GAMIFICATION: It Pays to Play
Games have become a global phenomenon with entire subcultures of gamers arising around them, and gamification applies the elements of games that make them so engaging to real-world problems in order to motivate people to solve them. Though gamification is a relatively new concept, businesses are increasingly embracing gaming mechanics as a way to accomplish business goals.
Broadly speaking, almost anything in which a reward is used to incentivize an action can be considered gamification, and the reward can be something as simple as recognition. For our purposes, gamification can allow you to improve engagement at your event and to drive attendees to take actions that support your event objectives. For example, if one of the major indicators of success for your event is networking, you can use games creatively to get people to connect with one another. Doing this in the context of the game has many benefits, like helping people get over their shyness.
Our gamification platform fits snugly within our app and allows you to create challenges around your event objectives.
The challenges involve setting up clues or questions, each with a corresponding passcode. To complete the challenge, an attendee just has to enter the passcode for that challenge correctly, and they will receive whatever points you've allotted for it.
A leaderboard displays the top ranked players for everyone to see, and it's your prerogative to display it or not, and to whom. On the app, players can also see the top 5 competitors and, if they're not in that list, 2 players above them and 2 below.
Event gaming is an essentially social experience, and friendly competition is one of the major driving forces that make games so engaging in general, as people compete for the rank and status of being at the top of the leaderboard and feel good about themselves for distinguishing themselves from the crowd. Attendees also have the opportunity to use the gaming infrastructure to connect with other players by clicking their profile within the leaderboard or gaming widget.
As you can imagine, networking challenges are designed to help your attendees make meaningful connections with one another at your event. You can give each attendee a unique passcode and create a challenge out of every connection. The attendee would simply divulge their passcode to anyone who starts a conversation with them. The winner of the game could be the person who makes the most connections by the end of the game.
You can add some twists to this basic concept. To double down on the incentives for your networking game, award prizes for the first people to 10, 20, and 30 connections. Award prizes based on completing groups of connections, like everyone from your sponsor's sales team or everyone in a certain tier at your company. You can also add difficulty to the challenges by including a question on every badge that must be answered before the passcode can be fairly divulged.
If you'd like to track or incentivize attendance in your sessions, create a challenge for going. Just supply your speakers with the passcode and make sure you communicate to them how to play the game so they're well equipped to convey the instructions to the audience.
Drive traffic around your exhibition hall or trade show by providing each company with a passcode to be delivered after their pitch. Limit passcodes to your sponsors to use the game for revenue generation or assign them a higher point value to ensure they get the highest traffic.
Games are also a great way to get people to complete some integral part of the event in a timely manner, or just to get them from A to B. For example, if you want people to register early, include a passcode on the confirmation page or in your confirmation email. Just make sure you communicate the game in your marketing!