Editor's Note: We're thrilled to have Drew Dillman, Rapt Media's motion and visual designer, as our guest blogger.
Lights, roulette, celebrities, food, and...interactive video?
Sin City. An oasis of roulette tables, billboards, celebrity run-ins, buffets, and luxury hotels. The sounds of chips and jackpots combine with the smell of fried food and loss aversion in a dust-devil assault on the senses. This truly unique and magical desert getaway was the unlikely backdrop to The eLearning Guild’s annual DevLearn Expo, which I got to attend last month.
With a name as dull as "DevLearn," the expo was surprisingly fun and eventful. Speakers fit for a Vegas marquee, such as Pixar’s Tony DeRose and magician Penn Jillette, enthused crowds. After some obscenities and fire breathing, Penn was even gracious enough to sign my laptop (see below).
I have no problem explaining why there's sharpie on my Mac.
Hyperdrive: A showcase of technologies that advance learning and performance
Creativity was the theme of the conference, and The eLearning Guild wove it beautifully into the event. From artisan coffee to a trendy event app, design and inventiveness awaited attendees in all programs, but particularly in Hyperdrive—a showcase of technologies that provided creative, innovative solutions to common problems.
At the risk of sounding partisan, I daresay Hyperdrive was a hidden treasure amongst all the other activities with ten incredible presentations. Before a panel of judges, I presented Rapt Media's new hire onboarding experience, The 5 Things You Need to Know, taking first place and granting us an encore presentation at the Hyperdrive Showcase the following day.
It was both intimidating and exhilarating to offer this project up to the proverbial wolves, but also rewarding despite nobody asking for my signature on their computer. (The offer still stands. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.)
'Welcome to Rapt Media: The 5 Things You Need to Know'
Now, you may be wondering, “what might a prize-winning interactive video experience look like?” Lucky for you, I’m embedding it here:
This is Welcome to Rapt Media: The 5 Things You Need to Know—an interactive experience exposing our new hires to our story, our people, our culture, our technology, and other critical business facets. We send this before our hires even come into the office with the intention of driving them to the employee handbook, benefits enrollment site, new hire onboarding checklists, and even beginning their first interactive projects—all while collecting data on the user's experience through API integrations.
So why did we decide to share our tool so publicly?
Rapid development in action
In creating this piece, we realized that a bootstrapped effort could produce an effective campaign both quickly and easily with interactive video. Instead of a script, we sorted key themes with sticky notes. Instead of hiring a production company, we used an already existing office camera and natural lighting. Instead of a gaggle of engineers coding the build, we rapidly developed it using our own tool.
The ease and speed of production were not enough to warrant investing resources. The video, while lustrous and innovative, would be useless were it not effective. Luckily for us, we elicited and captured the results we’d hoped. In addition to saving about four hours per hire, our new Raptors reported an understanding of the organization and our personalities simply from the video.
Our new employees felt aware of office culture before their first day. They were more excited to read the handbook, enroll in benefits, and start their first projects. This positive feedback all adds up to enhanced productivity and engagement. But there was one final unanimous piece of feedback: More.
New hires wanted more experiences like this for future learnings and trainings—and they’re right. It takes a continued content strategy to keep employees engaged and productive. Now, this may seem like a lot of work for us, but what we know from this first project is that it’s both quick and easy to create authentic content.
We believe this discovery will encourage others to take advantage of cutting-edge learning and development tools to enhance new hire onboarding and engagement. And we hope it inspires more people to come to Vegas with their own innovative interactive experiences next year. Straight from the reigning champion—bring it on.