I like games, which is weird, because I'm not at all competitive. The thing is, I don't necessarily like computer games, nor extremely difficult board games. I like those games that connect me with others, because, well, I don't like being alone. Typically if you get together with a bunch of people, there's a few options to have a good time. The two A's of social interaction: activities and alcohol. Now, I don't really like talking about alcohol, so let's talk about social activities.
I am going to be so bold as to assume that a lot of people like social activities, and indeed makes them more productive and agreeable. Like, if you're organising something, and you want to get someone's email address, do a raffle. If you want your kid, your spouse or your mother to eat their broccoli, make it into some kind of game. Social activities work.
GroundControl's mission is to find social activities in many different areas of life, whether it be personal life, school life or work life. We very often engage in experiences with others: corporate events, classrooms, symposia, gym classes, personal development programmes, etc. They are very different, yet they all share a common factor: you're not there by yourself. You will do better, you will be more productive, if you work together effectively. GroundControl is the platform to turn any of these into social experiences; technology that helps people become more social rather than less social. (Yes, you may give this blog post to your mother if she complains again that all technology is inherently anti-social.)
GroundControl offers organisers of events, learning programmes, or other kinds of social experiences, to automate these in a graphical environment. Automation means: you set up triggers and actions, and connect them with each other.
Triggers & actions
A trigger is something that can set something in motion. These can be things that a participant does consciously, like using their app to scan a QR code, or push a help button, but a trigger could also be if someone gets close to the venue, in range of a beacon. We can even interoperate with other systems for triggers, e.g. when someone uses a third party wrist band to activate something.
You then connect these triggers with actions. A commonly used action is to run a script – this causes the participant to receive messages like a chat bot. You can send info, use links within the app or with external sources to offer them information, or ask questions and other kinds of feedback in scripts. GroundControl is a fully fledged chat bot system. Other commonly used actions are to unlock various previously unavailable resources, award points or activate a checkpoint to reach a certain goal. Also here we can interoperate with other systems: we can invoke any kind of external API or webhook based on the actions of a participant.
But it doesn't end there. As mentioned before, GroundControl is more than a chat bot platform. We are specifically useful in crowd scenarios. Using GroundControl, you can organise participants are into groups. You may create a group for workshops that you offer at the event, you may create groups based on where people are from, what language they speak, what their interests are, you name it.
Using automated actions, or using script feedback, you can assign your participants into groups. A commonly used example is that in the weeks leading up to an event, you ask your participants to sign up for workshops. This will make them appear into groups. Nearly all resources in GroundControl (chat bot scripts, information pages, challenges, competitions, activities, live streams, conference calls) are targetable, meaning they can be applied to members of specific groups.
Our advanced targeting system, combined with our graphical trigger & action interface makes GroundControl the ideal tool to set up a customised fun, interesting and productive social experience in a matter of hours.
Being all about automation, GroundControl is not a ready-made event out of the box. This is our specific intention. However, if you want a customised experience using GroundControl but you feel uncomfortable setting it up yourself, save yourself a headache and skip to the next paragraph.
GroundControl is what some nerds may call a "low code" or "no code" platform. Personally, I don't like the term "no code" because even though you can set up a customised experience without actually typing any programming code, even setting up a simple trigger & action can already be considered programming. So let's stick with "low code" (in fact there is even a programming language built into GroundControl, for the more technical users who want to get even more out of their event). Being a low-code platform does mean that your anti-technology mother from before can use it. Further, we found that a lot of people have found joy in using GroundControl, even people with limited or no technical background.