Gamification encourages attendees to engage and interact with an event through clever use of competition and rewards. While smart gamification can increase booth traffic, ramp up networking and make speaker sessions more interesting, poorly conceived ones can hamper attendee experience . The successful formula for gamification consists of three major elements, which are:
It needs to be engaging:
You need to know what your attendees are interested in and will be eager to participate in. You can spice up speaker sessions with interactive segments and Q&A sessions. Each correct answer can earn participants points. At corporate events, polls are a big hit too. Have a lucky draw for those who participated in the polls, with complimentary prizes for the winners. Unique gifts such as VIP access to networking events, gift certificates, discounts on hotel amenities also encourage attendees to participate in various programmes, making the overall event more fun and engaging.
It needs to be fair:
Every gamified event gets some overly competitive individuals doing everything possible to win, which is hardly sporting. While enthusiasm is good, too much of it sucks the fun out of the game for others. Some participants may even resort to cheating to win!
You can minimise the chances of this happening by making the game fair. Deduct points if you find somebody has cheated, arrange for complimentary prizes for all participants, keep game segments short. Add the total scores at the end of each segment. Refresh the leaderboards at the end of every hour/day/segment to give participants a fresh start.
It needs to add value:
Apart from having attractive prizes, use gamification as an icebreaker. Add points to certain networking activities to get attendees to interact more. Give unique QR codes to booths and inform the attendees about the reward points they get for every QR code they scan. This way, you can increase foot traffic and interaction at booths.
Event gamification makes for happy attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and speakers. Think carefully about how gamification can add to your event’s value and improve your ROI. Feel free to experiment, according to your event’s type, magnitude, location, etc.