Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Game Board Previews

Our Twitter and Facebook followers have already gotten a sneak-peek at our new game skins for Gameshow Pro game boards, but in case you haven't seen them, take a look here: New Game Skin Album.

We've re-designed 4 of our most popular Gameshow Pro games with 10 new game skins, including designs such as: Retro Modern (shown here), Construction, Corporate, and Red Hot. Re-vamped games include Categories, Tic Tac Toe, Classroom Feud and Final Answer.

These new skins will be available shortly for FREE for existing Gameshow Pro (version 4) users, and will be included with all new Gameshow Pro licenses.

We're also adding NEW game formats AND game skins to our new AllPlay Web product. Check them out here: AllPlay Web New Game Preview Album.

New game formats include a Wager-to-Win game and a Tic Tac Toe game--and that's just for starters. As with the AllPlay Web standard format, everyone can play along in a webinar or web conference using virtual keypads.

Check out these new, fresh updates to our already incredibly effective, industry-leading software, and keep your eyes open for even more new things from LearningWare!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

AllPlay at an Event: The Experient Experience.

Imagine taking the classroom audience response experience of an AllPlay game show--every single person playing along, engaged and motivated--and expanding it to a large event audience of ~250.

That's exactly what happened in the Experient event. With the cooperation of our sister company, Live Spark, we produced a customized AllPlay audience response game show that kept everyone in the audience involved, kept the energy in the event high, and reinforced crucial content.

The theme of the event was "CSI: Customer Strategy Investigation". The goal was to train the audience (all functionaries within the meeting industry) to be more strategic with their clients. The audience was given a case study before the event--but the key players were unsure whether they would read it and how much they would take away from it. In addition to the case study information, attendees also had to gather "clues" throughout the event. At the end of the event, teams had to present solutions to the case study utilizing the information and clues.

The "CSI Smackdown"--a customized AllPlay audience-response game show--was developed to:
  • Reinforce key case study information.
  • Reinforce and point out clues.
  • Supplement a few key presentation points from the keynote speaker.
  • Energize the audience in between sometimes-dry presentations.
  • Give everyone equal footing going into the case study presentation.
  • Be part of the bigger team challenge throughout the event (game show points for each team were added into their case study scores).
  • Keep the audience on-the-lookout for clues (lest they miss any points in the game show!).
GAME PLAY: The audience was divided into four teams. Each member of each team had a keypad--and the percentage of correct responses taken from each person on the team went their team's total score.

The CSI Smackdown was played throughout the four day event in rounds of 2-4 questions each. This was just enough of a "touch" to reinforce information and energize the room without making the event too much about the game show.

Scores accumulated over 4 days, but the second day, points were doubled. The third--tripled, and the fourth--quadrupled. This was so that--in theory--any team had the chance to leap ahead of the pack with a well-played question. This meant that all teams maintained a stake in the game--whether they were the top scoring team, or the bottom of the bunch.

THE RESULTS: Cheering. Energy. Excitement. Buzz about the game show. A little bit of smack-talking.

After each question, the teams saw the right answer, and were taken to a scoring screen. Four columns--one representing each of the teams--started to rise in suspense in accordance with the teams' scores. (Chants of "Go Team X" or "Go Team Y" were heard.) The column of the lowest scoring team would stop. . . then the next. . . then the next. . . and then the room erupted into cheers, high-fives, and a burst of energy as the highest scoring team was revealed. It's amazing the amount of rejoicing takes place after each question. There's nothing like it at an event.

Most importantly--at the end of the game show, teams had a better understanding of the content than when they began. Everyone was on equal footing so they could present their final case studies, and everyone had a heck of a lot of fun.

As seen in this picture below. After all...does that look like a typical corporate event to you?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Virtual Classroom: Virtually Imperfect

Recently, we attended the Virtual Edge Summit in Santa Clara California. We made the following observations:

  • There is a tremendous demand for "hybrid" events: conferences or training that occurs in-person and virtually. Sometimes together and simultaneously, sometimes separately and with a symbiotic relationship. This is driven by the demand for low-budget, internationally viable solutions AND the recognition of the ongoing value and effectiveness of face-to-face interactions. Personally, we're glad that we're not seeing much of an either-or opinion coming from the technology leaders. It's nice that the "real" classroom can co-exist in harmony with the virtual classroom.
  • There are a huge number of completely innovative solutions coming out for virtual conferences, trade shows, webinars, training sessions, etc. This includes streaming video at a rate unheard of in a virtual meeting space, 3-D rooms where participants can log in and "sit down", PowerPoints that stream along with a speaker along with a twitter feed and a chat feed and...well, anything else you'd want, really. It was downright inspiring to see what progress is being made and what new solutions are coming down the pipeline.
  • While virtual events and conferences have been around for over 5 years now, there's a lack of general knowledge in this area from the general populace. It seems like most people are just taking live presentations and putting them into a virtual tool instead of modifying them for a unique virtual situation. Part of this is ignorance; thinking that a web class is the same as an in-person class--save for the physical presence aspect. It's not.
And speaking of the last two points--the wide availability of solutions and the direct translation of in-person material to a virtual event, there was one thing that we *didn't* notice at the conference:


We're not talking about the emotion of the attendees, or just plain happy-sad-etc. expressions. We're talking about the effort to engage the attendees in an emotional experience within a webinar or web conference. Sure, virtual meeting spaces were designed to be pretty, streaming media was designed to add variety. But how do you keep participants engaged in a meaningful way when they're attending a session virtually?

AllPlay Web
was the only product of its kind there--the concept of playing a competitive game within a web conference (as opposed to simple polling) and getting to use teams was not only new to most attendees, but also tremendously popular.

Right now, we're looking at an industry not quite in its infancy, but rapidly growing in its youth. As people start to adopt virtual solutions in hybrid training and events, we look forward to being part of an incredible solution.