About Our Music Bingo Host Sandra Pinard
On episode 5 of the music bingo podcast, we interviewed Sandra Pinard, a great military music bingo community host. Sandra is the Deployment Coordinator at the Military Family Resource Center (MFRC) in Esquimalt. She runs programs that support military members and their families when they’re dealing with deployment or work-related separation. Sandra is a retired military reservist, and has been working at the MFRC for over 17 years.
Sandra enjoys supporting and creating connections for the military communities to help them meet people in the same lifestyle. Pre-pandemic, Sandra regularly hosted coffee nights, bingo nights, and other social events to help military families build connections. Rockstar Bingo offered Sandra a virtual music bingo solution that allowed her to continue hosting events for military members and their families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe way.
Do you host any in-person music bingo events, or is it just an online bingo night only?
Sandra: We’re not back in person yet. As far as group work goes and our social activities, we haven’t restarted building those in-person services yet due to COVID restrictions.
Right now, everything I do is in a virtual capacity, which is why hosting Rockstar Bingo is fabulous. It’s very little work for me. I’m on the receiving and appreciative end of all your hard work in creating music bingo cards, software and the app!
Where do you host your music bingo at the moment? And, how do you do it?
Sandra: My experience with Rockstar Bingo is in a virtual capacity for clients via Zoom. My clients love the Disney music bingo playlist. It’s great for military families to have their children with them for the Disney bingo round, and seeing all the Disney songs on bingo cards gets the children excited. Disney movie songs are great bingo tunes for trivia! Parents can sit and have a glass of wine without worrying about child care or having to drive anywhere.
I also hosted music bingo when several of our ships and military members were in COVID quarantine prior to sailing. This was a great way to entertain people in quarantine. I hosted music bingo for the entire crew of several of our larger military ships, and they all enjoyed doing it. This was something they could do from the isolation of their hotel room, and their families could log in from their homes meaning families could have fun together, from anywhere in the world! It was a really neat experience.
Are you using the custom log-in screen on Rockstar Bingo? Have you grabbed your custom URLs so you don’t have to necessarily give out game codes?
Sandra: No, I haven’t tried that because it’s quite easy to host music bingo on Zoom. We get players to log in through Zoom, and then I just give them the music bingo game code, and we start playing Zoom music bingo. It is best for players to use two devices for playing music bingo, one to see your music bingo card on (accessed via download, no music bingo card pdf download needed) and one to watch me hosting music bingo on Zoom. Obviously, if you’re in a bar, you will just need your phone to play music bingo with Rockstar Bingo.
Sean: That totally works because you’ve also got the Zoom chat for music bingo hosting communication. But the best thing you can do is to set up your own custom bingo URL such as rockstarbingo/join/mfrc. This means that when you send out your bingo messages in advance, you can instruct players to go to this login, join the screen, and when they refresh the page, the music bingo code will be entered for them. That would be your own custom bingo app screen, and the code will be there, so if someone comes in late, they will still get the bingo game code.
Sandra: That will be helpful from the host perspective because we usually play multiple music bingo games. Having that custom URL where players can hit refresh and get the new next game code is great.
What kind of prizes occur within the military music bingo?
Sandra: When the crew was playing, they would win things from their command team. When they were in the hotel, I couldn’t go there to give them the music bingo prizes because they were in quarantine. So, the commanding officer and the senior NCM contributed the prizes. The most popular one was the ‘Skip the Dishes’ voucher, which they could use to order a treat for themselves. There were also spirited bottles as prizes and some special coffee deliveries.
For the military families, we use money set aside for family activities for prizes such as gift cards, wellness and mindfulness gifts. If bingo winners can come to MFRC in person, we’ve got big boxes of prizes ranging from yoga mats, candles, mugs, and a whole range of things.
You said you’ve hosted Rockstar Bingo with the Disney music bingo playlist. What other music bingo playlists have you used?
Sandra: We’ve used all of your Spotify music bingo playlists! But what I haven’t done yet as a host is use the feature for customizing the song start times. I haven’t had the time to make my own playlist to the point where I’m starting songs a little bit later. That is a helpful tool in Rockstar Bingo because some songs take a while to get to the song title.
I also have players who send me their music bingo playlists, and this has been fun. They’re now learning that music bingo playlists have to be 75 songs or more. That is a good rule to know, music bingo playlists must include at least 75 songs.
The 80s, 90s, and 2000 bingo music themes are the most popular. The number one is classic rock n roll music bingo, and everybody knows these songs! We use different music bingo themes throughout the year, and we make it inclusive for all. It is great allowing people to send me their bingo playlist from their favourite genre of music.
Sean. Here is a tip that I need to make a video for. When you’re in Spotify, if you have songs already in a playlist, Spotify suggests songs below that are based on genre. If you have the word you’re looking for in the title of your playlist, and for example you want to make a Halloween music bingo playlist. With Halloween in the bingo playlist title, Spotify will start suggesting more relatable Halloween songs, pick and refresh. I have made music bingo playlists this way really fast.
Sandra: I only joined Spotify because of Rockstar Bingo. Now I’m learning how people can share Spotify libraries with other people. This is a neat thing that Rockstar Bingo hosts can do by sharing a music bingo playlist with one another.
We do like hearing what hosts would like to see involved in Rockstar Bingo. Are there any other features that would help you as a music bingo host?
Sandra: For me, when the winner comes up, I would like to make it more exciting by adding some stars, bubbles, or just a few graphics when their name pops up on everybody’s screen. For denial, a frowny face will help jazz it up because if you’re playing in-person, everybody is cheering, but when you’re playing by yourself, you can click the Rockstar Bingo button and get cheered up.
Are there any recent tips or any changes on Zoom that you have taken advantage of?
Sandra: Not recently, it’s just making sure you know how to share your screen on Zoom and your sound. There are advanced options in Zoom where you can share sound and video if you are using two cameras. There is a slight delay when I hear the song on my computer and when they hear it, so muting works great here. But the delay on Zoom is funny when I am singing three words ahead of bingo players on Zoom!
We’ve found that Zoom is the best way to host virtual music bingo. I’m hosting bingo with hundreds of people via Zoom, and I’ve never seen a glitch. I would recommend things like music bingo co-host. This means that if you lose internet connection, you have another person who has music bingo login and access to your music bingo and Zoom account. This has allowed me to support military families with music bingo, and we’ve created a virtual military music bingo community. We started this in March 2020.
You host such a big range of ages and types of people. Have you got one of the biggest supporters and lovers of Rockstar Bingo games?
Sandra: I am! But in the music bingo group that I host, it’s my volunteer pool, and they are all military spouses. They’re the ones directly supporting the ships and military when they deploy, and they like to play Rockstar Bingo.
They know it’s going to be an easy night for them. I’m hosting, they’re supporting the music bingo chat page, and they get to build a community within their own unit or ship. Normally they would be the ones hosting the in-person coffee nights, or they would be at the information table during events, where they get to meet everybody. They’re also the marketing team behind all the programs and services. We host music bingo on a regular basis, and we’ve 70 people a month doing music bingo.
The podcast ended with Sandra thanking us for the music bingo app and for the support we have offered to them. According to Sandra, we’re their biggest support team, and they will continue to use the Rockstar Bingo app and to enjoy all games long into the future!
Want to host music bingo for your military community?
You can read more about how to host music bingo with Rockstar Bingo here on our blog.
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