Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Happy Accident for AllPlay Web Webinars

We were asked to sit in on a customer's webinar (where he was going to be utilizing AllPlay Web).

He wanted to do a discovery run (not even as polished as a dry run) to figure out how his content should flow, which slides should go where, and when to play which questions in the course of the webinar. (The screencap on the side is one of his AllPlay Web questions.)

And--as with any first time--there were some hiccups. We found ourselves seeing some of the questions only to have our host say, "Whoops, I haven't covered that yet!" and switching quickly back into the content. However, two things happened:

1. We were surprised how competitive we got, considering that we had NO knowledge of the dry topic. We really focused in on the details and data of the webinar--knowing that things may be covered later. We found ourselves taking notes (with specific details of content WE DIDN'T CARE ABOUT) in order to get correct answers.

2. Related to the mistake of showing questions before their time: We became laser-focused in on that content. We knew we were going to find the answer somewhere in the webinar material coming up, so we payed extra-close attention to getting those questions answered.

So what are the implications of our accidental discovery?
  • It's definitely important to pre-frame the game at the beginning of the webinar. Tell the participants right away that they'll be playing a game--competing against each other.
  • There's really no substitute for competition. We felt compelled not just to interact (i.e. like with polling) but to get the *right* answer to demonstrate our attention. There was skin in the game, so to speak.
  • It's not a bad idea to preview which questions are going to be in the game before the content is covered. Especially if there is content you want to be sure to focus on or highlight. It's not tipping your hat, it's shifting the attendee focus to the most important place.
Time and time again, we're surprised by the amazing experience that we have as *participants* using our products. What we mean is, we spend a lot of time testing and practicing internally, but there's really no substitute for the real-world experience of the game shows--and seeing the absolute joy and effectiveness they bring to a webinar or training session.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Custom! Custom! Custom!

Wow! Whoever coined the term "lazy summer" sure wasn't talking about us over here at LearningWare.

You may have noticed that our blog and Facebook page has been updated a little sporadically over August so far, and there's a reason for that: We've been on the road--creating and producing custom audience-response game shows!

If you're following this blog, you're (probably) already familiar with our Gameshow Pro classroom game show solution, as well as our webinar solution (AllPlay Web), assessment solution (AllPlay) and our online solution (QuizPoint). What makes the custom game shows different from our off-the-shelf software listed is that they're completely redesigned from the ground-up with custom graphics, programming, game play, etc.

Here are just a few of our summer highlights:

"The Fairway 2 Heaven"
[Image seen above]

We traveled to Pebble Beach, CA to produce the "Fairway 2 Heaven"--a themed game show event that took place during their Circle of Excellence. The game had custom golf-themed graphics (appropriate for Pebble Beach) and included audience response pads. However, the audience didn't just play along on teams. At different points, we "highlighted" audience member keypads for high-stakes play. The game was also programmed so that audience members could "wager" on whether they thought their colleagues would answer a question correctly--or not.

"The PulteGroup Smackdown!"

To reinforce information over a 3-day event, we programmed "The PulteGroup Smackdown". Audience members were divided into six teams that stayed together throughout the three days, and competed in progressively building challenges. The Smackdown highlighted and reviewed key content; from one day to the next it became the "Planning Smackdown" or the "Coaching Smackdown" or the "Sales Process Smackdown"

The picture shown was taken by an audience member--illustrating their keypad (coded by team color) and the opening game screen in the background.

"The Deep Dive"
[Not shown]

A mixture of polling and competition, all in the same game! The "Deep Dive" for EBMS featured graphics that matched their oceanic deep-dive theme, and focused on gathering information and reinforcing knowledge. Since the audience was made up of clients, EBMS wanted to more deeply investigate the needs and behaviors of the audience as well as engage them and energize them with a game show. With custom programming, we were able to securely assign keypads and track data, seamlessly ask polling questions, and also switch to team competition that brought down the house.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hershey Uses Gameshow Pro in Their Orientations

In the July issue of IAAPA's (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) Funworld Magazine (how great is that name!), LearningWare received a featured mention.

The article, by Jeremy Schoolfield, detailed how Hershey has altered its orientation program to reflect the nature of the company---and this includes using Gameshow Pro!

From the article:

Orientation Should Be Fun, Too
Making orientation fun doesn’t fall solely on the ambassadors—Hershey goes to great lengths to ensure the entire process is set for success, right down to how the new employees are seated.
The training room is called a “Legacy Zone,” and it’s designed to feel like anything but a stodgy classroom. Current and historic Hershey jingles play over speakers while company trivia flashes on the walls. Rather than rows upon rows of desks, employees sit in table clusters that Buffington says are more conducive to a social atmosphere.

“We immerse them in the culture right away and get them excited,” she says. “This company sells experiences, and we’re trying to model what we expect.”

The orientation program thus minimizes lectures and maximizes interaction. Hershey uses Gameshow Pro software from Minnesota-based LearningWare (www.LearningWare. com) to set up its own “Jeopardy!”-style trivia game about the brand and its legacy. “We’re educating them on who we are in a fun way,” Buffington says.

Orientation also includes a “Bingo”-type get-to-know-one- another mixer game (as opposed to just the boring ol’ “My name is …” introductions) and employs videos and other multimedia programming wherever possible—anything to keep it from being one person standing in front of the group talking for too long.

“We’re an entertainment and hospitality company—so the first step is being entertaining and hospitable,” says Public Relations Manager Kathy Burrows.
You can read the entire article here.
[Photo from article, credit: Giniwoy]