CMEpalooza Pursuit (Master Edition): The True Story

I have gotten a number of inquiries over the last few days about some of the clues in our CMEpalooza Pursuit sponsor event that launched on Monday, specifically about those in our “A Day in the Life of Derek Warnick category.” Basically, people are questioning the veracity of the story line behind the clues.

I’m here to clear things up once and for all today — yes, with unquestioned certainty, everything in our clues is absolutely true. Neither Derek nor I would ever create fictitious whimsy to deceive our audience. That would just be mean.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Well then maybe you should set time aside these next few days to complete your entry forms (CMEpalooza Pursuit is an excellent activity to pursue while keeping one eye on March Madness). The details were all in Monday’s blog post announcing our event, but here are the highlights for you once again.

Here is how you play CMEpalooza Pursuit (Master Edition):

  1. Download these forms. This includes an answer sheet along with all of the categories and clues.
  2. Call up the CMEpalooza Sponsor page. This is where you’ll be able to find links to all of the companies that are part of this game. I can promise you that none of the correct answers are layered very deep in each organization’s website – it should take you no more than one (and in rare cases, two) clicks to find each answer.
  3. There are eight CMEpalooza Pursuit (Master Edition) categories. A successful entry includes one correct answer from every category.
  4. Because there are at least three companies in each category, you can submit up to three unique entries. That would give you three entries into our prize drawing. But submitting one or two completed entries is also fine.
  5. Send along your completed entry forms to me via email at scott@excaliburmeded.com. You have one week — the entry deadline is 9 am ET on Monday, March 21. We’ll have the prize drawing in a super secret location (ie, my kitchen) that afternoon and notify our winners soon thereafter.

Launching Now: CMEpalooza Pursuit (Master Edition)

Let’s get this out of the way first – we have A LOT of sponsors for CMEpalooza Spring. Twenty-nine to be exact. It’s not that either Derek or I are complaining — well, at least not much — but more sponsors means more work for us to deliver what we promise everyone.

For Derek, that means 13 company-specific haikus are on the way (3 Gold sponsors, 10 silver sponsors) and 8 more devoted to each individual session. It’s a good thing he took that poetry-writing seminar last month (note from Derek: grumble grumble grumble…I mean, each one is sure to be an award winner!)

For me, that means digging into the websites of all 29 of these companies to come up with clues for our special sponsor event. It’s really the one chance I get each spring and fall to see what the CME community is up to, and I can assure you that there is some very cool work being done right now. Hopefully, some of you will agree with me as you do your research into this week.

Yes, indeed, we’re back with a very special version of CMEpalooza Pursuit (Master Edition). Why the Master Edition? Well, instead of sticking to the traditional Trivial Pursuit categories, or even those included in one of their many, many special versions, I created my own categories this time. A lot of them center on my own personal interests (Tennis, Philadelphia, On Your Plate) while others are quirky and random (Crime of the Century, A Day in the Life of Derek Warnick). Hopefully you’ll find this experience both informative and entertaining.

And of course, we’re not asking you to play along simply for your own edification. There are cash prizes involved. For starters, all correct entries will be entered into our prize drawing for 1 of 5 $100 Amazon gift cards. And new this year, all correct entries will also be entered into the “Play at Home” sweepstakes as part of our 3 pm ET CMEpalooza Spring session, “CMEpalooza Feud,” where you can win $250. If those two opportunities don’t make you tell your neighbors to “Turn down that blasted rock music so I can focus!”, I don’t know what will.

Here is how you play CMEpalooza Pursuit (Master Edition):

  1. Download these forms. This includes an answer sheet along with all of the categories and clues.
  2. Call up the CMEpalooza Sponsor page. This is where you’ll be able to find links to all of the companies that are part of this game. I can promise you that none of the correct answers are layered very deep in each organization’s website – it should take you no more than one (and in rare cases, two) clicks to find each answer.
  3. There are eight CMEpalooza Pursuit (Master Edition) categories. A successful entry includes one correct answer from every category.
  4. Because there are at least three companies in each category, you can submit up to three unique entries. That would give you three entries into our prize drawing. But submitting one or two completed entries is also fine.
  5. Send along your completed entry forms to me via email at scott@excaliburmeded.com. You have one week — the entry deadline is 9 am ET on Monday, March 21. We’ll have the prize drawing in a super secret location (ie, my kitchen) that afternoon and notify our winners soon thereafter.

That’s about it. I think I hear Derek knocking on my door asking if he can take shortcuts with the haikus this year. No, no you can’t. (Note from Derek: Dang it!)

Get Ready for the CMEpalooza Money Grab

Back in 2004, there was an iconic episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show where she gifted everyone in the audience a brand new car. Let’s ignore that this was a promotional stunt whose cost was covered in full by the car manufacturer (Pontiac, which was phased out as a car brand 6 years later, so um, maybe not the lifesaving investment they had hoped for). We’ll also disregard that this didn’t personally cost Oprah herself a cent. We’ll even overlook the fact that each “winning” audience member was on the hook for a tax bill of around $7,000. It was still a rather generous and exciting moment in television history.

I bring this up today only because ’tis the season for CMEpalooza giveaways, and we promise that these won’t cost you a dime. Over the last several years, Derek and I have found a number of ways to share our meager wealth with the CMEpalooza audience through a variety of mechanisms. We try to be creative – there is our special sponsor event, some sort of trivia or other session during our actual live broadcast day, and a few other things sprinkled about. This year, however, we are going to be even more generous than usual, and it probably behooves those of you who like to win free money to be on the lookout for these upcoming opportunities:

  1. Our special sponsor event will kick off next Monday (March 14). I haven’t thought of a theme yet, but I can promise you that it won’t have anything to do with Wordle, or Quordle, or Nerdle, or Poeltl (note from Derek: you forgot Worldle and Heardle.) This is probably also a good reminder for any potential sponsor who is on the fence about their participation this year to get in on the action soon. Many, many thousands of CME professionals participate in our Sponsor event each year, bringing many, many thousands of sets of eyeballs to all of our amazing Sponsors. If you get in your commitment by this Friday, you’ll get included in this Spring’s sponsor event. Total Prize Fund: $500
  2. The CMEpalooza Feud — I’m not 100% sure how this is going to work (note from Derek: way to sell it, Scott), but for now, I’m thinking that everyone who successfully completes our special sponsor event but does not win one of our Amazon gift card prizes will be thrown into the bucket to be one of our “at home” players during our session at 3 pm ET during CMEpalooza Spring. We’ll give away even more gift cards then. Total Prize Fund: $500
  3. CMEpalooza Feeds the People — We initially trotted this out in the Fall of 2020, and thanks to the generous folks at Academic CME, it’s back again this Spring (let’s hope that Academic CME doesn’t go the way of Pontiac). We’ll put a call for “applicants” later this month – really, you’ll just need to send Derek an email with a photo of what you ate for dinner last week and you’ll be entered into the drawing for a $15 Grubhub gift card to cover the cost of lunch during CMEpalooza Spring. We’re giving away lots of these (“You Grubhub and you Grubhub and you Grubhub!”). More details to come. Total Prize Fund: $375