Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to transition a classroom game into a larger event.

Many trainers use Gameshow Pro in their classrooms; in small-to-medium sized groups in a somewhat-intimate atmosphere. The energy it brings to the smaller training class is undeniable; it increases engagement, participation and content retention.

But can the small classroom solution translate into something like, say, a larger event? Sure a game show is fun in training a small group of sales reps, but what about in a room of 500? Will it even work? How does one even begin transitioning from a classroom game into a larger event game?

The answers are: Yes, game shows translate into large events. Yes, they invigorate a large group in the same way they add energy and interaction in a small group. Yes, it has worked time and time again.

And here are a few strategies and considerations for transitioning a classroom game into a game within a larger event:

Team selection: Whereas everyone in a small class may get to directly participate on a team, that's not always possible in a larger group. There are three options for team engagement in a big-group game show:
  1. Use audience-response keypads: If enough are available, giving everyone in the audience an audience response keypad is the most straightforward way of engaging everyone. Audience members can individually play along, but Gameshow Pro also allows you to group individuals on teams--creating a compelling, competitive dynamic. No "stage teams" are needed in this scenario.
  2. Use a mix of keypads and on-stage players: You may also want to have representative team members playing on stage to "ham it up" or to take the audience response into consideration for their answers.
  3. Use representative players on stage: Even if you have no keypads, you can engage and entertain everyone by selecting members of the audience to come play on a smaller team onstage. The rest of the audience members are still "part of" the team--they're responsible for cheering the team on and may reap some rewards if their team wins--but they don't have to directly interact with the game on stage. 
Host selection: While a small classroom game can be a scalable event--from a quiet Tic-Tac-Toe game to a rousing Classroom Feud--with a large event, bigger and broader is better. You'll want to make sure that your host is able to play to the crowd as well as team members, educate when needed, and to keep things moving. This doesn't need to be a professional emcee, but it should be someone who enjoys the spotlight and is very comfortable on stage--where anything can happen.

Simplify the rules: In a classroom you may have a chance to answer clarifying questions about the game rules as you go along. In a larger group this may not be possible, or it may be harder to control chaos from unclear rules as you go along. Make sure your game show rules are simple, clear and that everyone knows them. Playing a sample game question to get audience members familiar with the format, keypads and game logistics is a great idea.

Have someone else run the game: It's easy to click-through a game show (especially using Game Show Pro) and host at the same time in a smaller classroom. In a larger event setting, you'll want your computer hooked in to the A/V equipment and that may preclude you from controlling the game. Even if you do have access to the game controls, hosting and running through the game on stage in a large setting takes a lot more energy and focus than you'll want to spend. Get a colleague or technician to run the game software for you if you can.

Format selection: You may want to switch out a traditionally formatted game for alternate game play when bringing it on the big stage. For instance, we often make Tic-Tac-Toe into a Hollywood-Squares-Type game, utilizing different experts and presenters throughout the game.

When in doubt? Call in the experts. We'd be happy to help you transition your classroom game into a larger event.

No comments: