Monday, April 5, 2010

Article: How [LearningWare]* Makes Content Fun in Virtual Environments to Drive Engagement


How [LearningWare]* Makes Content Fun in Virtual Environments to Drive Engagement

By: Frank Spinelli

Content is king. That is the mantra throughout the event industry. Technology is all well and good, but at the end of the day, what keeps users engaged is not graphics but content. And too often, content is left up to the client who may know what to say, but not how to say it in an engaging way.

Studies have shown that virtual event attendees do not stay engaged for as long as physical attendees. Whatever the cause—politeness in a face-to-face context, the anonymity of the virtual experience which allows disengagement for periods of time—the need to create content that not only grabs attention, but holds it is vital to the success of the industry. Minneapolis-based [LearningWare] develops creative and unique solutions to content delivery. With its [product], All Play Web and sister company Live Spark, [LearningWare] has a foot in both the virtual and physical worlds and seeks to keep users engaged in both.

One of the keys to keeping users engaged is to give them a stake in the outcome, according to ... Creative VP Missy Covington. Using games and quizzes, for example, can bring out a competitive drive, one sure way to hold focus. Animated characters (AniMates), voiced by local Minneapolis acting talent, can be a strong complement to live event activities. Live Spark produces both physical and virtual events, and until recently, has produced them as separate entities. They are beginning to experiment with hybrid events, however, the roster of animated characters being one virtual element augmenting their physical events.

One of the topics at this year’s Virtual Edge Summit has been incorporating successful elements of online gaming into the production of virtual content. If gamers willingly spend hours online, the theory goes, perhaps the industry can find ways to recreate that experience in its presentation of content (without the blood and guts). [LearningWare] has taken a playful approach to this theory. By utilizing games and animation, they hope to deliver content in a way keeps users in their seats while maintaining the integrity of the information. When a potential client is advised, “Make sure your content is compelling,” the question of how is often left unanswered. [LearningWare] can provide those answers in a unique and fun way.

*Both Live Spark and LearningWare presented at the Virtual Edge Summit. AllPlay Web, referenced here, is a LearningWare product, though the article references the offerings of both companies

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