The Challenge

To assist a corporate events team succeed in having their Sales Conference participants learn the content presented as well as have fun. A global sales team of 250 people from a high tech company came together for a 2.5-day sales conference in The Muskokas, Canada. In past conferences participants were presented with numerous seminar tracks related to their position, geography and client base. The focus of the seminars was product features, functions, applications, and marketing programs. Feedback left organizers unhappy with the amount of learning during the conference. Participants also complained about the jammed packed schedule without much time for fun or socializing. Conference budgets had been cut over the last several years.

 

The Client

ASCI was appointed by the VP of Events to help with their annual sales conference. An aggressive group of 250 high tech sales people attend an annual sales conference to receive updates on products and marketing programs. The sales people tend to sell in high stress environments to other high tech companies and are considered the key to the organization’s success.

Objectives

  1. Help the sales people retain the technical and marketing information from the conference.
  2. Create an experience that sustains interest, addresses the competitive nature of the organization and the participants.
  3. Create a ½ day fun and competitive team-building event as a finale to the conference.

Strategies

ASCI created a two (2) day Go Game that incorporated the content from each seminar- sometimes in real time.

  • Go Game teams were created with a variety of disciplines on each team. Every seminar track was represented by at least one player on the team.
  •  After each seminar the Go Game would start. Participants were asked questions (2 to 4) about the seminars they attended.
  • A real time scoreboard was displayed to show how teams progressed and to increase competition.
  • The winning Go Game team members received significant prizes.
  • The winning team would be declared at a gala awards ceremony after 2 days of seminars and traditional Go Game play.

Process

  1. Several weeks before the Sales Conference, presentations and key learning objectives were extracted from seminars and integrated into Go Game missions.
  2. The Go Game is an interactive wireless technology based urban adventure game where teams of 3 to 10 players complete missions throughout a private or public game zone. Each team is equipped with a handheld wireless device (Blackberry Curve or LG 9800), a digital camera, a map of the game zone and some items required to complete various missions. The handheld devices are connected to the Internet so that players experience a rich user interface including hints, pictures, and videos. All missions are received and answered using the handheld devices. The GO Game was conceived as a high tech team building game and has been active globally for over three years. Teams compete by completing a series of mission types that range from interacting with professional actors playing roles that can range from Sales Managers, clients, Ninjas, Runaway Brides or spies. They will also be asked to challenge each other and create videos for later judging by the entire group. Customized missions are dispersed among ‘fun’ missions so that learning takes place in a ‘real life’ environment of stressful but fun competition. Each mission can be evaluated later to determine learning retention. The Go Game finale is the judging of the creative video missions by the other teams.
  3. After each workshop teams were asked questions relevant to the seminars they attended. The agenda:

Day One

Day Two

Seminar – 3 Go Game Missions about seminar Seminar – 3 Go Game Missions about seminar
Morning Break Morning Break
Seminar – 2 Go Game Missions about seminar Seminar – 4 Go Game Missions about seminar
Lunch Lunch
Creative Go Game Mission Seminar – 3 Go Game Missions about seminar
Seminar – 3 Go Game Missions about seminar Afternoon Break
Afternoon Break Seminar – 3 Go Game Missions about seminar
Seminar – 4 Go Game Missions about seminar Two hours of traditional Go Game play in conference center
One hour of traditional Go Game play in conference center Awards dinner and Go Game Judging

 

  1. ASCI located a Go Game writer in several seminars to create missions in real time based on comments or interesting incidents.
  2. ASCI would evaluate the responses to the seminar missions and provide feedback to the presenters and management regarding the effectiveness of the learning process.
  3. The finale of the Sales Conference featured real time judging by the participants using the Go Game devices to determine the ultimate winner. Videos and pictures taken throughout the Sales Conference were displayed during dinner.

 Conclusion:

The anticipated value of the Conference Go Game was realized. Participants quickly realized that paying attention in the seminars gave them a competitive advantage. The events team and sales people often refer to the Go Game and the Sales Conference. They continue to download pictures and videos from the password protected web site to share with clients and colleagues.

Feedback

 “What an innovative way to learn boring content and have fun at the same time.”

 

“Best Sales Conference ever! Fighting Ninjas, answering questions about products and making dance videos, best ever!”

 

“The conference presenters really noticed a big difference in attention once the participants figured out it was worth points to listen.”

 

“The team from ASCI was great at working with our people in real time to integrate missions and adapt the Go Game. The actors were very professional and very funny.”

”"

3 Responses to “Gamification of a Conference”

  • Simpson2007:

    What an amazing idea! The conferences I get stuck at are boring and do the same old team building BS. I am forwarding this to our events people. I can’t wait!

  • Cody Homles:

    I am on the lookout about it for last couple days on the internet until i at last came on your blog. I must say, you’ve made some terrific elements in post above. Hopefully you will insert more content soon for the reason that i included your site in my favorites and shared your url with my friend. Keep up with good work

  • Braddy Q:

    Good article and straight to the point. I imagine these conferences are great fun!

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