At an event, the disengaged attendee is an event planner’s worst enemy.
If you’re looking for a way to get attendees to pay attention and participate at your event, gamification could be the perfect way to make sure your attendees are taking part in the proceedings.
While gamification isn’t new to the industry, it can be confusing to design, and difficult to find a vendor who has the experience to help integrate it fully into an event. Ways to use gamification at an event range from hardcore competitive or just-for-fun, and it all depends on your particular needs and the desired end goal of gamification.
For inspiration, check out of these gamification examples drawn from actual events where they were, or could have been, implemented.
Gamification Example 1: YourMembership and The Magical World
By mixing their event theme with gamification, software company YourMembership created a Harry Potter inspired world designed to motivate attendees from the get-go and leave a lasting impression.
The attendees were split into teams, and points were kept updated on public leaderboards—one for individual rankings and one for the teams. This helped to create a sense of competition between teams, but also camaraderie between teammates.
Attendees could earn points by checking into sessions, visiting various booths and scanning codes, sharing photos, being active on social media, and others.
Takeaways. Gamification for Team Building & Competition
- Teams encourage competition and camaraderie, which promotes in-game activity
- Public leaderboards give attendees insight into what others are doing, which motivates them to action
Gamification Example 2: Jive Software and the Annual JiveWorld
JiveWorld’s attendee base is full of communication and social community leaders. Because of this, they are often very tech savvy and discerning—making it all the more important for Jive Software to integrate gamification into the digital event experience.
The game was designed to be quick to learn, easy to play, but full of flexible options that kept attendees playing throughout the event. Instead of the more traditional points system, attendees played for badges. Each badge won the player entries for the top prize, with additional entries earned for other actions such as photo uploads and Tweets. There were also random draws to encourage lower badge earning attendees to continue to play.
The set up of this game allowed players to get competitive and creative with their gameplay, and also allowed players to build a sense of community as they engaged with one another throughout the conference. By integrating the game with the newsfeed and current activities feature, JiveWorld allowed attendees to keep abreast of their colleagues and competitors.
Takeaways. Gamification for Community Building
Games don’t have to revolve around select top players; give lower-scoring attendees chances to win to encourage them to continue to play
Simple games with clear objectives can allow attendees to get creative within the rules, allow you to extend gameplay and ultimately make it more fun
Gamification Example 3: The Incentive Research Foundation’s Annual Invitational
At the annual invitation, the IRF wanted the gamification to do more than promote participation—they wanted to gamify happiness. This came about as an extension of their event goals, which was to make sure the game had a positive impact on networking and interaction, and also encourage attendees to spend time with one another.
Because of this, the game was designed around encouraging people to perform individual and collaborative happiness-related behaviors and then rewarding them. This including winning points for sharing photos of your ‘happy place’ at the venue, sending complimentary notes to other attendees, taking time to write about something they were grateful for each day, and other activities.
Ultimately, the IRF’s in-app game was well received and allowed attendees to extend their event activities to include more engagement with their colleagues. Attendees found that the app helped them to “pay closer attention to their surroundings, the people they were with, and the people they were supposed to meet,“ ultimately allowing the IRF to gamify not only engagement but happiness and engagement with others.
Gamification Takeaways. Gamification for Personal Connection
In addition to the typically gamified actions (uploading photos, tweets), think about what actions will help attendees achieve the event goals, and use those
Award attendees for engaging with others and taking time to be introspective about what they’ve learned—this can increase retention and positivity
Creating gamification at your event
Gamification can be a huge boost at your event, creating the motivation that your attendees need to stay engaged and participate throughout your conference or meeting.
A key strategy is to begin with your event strategy and objective and build the actions, rewards, and incentives that will support attendees in meeting those goals.