The GamePoint Summer Tour – where online meets offline

(Wouter Schrijvershof) #1

The Tour
The summer is traditionally a season with less activity on our platforms. Players tend to seek the sun, go on vacation or do both at the same time. This year we wanted to do something else for our Dutch players, aside from our regular events such as the World Cup and the Olympics. We wanted something that was truly unique and had a great amount of input from our current players.

The Dutch have a tendency to go camping in the summer months, either abroad or on one of the 800+ camping sites that the Netherlands has to offer. One of the core traditions and favorite pastimes while there is to play Bingo. Since Bingo is our core online social game, which lends itself perfectly for an offline mode, we decided to combine the two and go past as many camp sites as we could. Armed with goodies, a mini-truck and a team of eager employees, the Summer tour was born!

Since all communication towards our players is in Dutch, here are a few key words which you will see in the videos or pictures.

Camping: camp site
Spelpunt: the Dutch branch of GamePoint
Zomertoer: Summer Tour

The tour was a collaborate effort from the entire company and could not been held without the Marketing, Design and Web Development teams.

The plan
How are you going to pick your destination from 800+ sites? Well, that’s where our community came in! At the end of May we launched the Summer Tour campaign. Players were asked to sign up with their camp site through a special landing page and they did.

In two weeks’ time we got over 300 applications which was more than enough. After some careful selection and contact with the camping grounds we ended up with over 40 of them for the tour. The Tour would run a total of four weeks and all the camping grounds were suggested by our current players.

The first step was to let the players who signed up know we were coming. We didn’t announce the timetable, just a small message saying thanks and that their camping ground was included in the tour. We also gave them a link to our special Facebook group ‘Spelpunt Superfans’, which we also used for the player day in the office.
In this group they get behind the scenes looks, updates and we can create specific engagement based on their camping grounds. Later on we did a follow up email with the exact date and time per player telling them to save the date and invite others.

The journey
The next step was informing the rest of the community that the Tour was a go and where to find us. With the Tour being four weeks long, we had 2 to 3 camping grounds to visit each day. When you think about it this is a lot to communicate. It was crucial to keep this as clear and simple as possible.

That is why we went with Google Maps to help us out. We used their tools to create a special map, where each week had its own color code and we could specify the date and time to every camp site entry. This way it was easy to see where we were going and with one click they knew exactly when we would be there.

It also allowed our users to easily get directions in case they were in the neighborhood and wanted to join in on the fun. The map was embedded on our news page to assure no one could miss it. In total it had over 60,000 views.

The map:

To keep the tour fresh in our players’ minds, we would post regular updates on our Facebook page with recap videos of the previous days. And the Facebook Group was used to share some more intimate stories and pictures with players.

Wrap up
The Tour has just finished and it was incredible to do. The feedback from the players, camping grounds and potentially new players has been really rewarding. The inclusion of the community created a lot of goodwill with existing players whereas the ±5000 goodie bags that were handed out to camp site visitors increased brand awareness and put GamePoint on the map. The goal may have mostly been user acquisition, but it also resulted in retention, brand awareness and new ambassadors.

The past four weeks created content to talk about, get engaged and show the faces behind the company. This also generated new business associates where camping ground owners mentioned that they would love to see us again. The engagement give us the possibility to do some relationship building. Think of meet & greets, small Q&A sessions or just plain old small talk.

It was our first time doing this so we learned a lot and as always there is room for improvement (planning & logistics), but that doesn’t stop us from thinking about a potential follow up for next year.

What do you think? How would you use an offline event to increase online engagement? Can both be mixed? Please share your thoughts and thank you for reading.

Running offline community events and meetups
Specific tactics for building community offline
(Mark Baldwin) #2

Really impressed @WouterS with all the effort put in here. I think that there is definitely scope for other communities to mix offline and online, especially when you can pinpoint where people are. Working in the games industry and having done loads of shows in the past, it’s great to actually meet people in person as they are less likely to be rude to you. :slight_smile:

(Peter Staal) #3

mooi Wouter!

(Sarah Hawk) #4

How amazing! Do you have some idea of the ROI for the community?

I love that idea.

(Wouter Schrijvershof) #5

@hawk Thanks for asking.

The inclusion of current community was key and we did see nice engagement throughout the campaign. We took into account that it was for a smaller part of the community (not everyone goes camping and not in the Netherlands) but to the greater community we showed how much we can do. We also got plenty of request to do this in another form since not everyone is willing or able to go camping. It showed interest in more of these kind of events.

This positive collaboration can in turn be used for other user generated events, which can be upscaled to the entire community.

They clearly showed willingness to put in some time/effort to sign up and more importantly to show up when we arrived months later. As you might know from experience it is hard to actually get someone to commit over such a period of time, especially without any financial reward.

As for instant ROI, we expanded the SuperFan group with a nice amount of new ambassadors which otherwise might not have surfaced.

(Darren Gough) #6

@WouterS this is fantastic. Would love to get along to something like this next time and make a mini case study - we’re always telling clients how important an offline strategy can be.