Early October 2020. An anxious Andrew, on his maiden visit to India, had been pacing down the corridors of the Embassy of Sweden in Delhi. He had been tasked with leading the Sweden India Nobel Memorial Quiz (SINMQ) – one of India’s long-running and anticipated quiz properties. In 2020, it had to be different than all the years since the quiz’s inception in 2009. They had built a huge fan following and drove mass participation among Indian PG and UG students where registrations per city had averaged between 100 to 120 – a significant number for a live quiz show. However, COVID-19 had made all physical events a “no-show”. In 2020, they had to embrace digital. SINMQ 2020 had to be different. Andrew knew he had a challenge facing him.
In a matter of one week, Andrew and his team began their search for innovative quiz companies who could help him in such programs. They figured they needed a company that had the tech expertise to build the online platform, manage the performance of the platform, create interactive content, and drive promotions for the event. While Andrew was listening to ABBA songs and getting on calls with various companies, this was going to be a significant first for the Embassy. Never had they thought of doing a quiz show online. Over days of deliberation between the teams in Stockholm, Sweden, and India, the Embassy of Sweden finally selected QuizWorks. The brief given to us was the following –
Create an interactive experience for all through the medium of quizzing and maintain the brand of SINMQ.
Early November 2020. We comprehended the task that we had on our hands. How do we run an entire program that was traditionally offline all these years and transform it into a digital experience? Having run online quizzes before, this was never going to be the main challenge. The main challenge was on how do we sustain the engagement over a period of time. We had Quest – our proprietary digital platform built for large scale engagement and interactivity. SINMQ had consisted of Preliminary rounds in the main cities of India when it was held offline. It primarily drove contestants from Institutes of Eminence and Grade A Colleges. This time, we reached out to various corners of the country. Metros, Tier 1, and Tier 2 cities participated. It drove significant participation from the North-East part of the country too – traditionally not considered as a quizzing hub of the country. SINMQ had gone to places where it could have never reached before.
As numbers grew from 100’s to 1000’s during the online screening round over a period of 14 days, constant care was taken to ensure that the culture of Sweden was at the forefront in all messaging. Themes of equality, gender sensitivity, Swedish company innovations, Nobel Laurates, cuisine, Sweden-India collaborations were covered in the quiz content. Embassy of Sweden ran daily posts on their official social media channels. Overall, 2800 contestants participated in the online contest. This represented an increase of over 120% in registrations. The team in Sweden was happy with the initial progress.
Early December 2020. To mirror the offline experience and select the Champions, we finalized the Top 10 contestants, basis their performance in the online quiz. Zoom was going to be the mode of communication among the quizmaster and contestants. Kahoot was going to be the medium of engagement. The 10 contestants faced off in a highly interactive Semi-Finals consisting of Text, Visuals, and Audio Video based questions. On December 10th, celebrated as Nobel Day (in memory of Alfred Nobel’s birthday and founder of Nobel Prize), the Grand Finale was held. The top 4 contestants faced off in an exciting clash where one emerged as the Champion. It was Preetham Upadhya from Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay. A first-time finalist. A first-time winner.
As we were wrapping up the felicitation ceremony and brainstorming on how we could innovate for the upcoming years, Andrew and his team member had a smile on their face for a successful event that began in anxious moments. They had wholly embraced “going digital”. Celebrating Christmas with their family members back in Sweden was all the more reason to be happier. Customer delight is what we strive for.
If you are looking for such engagement projects, please feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to talk.
Disclaimer: – Actual names of Embassy of Sweden officials have not been disclosed for reasons of confidentiality.