How HP’s Virtual Conference Rewarded Attendees for Meaningful Engagement

For a recent internal sales training, HP worked with Infinity Marketing Team to offer points and prizes to attendees who engaged with the custom virtual platform.

HP Rock On Conference, Infinity Marketing Team
At HP’s Rock On conference, attendees earned points for participating in different aspects of the event—such as the 3D “experience showcase” area (pictured). “In addition to the daily content, guests were gaining points for each networking lounge visit, Q&A question asked and for their speed and accuracy completing challenges—which kept them coming back to win exclusive prizes all while retaining important information,” explained Infinity Marketing Team’s Kristen Villarreal.
Screenshot: Courtesy of Infinity Marketing Team

Attendee engagement is arguably the biggest challenge when it comes to virtual events—and that challenge increases exponentially for something like a training event, where employees may be mandated to attend and topics can seem a bit dry. 

HP’s recent virtual training event, though? That was anything but dry. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based tech company tapped Infinity Marketing Team to build a new take on a virtual summit, combining two of HP’s internal sales training events into a unique, gamified experience that rewarded employees for engaging with the event in meaningful ways.

Dubbed HP’s Rock On, the virtual conference kicked off Nov. 10. Over the next three days, participants watched keynote addresses, attended breakout sessions, explored a 3D product showcase, played games and even traveled the world (virtually, of course). Every experience was designed to help the attendees gain new knowledge and insights related to HP’s products and services. HP Rock On Conference, Infinity Marketing TeamEach day kicked off with a keynote, which attendees could either watch live or watch later at a more convenient time. On the speaker page, a vertical-scrolling widget allowed attendees to learn about the speaker without having to click to a new page.Screenshot: Courtesy of Infinity Marketing Team

To keep everyone paying attention and coming back each day, attendees got points for participating in each aspect of the event. Different activities generated a different amount of points; for example, a higher score was achieved if the attendee spent more time consuming content, asked a question during a Q&A or sent a message in the networking lounge. A leaderboard, which updated in real time, was visible to all attendees to evoke some friendly competition, and daily prizes were given to the top-10 point-earners each day. At the end of the conference, the top five employees received a full home-office makeover, compliments of HP.

“The training is normally a content-rich in-person event, and with the switch to virtual, there was an even larger need to include more educational sessions,” explained Kristen Villarreal, an account director for Infinity Marketing Team. “Curating a custom, intuitive platform rooted in gamification with tangible incentives was key in ensuring guests would want to continue actively participating and learning across the three-day event.”

Infinity Marketing Team (IMT), which started planning the conference back in May, created 14 custom tracks depending on employees’ specialties and markets; each track had a unique set of breakout sessions, games and other experiences. While attendees could choose what they engaged with and when, each track featured two or three breakout sessions per day and three gameplay challenges per day. Each day also unlocked a new area of the 3D “experience showcase,” which included everything from downloadable white papers to interactive 3D models. Finally, each day ended with a “pitstop”—a two- to three-minute video that attendees were required to watch to complete their points for the day, making it a key place for HP to deliver important information. 

“With an audience-first approach, IMT tapped into the sales team’s competitive nature while simultaneously promoting unity, collaboration and a ‘one team, one goal' mentality through custom-developed games and badge challenges to create a constant forward motion for the event,” said Villarreal.

In addition to the points system, organizers deployed a number of smart strategies to keep people engaged. Chat functions were available during keynotes, and questions could be asked live during breakout sessions (the content of which was added to a library that will be accessible for a full year). Gameplay challenges took place three times per day to add a fun break between content. And to transition between the different pages and content, full-page graphics using parallax effects added interest and movement; some featured eye-catching images of destinations around the world, complete with fun facts and information. HP Rock On Conference, Infinity Marketing TeamThere were also 24 custom-designed gameplay challenges, which served as fun breaks between content.Screenshot: Courtesy of Infinity Marketing Team

Villarreal said the biggest challenge was balancing the educational content with the engagement-focused activities. “With a clear strategic vision from the beginning and the curation of narrative-driven games and challenges, IMT developed a bespoke event environment that surprised and delighted guests," she said, adding that the point system "kept them coming back to win exclusive prizes—all while retaining important information.”

Overall, the three-day experience generated 158,000 total page views and 629,000 minutes of programming watched. Participants joined from more than 75 countries. "The online accessibility to the training allowed more sales leaders to experience the event, as they were no longer limited by funding, venue space, travel and so on," said Villareal. "The online nature has also allowed for longevity of the content and event platform, which was previously not offered as part of the in-person productions. The client will continue to use the event platform over the next year to add new content, and allow new hires and existing employees to refer back to existing content at any time.”

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