Gamification is an increasingly popular trend we are seeing at events because of the benefit it has on the attendee experience and overall event success. Adding gaming elements is simple and can be applied to many different aspects of an event providing positive, impactful results.
Gamification is the application of gaming concepts to non-gaming contexts to increase motivation and engagement. Gamification works because it plays off the emotions and motivations of people helping to unify them as a group with a common purpose. Using gaming elements brings your attendees together in a relaxed environment while providing them with memorable, high-quality experiences.
When using gamification at your event, remember to mix it and provide different types of experiences that appeal to different attendee personalities. Gaming elements can be added digitally with things like virtual reality or you can add simple gaming elements like a board game lounge for attendees to use. Here are 4 examples of ways to use gamification at your event:
- Sponsored Gaming Area - Include gamification as a sponsorship opportunity to help increase your event revenue with a dedicated gaming area at your event. Find a space on your exhibit floor or in the event venue to set aside as an area for attendees to have fun and relax. This area can be simple with ping pong tables, pool tables, or even arcade games. Consider using tech elements in this area, like a virtual reality game experience, to make it more exciting and advanced. Event organizers can offer this area to be hosted by your sponsors for a small fee to help increase their brand awareness as well as increase your event revenue.
- Social Media Competitions – An easy way to get attendees engaged with gamification is through social media. Before your event, announce that the person most active on social media using the event’s hashtag will win a prize and watch the tweets come in! At your event, award the winner during the opening keynote or reception as a special way to recognize them and increase excitement around the competition for next year.
Another example of social media gamification was seen at the 2014 SXSW festival. To increase engagement with their hashtag, 3M used a Twitter Balloon to inspire attendees. Each time someone would tweet using 3M’s hashtag for this event, a small amount of air would be added to the balloon and whoever posted the tweet to make the balloon pop was the winner. Social media gamification is a simple and effective way to boost awareness before and during your event and will also help get attendees engaging with each other.
- Gamify Your Event with Technology – It’s safe to say that almost every event these days has its own event app. Use this app to your advantage and add gamification elements that attendees can interact with. Try integrating an augmented reality (AR) element that will give attendees an interactive experience and something they can learn from. Use AR throughout your event to educate attendees about your event’s purpose or to provide bonus content that relates to educational sessions. For example, you can direct attendees to scan an image outside of a session they attended to unlock hidden content they wouldn’t otherwise receive. You can even add a leader board to your event app to show the attendee that has unlocked the most content to stimulate the competition and increase interest.
Another way to use technology to gamify your event can be with virtual reality (VR). VR tech has also become a popular trend at events that adds an exciting experience for attendees. Virtual reality is easy to use by anyone and can be applied anywhere at your event. Try using VR tech during education sessions to engage attendees with the material or encourage your exhibitors to use it to draw attendees to their booth.
- Use Gamification to Increase Attendee Traffic – Is there an area of your event venue or exhibit hall that doesn’t see as much traffic and interest from attendees as you would like? Use gamification to help get attendees to that area or to explore the exhibit hall. You could host a trivia happy hour or add a scavenger hunt throughout the exhibit hall to boost traffic to an otherwise quiet area. Check out this article to see how we helped our client, Keller Williams, incorporate a scavenger hunt at their event to get attendees engaged with their exhibitors but also to get them to navigate through the entire exhibit hall.
Events are the perfect setting to add gamification and there are many ways to do it successfully. If you are thinking about using gamification at your event, remember to stay focused on your purpose for adding gaming elements and how it will add to the attendee experience without disrupting it. Developing gaming elements that fit into your event organically and fit with your purpose will help your overall event’s success.
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About the Author
Katie has a passion for marketing and writing. She enjoys learning about all aspects of events and sharing this knowledge through the Expo Logic Blog.