David Thorson, AVI-SPL VP, Programming

Today’s guest author is David Thorson, Vice President of Programming at AVI-SPL.

David is a user experience specialist focused on people-productivity through software, hardware, and automation. He enjoys working on creative and cutting edge technologies to seamlessly integrate cloud platforms for monitoring, control and managing deployments for global customers.

How do you bring people together from around the world and give them a fun and continuous way to interact?  AVI-SPL worked to answer that question with gamification at Crestron Masters.


In 2019, AVI-SPL set out to help attendees connect with others in the industry, while having a friendly competition along the way at Crestron Masters. And we did so with gamification.

Gamification engages a wide audience through various online and interactive challenges. After our successful run in 2019, AVI-SPL hosted gamification at the 2022 multi-day AV technology training event once again. This year’s Crestron Masters was back in person at the Caribe Royal, in Orlando Florida, giving us ample opportunity to integrate physical, interactive challenges throughout the event space.


The 2022 AVI-SPL Crestron Masters Challenge

Over 800 people attended the three-day conference filled with training, networking sessions, and partner contact points. Nearly 300 attendees signed up to earn points and compete for prizes provided by Crestron. Players faced a daunting 900 online questions. Content ranged from trivia about movies, literature, esports, and partner products. Technical content covered both programming and engineering areas of focus ranging in difficulty. Many questions had a time limit to prompt player focus. If a player wagered a wrong guess that question would lose its point value; making for some interesting gameplay and strategy.


A resort-wide scavenger hunt

Additionally, in collaboration with our technology partners, we placed over 100 QR codes around the conference center, resort, and classroom projection screens for an epic scavenger hunt.

Crestron Masters QR code search
Poster board with QR code on the back at Crestron Masters
QR code with tech partner Shure at Crestron Masters
QR code with tech partner SurgeX at Crestron Masters

Keeping up with social media

New this year, players could earn points via social media. The AVI-SPL Challenge Platform leveraged Twitters API to assign points to players using vendor hashtags in their social media posts over the three-day event. Over 200 unique tweets surfaced, giving players points for engaging with on-site partners, and knowledge gained during training.


Attendee movie knowledge was put to the test

Thirteen battery powered wireless access points, placed with key individuals, broadcasted SSIDs of partial movie quotes. Players who completed the quote on the gamification site earned points. To enhance this interactive challenge, players who could identify a wireless access point holder scanned a QR code on their Crestron Master’s access badge.


Taking the challenge virtual

Several online challenges were developed using Modus VR, immersing players in virtual environments.  A museum challenged players to identify fine art.  A virtual tour quizzed players on what they saw along the way.  A series of rebus puzzles had players guessing how a series of images represented popular phrases or places.

In the tradition of game development, hidden easter eggs give players an edge. Those who are keen to study contest rules, virtual environments, and backend API’s would discover some hidden codes along the way. If applied, they were rewarded.

Here’s an example of what attendees saw on the day. Look closely at the painting in the image on the right and you can make out a code etched into the background.

AVI-SPL Crestron Masters Virtual Challenge

The Crestron Hackathon

Gamification points came in handy during the Crestron Hackathon. As things were warming up, players were invited to shoot darts and score their points. This unplanned interactive challenge demonstrates how a multi-faceted platform can easily be leveraged. It also makes for some creative and inventive outcomes.


Our winner

Over the three days, the leaderboard saw point swings, surprise rises, and points earned in the late hours to leave some surprised the next morning.

Douglas Lee Watson had a great run as the first player to break 20k and 40k points. But there could only be one winner. The AVI-SPL Crestron Masters challenge first place award went to Jake Gordin with 43,817 points.

Congratulations, Jake!


The power of gamification at Crestron Masters

Gamification provided an activity for attendees to meet others, complete, and expand on their knowledge while at Crestron Masters. Building on common interests and reinforcing a community of practice is a core element that sets this event apart from others.

When gamification concluded, the top 20 players were recognized during the closing ceremonies and took home prizes provided by Crestron.

With a nice balance of programming and engineering challenges, an increase in company content contribution, and an increase in player participation, the AVI-SPL team deemed the challenge a success.

We thank everyone who played and commend the team that worked behind the scenes to run the challenge platform, develop content, and deploy onsite challenges.


Fun facts

  • 272 Gamification Registrations
  • 800+ Total Crestron Masters attendees
  • 60 AVI-SPL Employees in attendance
  • 216 Unique tweets about #AVISPLChallenge and #CrestronMasters
  • 3,077 partner questions answered by 70 unique players
  • 1.52 million points earned

Do you have gamification ideas and expertise that could impact hybrid event and workplace engagement? Visit our careers page to learn more about joining the AVI-SPL programming and engineering teams.