. You’re dealing with enough stress, so we’ll do as much of the legwork for you as we can! Our on site Event Planner will help you with all the details to make the day go smoothly. Not ready to completely commit to a bowling wedding? Check out The Nelson Event Center for an unforgettable Engagement Party, Bachelor/ette Party, Bridal Shower or Rehearsal Dinner!

To hear more about our last successful wedding or to learn more, call 401-944-0500 and ask for Dayna! Or you can email her at dayna@langsbowlarama.com.

3 Ingredients Every Meaningful Team Outing Shares

Your company performs better when your teams are stronger and united. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to help the individuals see their colleagues in a different light. Fun, strategic out-of-work activities can expedite this rewarding process.

Planning a team outing doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. But if you don’t tap into the core of what you’re trying to do, it could end up being a waste of time and money. Inject these three ingredients into your next team outing to make it more impactful and effective!

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Have a ball with your team at Lang’s Bowlarama!

Don’t Stray Far from “Team”

If you’re just taking your group out for drinks, that’ll probably make them feel good or appreciated, but you’re not going to boost the strength of your team. To do that, you need to find a way to unite them around a common cause. Team activities, including bowling, are the simplest way to do this.

While parties are fun, they encourage people to fall into their comfortable cliques. Instead, organize your outing by building teams that encourage unfamiliar people to work together. This helps them discover another person’s personality and work style, which could reap benefits in the workplace.

Encourage Creativity through Comfort

When you’re with friends and people you’re comfortable with, you tend to dream up bigger ideas. Successful team outings not only encourage people to be more creative, but help more people in your team become comfortable with others at your company.

If you can help strangers at the workplace become acquainted and friendly, you’re encouraging an environment of innovation and creativity across departments. Just think about how more minds on the same wavelength could improve job performance and generate new solutions to your existing problems.

Always Highlight Communication

We’ve all been subjected to those cheesy team-building activities that encourage communication. Clearly, those lost our interest back in middle school. But that doesn’t mean they were inherently wrong.

Encouraging communication during your team outings is a fundamental ingredient to making them meaningful. Make communication integral to your event. If you can get your team members leaving with the ability to communicate better with just one other person, then you’ve succeeded.

Schedule Your Successful Team Outing!

Bowling has long been considered a great team outing and for very good reasons. As an affordable activity that encourages team building and camaraderie, reward your team with a few games on the lanes! Plus, you can mix your team up and foster new advantageous connections within your company.

Lang’s Bowlarama is a great place to host your next Team Building event! Contact Dayna at 401.944.0500 or dayna@langsbowlarama.com to get the ball rollin’!

5 Tips to Make Your Company’s Holiday Party the Best Party Ever!

It’s that time of year – time to book the annual company holiday party! You want your company’s holiday party to be the highlight of the year. After all, it is the culmination and celebration of another successful year, in which your employees dedicated their time and energy to growing your organization!

canstockphoto19223414_partyStaff appreciate that you’re throwing a holiday party for them. So, if you want to make it one of the best events of the year, simply incorporate the following five tips.

Involve Everyone!

When you include employees, interns, temporary staff, and even volunteers, you’re recognizing every individual who keeps your organization running. While it costs more to include everybody in your year-end bash, your holiday party is not the time to skimp on invitations.

Without your staff, progress would be non-existent, and happy staff remain productive staff! Splurge and invite everyone who makes what you do possible.

If It’s Small, Make It Count

Not every company has a hundred or more employees—or an enormous budget, but that hardly means that small and microbusinesses should skip the holiday tradition.

Instead of planning an elaborate event, keep it small and make it memorable. Take employees out to a special lunch or dinner—or better yet, play hooky on a December afternoon and head to our lanes for a few rounds of bowling, beer, and well-earned fun.

Good, Clean Fun

While an open bar will certainly translate to increased turnout, real fun creates better memories. Volunteering, non-work communication and other activities foster comradery, which is exactly what you want to see in your team.

Set a Clear Intention

Everyone enjoys being recognized and appreciated. Give back to your employees by making sure they know you’re throwing this year’s holiday party for them. Plus, don’t punish anyone who may not be able to make it.

Extra tip: give your employees a few hours off and throw your party in the afternoon which eliminates the need for babysitters and will help make it possible for everyone to be there!

Cut Your Employees Some Slack

If you’re throwing your corporate holiday party during the day, reduce your employees’ workload accordingly. If your party is on a work night and drinking is involved, don’t expect everyone to show up at 8:30 a.m. sharp with bright eyes. In the giving spirit of the holidays, give your employees a break.

Make Your Holiday Party Count

Turn your holiday party into the highlight of the year. Book space on our bowling lanes or a private room for your entire team! Just call Dayna at 401-944-0500 and we’ll make it happen! Happy Holidays!

One Surefire Way to Improve Attendance at Your Next Fundraiser—Make It Fun!

downloadWhen it comes to raising money for your foundation or cause, it’s always a challenge to separate donors from their money. Even though people feel good contributing to a worthy cause, they often feel bombarded by opportunities begging them for their hard-earned money. So how do you stand out and help them choose you?

If you’re organizing a fundraising event, you’re already one step ahead of the curve. Far too many organizations rely solely on online fundraising platforms to acquire the money they need to turn their dream into reality.

You already have a plan, sent out “Save the Date” invitations, and promoted your event to everyone in your network. Now everything is out of your hands, right? Wrong! You can still influence the outcome of your event and boost attendance. How? Simply by making the event fun!

Location, Location, Location

Whether you’re raising money for the local sports team or to help the homeless, you can set your organization apart and attract attention by hosting the event at an exciting location.

Why settle for a boring conference room or run-of-the-mill hotel space when you could excite and entice people to participate?

Lang’s Bowlarama offers a renovated space equipped with a bar and bowling alleys that can easily accommodate dozens of prospective donors. Bowling or other fun, similar activities give guests an additional reason to attend your event.

Inspire Donors with Games, Incentives, and Gratitude

Every fundraising event is better with games and other fun activities. Who wants to discuss the depressing state of the world all evening?

But even if you are bowling, don’t let your event stop there. Design fun incentives to inspire your participants and donors.

When people can win something, they invest more energy and focus. Work with local merchants to offer prizes for “best bowler,” “highest team score,” or even “lowest score” if your group has a good sense of humor.

For example, you can create progressive donation goals using a thermometer-shaped chart. When milestones are met, make someone in your organization wear a funny wig or get a cream pie in the face.

Always remember to say ‘thank you’ often to your donors and participants. A little recognition goes a long way, especially when someone is supporting a good cause.

Now Go Put the “Fun” Back in Fundraising

It is already hard enough to ask someone for their money. And you won’t bore people into donating to your cause.

When you inject some fun into your fundraising, more people will show up and more people will donate.

Every smile you put onto an eventgoer’s face, gets you one step closer to making the world a better place.

Ready to Raise Some Funds?

Contact Dayna at 401.944.0500, or dayna@langsbowlarama.com and discuss how Lang’s Bowlarama can turn your fundraising event into the fun, successful event you want and need it to be.

6 Reasons to Throw a Summer Bowling Party!

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Host a fun summer party!

With summer officially here, everyone in Rhode Island is heading to the beach. While that’s great, too many people miss out on a best kept secret—summer bowling parties. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, bowling can be an awesome way to party with your family and friends! Here are six reasons you should throw a bowling party this summer.

1. Come Party Rain or Shine
Unless you’re new to Rhode Island, you know that not only are our summers hot and humid, they slam us with an unexpected thunderstorm or two. Planning a party is hard enough as it is. But when it rains, an outdoor party is ruined. Book at Lang’s and you’re ready to party—rain or shine.

2. Beat the Heat
When temperatures start soaring into the 80s or 90s, it gets harder to motivate ourselves to get up and go. If you’re planning a summer party outside, hot Rhode Island days in July and August can kill the mood just as much as feet of snow can in the winter. Come enjoy some indoor fun on our air conditioned lanes and in our Skyline Lounge!

3. Less Planning Work for You
People who just show up to your party never seem to appreciate just how much hard work went into making the event spectacular. Instead of putting the burden on your shoulders, let us help plan your summer party! That gives you more free time to go out and actually enjoy the special occasion.

4. Forget the Mess
If we’re talking about a summer birthday party here, you know how messy 10-15 kids can be. They drop cake, they spill drinks … it’s a hassle to clean up after them when they leave your house. Since we offer affordable, all-included packages for parties, leave the mess to us.

5. Make It a Surprise
If you’ve ever planned a surprise party, you know how hard it is to keep the event hidden from the special person—especially if it’s hosted at your home. Make the surprise easier by driving them to us. We’ll do all the decorating for you to make the surprise exceptional.

6. Pizza, Beer, and More—All In One Place
Whether your guests are 7 or 70, we’ve got you covered. You can enjoy hot pizza and a full bar with a great draft and craft beer selection. We also offer healthier options that make moms happy like organic juice and whole wheat pizza crust! Want something fancy? We offer a full catering menu with hot entrees, appetizers, desserts and more!

Is a Summer Bowling Party Right for You?
We think so! At Lang’s Bowlarama, we handle all the details to make your summer party shine. Contact Dayna at 401.944.0500, or dayna@langsbowlarama.com for more information today.

Steal These Ideas and Plan the Best Surprise Party!

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Plan a surprise party at the Skyline Event Center!

When planning the best surprise party for your special person, you don’t want to leave things up to chance. Whether the party is for a loved one’s birthday, a coworker’s retirement, or your department’s hardworking staff, flawlessly executing the event can be a daunting task. You have a lot of things to juggle all at once!

As you plan and execute your next surprise party, steal these ideas to make sure your event goes off without a hitch!

When NOT to Make an Entrance…
What’s the best way to ruin a surprise party? Have a guest show up late and accidentally give it all away! Schedule the meet-up time much earlier—at least 30 minutes—before the special person’s arrival. Clearly explain it’s a SURPRISE party in the invitation and late arrivals could ruin the fun.

If someone is late, be proactive. Call or text him/her. Ask him/her to wait in the car until the surprise is over. Explain that he/she’s cutting it close and could ruin everything. After you’ve surprised the special person, call the late attendee and invite them on in to party.

The Early Bird … Doesn’t Stress
Of course it’s possible to plan a surprise party in a week—if you’re a very organized person. But with so many moving parts, why struggle and stress to get everything right? Start planning a few weeks, or maybe even months, before the party date to reduce the chances of ruining the surprise.

Video Killed the Radio Star …
After weeks or months of planning, don’t let the big “SURPRISE!” moment go by without getting it on video along with some great pics. Yes, everyone’s phone has a camera now, but why not pass around a bunch of disposable cameras? This way you’ll collect lots of images and you don’t have to wait for anyone to email them to you.

This Isn’t Sixteen Candles—Don’t “Forget Their Birthday”
With all of the hard work you’re investing into the party, don’t inadvertently make the special person feel like everyone’s forgotten! That could hurt her feelings, and the surprise might not compensate for the disappointment she’s felt all day.

The best surprise parties happen when you continue to live life the way you normally would. Maybe you can plan a small decoy gathering or plan a “just you and me” outing. Make sure you demonstrate she’s still on your mind—she’ll suspect nothing.

Three Common Surprise Spoilers—Avoid at All Cost!
1. Children have trouble keeping secrets—don’t tell them about the surprise party weeks before the event. If you need to tell them at all, let them know the day of, that way they don’t have to keep the secret for long.
2. Keep decorations inside and hidden. If you’re boosting your surprise party with flashing lights or other attention-grabbing decorations, make sure they’re not visible from outside the venue.
3. Don’t leave clues. If the special person finds clues, the whole event could be compromised. Keep all receipts hidden and make sure not to accidentally email the person of the hour!

Location, Location, Location
When it comes to throwing a memorable surprise party, you need to know what your special person likes, and there are lots of options … you could host the party at home, a park, hotel, or a beach. But if your special person loves bowling, or simply hanging out with friends with some good food and drinks, a surprise party at Lang’s Bowlarama just might be your perfect location!

If you want to make your next surprise party is a memory of a lifetime, contact Dayna at 401-944-0500 to discuss your options! The Skyline Event Center is a great spot to host a surprise party! With affordable prices, full bar, delicious catering options and more, it’s a great spot to host a great event!