In this next level of virtual travel by Singapore-based Monster Day Tours, participants can play along with a Bingo card to win prizes like food and vouchers.
The Covid-19 pandemic has spawned a whole generation of online tours that enable consumers to â€˜visitâ€™ destinations from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Many of these tours, however, feature pre-recorded walkthroughs with little audience engagement.
Seeing a gap in this space, Monster Day Tours has rolled out a series of Virtual Bingo Tours in Singapore, where tour guides stream live commentaries from both beloved and lesser-known places, and participants can stand to win prizes by playing along with a Bingo card and trivia games.
As the Virtual Bingo Tours are hosted on Zoom, they can take sizeable groups of up to 100 â€“ but smaller groups would enjoy a more conducive and intimate experience. Each ticket priced at S$10 (US$7.30), and participants can win a variety of mini prizes, as well as a grand prize of S$1,000.
I joined the first Virtual Bingo Tour with about 45 other participants to explore the unique region of one-north, known as Singaporeâ€™s Silicon Valley, where entrepreneurs and innovations are born.
With my own Bingo card loaded on one half of my screen and the Zoom tour on the other half, I dove into the depths of Singaporeâ€™s Silicon Valley, led by Monster Day Toursâ€™ co-founder, Byron Koh.
As Koh introduced the history of one-north and how it came to be the countryâ€™s hotbed for innovation, we kept our ears peeled for boxes on our Bingo cards we could cross out. The cards were populated with a mix of keywords â€“ to be marked once they were mentioned â€“ as well as numbers.
The numbers could be checked off during intervals, when a number wheel was spun or when co-founder and moderator TY Suen dropped the group a trivia question. The first two respondents to send the right answer in the chat could each pick a number to be crossed out. At some junctures, we could even receive discounts from featured merchants.
By the second leg of the tour, Bingos were called across the chat. Every line of five boxes would entitle the participant to one spin on the mini-prize wheel, where we could win vouchers from Grab or Starbucks, or even fresh fruit to be delivered.
If a participant achieved three lines on their Bingo card, they would be entitled to one spin on the grand prize wheel. Unfortunately, none of the guests on my tour were quite so lucky.
These one-north tours have been held twice a month since July and were sold out. The next tour will be held on September 5. The following series will visit St Johnâ€™s Island, with dates to be announced. More attractions, including behind-the-scenes visits, are also in the works.
A tour in Singapore might ordinarily be a hot and humid affair in the sun, but from the comfort of my own room, the two-hour Virtual Bingo Tour flew by too quickly. The Bingo game and trivia questions were excellent ways to keep the audience immersed and engaged, while ensuring guests kept up with the contents of the tour.
Both Suen and Koh, serving as our guides, were highly personable and enjoyable. Corporate participants interested in the working spaces and inventions of Singaporeâ€™s entrepreneurs may even find the tour reminiscent of TV shoppingâ€“ we found ourselves curious about creations such as a recycling compactor and an environmentally friendly air-cooling unit.
The guides instructed participants to turn on their cameras, which was not explicitly indicated before the session. Participants should ensure that they are decently dressed, or perhaps inform the Monster Day Tours beforehand if they are not comfortable with having their camera activated.
The Virtual Bingo Tours are currently open to corporate groups of up to 100 pax.