The power of gamification during an event
The power of gamification during an event
There is a new trend taking the events industry by storm: event gamification. As an events manager, you might have already tried to gamify your events or perhaps you think it is an interesting concept and are looking forward to trying it out in one of your upcoming events. However, for those of you who have not yet heard of this new trend, let us start with the basics.
What is event gamification?
It is the application of game theory (competition, achievements and rewards) to non-game situations, like meetings and events. The idea behind it is to bring competition into the event in order to increase attendee engagement, amplify event marketing efforts and boost event ROI. When done correctly, it is a fantastic way to make attendees feel completely immersed in an event.
Of course, gamification may not be suitable for every type of meeting or event, or even every type of audience. Besides, a poorly planned game can break an event, so this new trend should be applied carefully and purposefully, since event gamification has the power to motivate your audience to accomplish what you want. By gamifying your events, you can achieve the following results:
- Engage your attendees
- Create a sense of community
- Develop trust and collaboration
- Ease communication
- Relax the atmosphere
- Boost attendees’ self-confidence
- Spread positive energy
How to guarantee the success of your game?
Let us look at a few suggestions to ensure the success of your gamification effort.
1. Grab your attendees’ interest
First, the game you select for your event should make sense, i.e. it should fit well with the theme of the event. It should also be engaging so that attendees actually want to play it. One example of driving engagement is through the use of social media: before your event, announce that those attendees who are most active on social media by posting with the event’s hashtag will receive a special gift. If your event has a bespoke app, you can use it as a platform for questions. Before the Q&A session starts, you can announce that the person who asks the most interesting question will receive a small gift.
2. Appeal to their inner child
If your game is not fun, you run the risk of attendees refusing to play. Keep your attendees hooked by making your game interesting. You can also incorporate some friendly competition into the mix by including a leaderboard that displays the players with the highest scores to motivate your public to keep playing. You can give away prizes to the top three players.
3. Lay down some ground rules
Some players take the game too far and ruin the fun for everybody by being extremely competitive. Minimize this risk by taking it into account when devising the rules, and make sure there are no loopholes that can be exploited to cheat and get ahead. If you find out that a player has cheated, you can either deduct the invalid points off their score or even ban them completely. The most important thing is that the game is fair, so good competitors do not get discouraged and abandon the game early because they lost any hope of winning.
4. Help attendees network
Event gamification can be implemented with great success in the hotel industry when participants benefit from the experience, for example by networking. Networking can be a cause for anxiety for many of your attendees, but you can use games to break the ice. They will facilitate communication and make networking less awkward. One interesting game consists of placing round tables around the room and assigning a topic of interest related to the subject of the event to each table. Then during registration, people are randomly allocated to one of the tables. The attendees can then share their thoughts about the topic to those sitting at the same table before introducing themselves.
Other fun ways to add gamification to your next events:
Gamification corner: If your venue allows, you can create a gaming corner to attract your audience. This should be a space for the attendees to relax during breaks. You can set up video games, foosball, chess, and so on. If your budget permits, you can also include videogames or virtual reality games as they will surely get people talking about your event. A gaming corner has the added advantage of having scope for sponsor promotion.
Co-creating the event: A popular way to engage event attendees and enhance their sense of community is to let them choose what the speaker will talk about after finishing their main presentation. There are different ways to go about this. One way is to ask attendees beforehand to suggest a topic for the mini-session. You can collect ideas using Twitter or Facebook, or if you prefer to do this offline, you can give attendees a piece of paper and then conduct a draw. To incentivize participation, do not forget to reward the person whose topic was selected.
Gamification can serve a variety of purposes, but do not use event gamification only for the sake of it. If one of your events strategies is to incorporate a gamified element, think about what your purpose is and experiment to see what works best for your events. When implemented correctly, gamification will certainly make your event memorable to your attendees.