Event gamification is a relatively new concept that’s taking the event industry by storm. With attendees wanting to feel like an active participant in an event, it’s making meeting and event planners jobs even more difficult.
However, gamification is a fantastic, and simple way to make attendees feel completely immersed in an event. That is, if it’s done correctly. A poorly planned game can break an event. But fear not, we have the recipe for successful gamification.
1. Make it engaging
First and foremost, your game should be engaging so attendees want to play it. Try to come up with an overall theme for the game that makes sense for your event. It can be easy to get carried away with gamification and just gamify everything, leaving little meaning to the game itself.
One recent example of an amazing gamification theme that worked well with the overall event theme was by one of our partners who held an internal company event at Harry Potter Land in Florida. They centered their gamification solely around Harry Potter and had made the game interactive with the theme park itself. They sorted attendees into ‘houses,’ and displayed the houses on a leaderboard. In addition, before the shuttle arrived, a Beacon popped up on the event app telling attendees to make their way to Platform 9 ¾. The game theme completely matched the rest of the event, maximizing attendee engagement.
2. Make it fun
It’s all fun and games… until it’s not.
Gamification is one of the best ways to guarantee event app adoption. However, if the game stops being fun – you can bet that attendees will stop using your app. Keep attendees using your event app by making your game fun. Include a leaderboard that displays the top ten players with the highest scores to motivate attendees to keep playing with friendly competition. Up the stakes by having prizes for the top three players. One of our customers gave away a trip for two to the first place player!
3. Make it fair
As much as friendly competition in gamification is a good motivator, highly competitive individuals can take the game too far. These players are the ones that run around the event doing everything humanly possible to move themselves up on the leaderboard. Perhaps they’ve even found a loophole that allows them to cheat to get ahead. While this can be easily avoided, it’s still possible. And seeing someone skyrocket up the leaderboard can discourage others from playing the game, as they have lost hope of ever catching up to win. That’s why it’s important to make the game fair.
Minimize this risk by adjusting player’s scores accordingly. If you found out someone cheated, you can deduct the invalid points off their score, or ban them completely. Another best practice is refreshing the leaderboard at the end of every day to give players an even playing field the next day, and adding up total scores at the very end of the event.
4. Make it beneficial
A key piece to successful gamification is making it easy for attendees to get something out of your event, all while having fun. For example, using gamification to promote networking. Networking can be difficult for many attendees, but with the help of gamification, attendees can easily break the ice in a less serious manner. By adding points to certain networking activities, it encourages attendees to talk to one another while still gaining traction in the game.
In addition, gamification is a great way to increase foot traffic to booths at your event. By giving unique QR codes to booths, and assigning points for every QR code scanned, you instantly increase traffic at booths. It also gives attendees the opportunity to move around the event and strike up conversations with more people.
All of these elements can lend to a fun and exciting game at your next event.