Interview with Egle Pesti

Loquiz (location based quiz) is a team game platform for event professionals. Adventure company 360 DEGREES is one of the first companies to use Loquiz platform in their activities. We caught up with Egle Pesti project manager for 360 DEGREES to get her views on the platform.

Q: Tell us something about your companyegle-pesti

Adventure company 360 DEGREES is Estonia’s biggest adventure provider. Our expertise is in different kind of tours (kayak, snowshoe etc.), attractions (like climbing tower) and team games (scavenger hunts in cities and countryside) We run more than 500 events per year. More than 300 of them are games. So it is fair to say that we run almost a game per day.

 Q: Who are your main clients?

Our main clients are corporate groups. Corporate outings, but also after meeting activities are the main segments. To a lesser extent also private groups (mainly tours) and educational sector (games and tours)

Q:How is your company using Loquiz platform?

We use it for preparing and running certain types of question based team games in cities and countrysides. Games are usually prepared for the client for the location client needs it and questions are highly customised for specific client. Game is played on tablet devices, so we give out one tablet per team.

Q: How did you start using the Loquiz platform?

We heard about it roughly a year ago when it was being developed. As we are constantly looking for new game ideas and this seemed really interesting

Q: What was it that interested you in the Loquiz solution?

We have specific needs. New ideas are great but they have to be easy to implement and be used by our clients. Preparing sales materials and training the instructors also takes time and is a consideration before we invest in a new solution. Also nobody knew if the tablet devices will survive the kind of use we had in mind. We had used phones and GPS devices but not tablets. So first we were thinking about asking it for phones.

Q: Why didn’t you go with the a smart phones solution?

Phones have limitations. Firstly phones are not easily shareable devices. When there are 3-4 people in a group then only one can look at the phone, while the tablet can be seen by the entire team. Second shortcoming is that phones have smaller batteries and Loquiz takes advantage of the GPS chip. So phones just do not have enough juice. And also it is much more impressive to hand out “tablet game devices” versus just phones for the game 🙂

Q: Have your worries materialized?

Well, no. Devices have held up great. No damaged devices as of now and we are at the moment selling Loquiz games quite a few per week. We run 20 devices – iPads and Samsungs.

Implementation that has been easier than we thought it would be. Mainly because a person running the game really does not need to know much. Everything is automatic. Preparing the games takes some time, but as we now have hundreds of questions in our database putting together new games for the clients takes no more than few hours. But it took quite a bit of time to get everybody on board, marketing materials prepared etc.

Q: How did you start using it?

We actually bought four tablet devices (Samsung Galaxy Tabs) and started offering it to the first clients. We got a first month for free deal for using Loquiz software and also some sample questions and we actually run our first games for our most adventurous clients for free. Just to get the feel of how it is going. The feedback from the clients was great so our confidence grew.

Q: What is the reason people love it?

I think it is because it is different compared to average scavenger hunt. It is basically a question-answer game, but when adapted to the surroundings and to the people playing it becomes extremely fun and strategic event. I think the main challenge for us has been that people would see it as another scavenger hunt on a new platform, and we try to say it is so much more.

Q: How do you know if the game is successful or not?

One is the feedback, but another is the amount of repeat purchases. We quite often run games after department meetings for 20-25 people. If another department from the same company comes back to us and says we want the same game, we know it worked for them. With Loquiz we are getting very good rate of repeat purchases. But that is not just the game, it is the entire setup.

Q: What about the cost side of the game?

We started with a monthly fee model, and this was problematic because of the high seasonality in our business. Now we pay per team. We are buying bigger chunks for the entire season with considerable discounts and then just use them up as we go.. So it allows us to plan and have cost efficiency at the same time.

There are some additional costs. Sometimes we need to rent additional devices from IT rental companies and then there is the mobile data cost. However these are quite negligible in our case.

Q: What has changed with the intro of the Loquiz concept?

Quite a bit has changed.

First for the clients what has changed is that we now run much more customized games than we used to. Before we usually run standard games for cost efficiency. Now we ask client for input and make customized games in majority of the cases.

Secondly we are much more flexible with the choice of location. A while ago we were really pushing clients towards certain locations, now we know that we can create an interesting game even outside their office building. This by the way is really appreciated by our clients, as it allows to get rid of unnecessary transport.

Third, the instructors work has changed. There are no papers, pens and other equipment to give out. There is nothing to prepare in the surroundings. There’s just the one thing – tablet device. Also briefing used to be a massive undertaking always, now even if you do not say anything the start of the game is simple so people get going very well. And you see where the teams are in the game, so you can go and offer support if needed or take photos. And when the teams finish you do not go away calculating and checking the answers. You have the results instantly. All in all, you as an instructor can focus on getting people hyped up for the game and not deal with technicalities. Also the learning curve is much shorter for Loquiz than for other games. Instructor observes one game and can run another.

And last but not least, the game preparation is very different. Basically you can prepare a game to any location from your office. We do occasionally visit sites, but if the site is known to us, it literally takes minutes to create a game for a new client. That has allowed us to customize the games more. It also allows us to sell for the next day.

Q: Is it adding to the sales or eating away the current best-sellers?

It is doing both. We started selling Loquiz based game from May 2012. Loquiz now counts for more than 20% of the entire game portfolio. It is certainly competing with some of our existing offers, but it has also enabled us to move to new market segments as we are able to create games much faster.

Q: Any situation you would bring forward?

We have had some situations where Loquiz has saved a day. The great thing is that until the game has started you can make all the changes. We once had a situation where we misunderstood the clients request for hard, long, physically demanding game and prepared a regular one. It only appeared when instructor was there ready to start the game. Within five minutes or so we could actually rearrange the game so that it filled the client’s expectations.

Q: You said the feedback has been favourable. What are the things people have said?

People have said ‘we did not expect it to be so much fun’. The strategy part is well received -it is not just about being right. And what always works is the customization. People love stuff that is about them. So we have developed some questions so that if the client does not have their own questions we will ask our questions from them and add those to the game.

Q: If somebody is just about to start using Loquiz what would you recommend?

I would suggest to try it out. You do not know how much fun it is until you play it yourself and then organise something for your team or colleagues. What I would do is that I would assign one person to create a few games, try them out with others and then decide what to do. While the software is not expensive to use you need to justify the investment into the devices. But, there is the advantage that once you have the devices you will get new ideas of how to use them in your other projects as well. Just buying the tablets has made quite a difference to us.

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