Guest blog by Dan McCarthy
Games, we all love them, we all have at least one installed on our phones. The concept of gamification takes advantage of the fun factor and reward factor, e.g. complete a task and collect your coins. This is only one example but you get the general idea. Seeing that gamification can be a powerful tool, especially for your event and engagement, let’s take a look at five ideas that will help you sky-rocket engagement at your events with the help of gamification.
If you’re hosting an event, it is always good to dedicate some space of the venue to the entertainment/relaxation corner. Your attendees will need a place to sit down and relax at certain points. That’s why creating a separate corner and incorporating gamification in it should be considered. This is a good idea because it’s not expensive. A small gamification corner shouldn’t set you back much. Its relatively easy on a lower budget to set up video games or games such as foosball, darts, etc. On the other hand, if you have a huge budget (well, not a huge one, but a budget where you can have the freedom to choose whatever you like), you could include VR and AR games. A gamification (entertainment) corner will make people talk about your event both during and after.
Gamification as an ice-breaker
Make networking easy with gamification. Socializing has never been more fun. Introduce games that encourage networking at your event but make sure that the games you include aren’t those awkward ones that everyone hates. One good networking game is to condition the space by placing big round tables. Put a name on each table and make it visible. The names need to be topics of interest that are related to the subject of the event. During the accreditation make sure that everyone’s supplied with the number of the table where they will be sitting. Before the event even starts, your moderator should give attendees fifteen minutes to talk about themselves to those who sit at the same table. People should speak their mind about the topic of the table and then a little bit about themselves. This trick is quite good both for networking and socializing, this is a great example of how good gamification at an event can be. Use it.
If you really want to treat your attendees, introduce an event app. They’ll love it. Gamify your event app and you’ll be utilizing it to the fullest. You don’t have to hire professionals to create demanding and complex games, fun and simple ones will do the trick just fine. Connecting the dots or fun puzzles, those are great options but remember to always have your event’s name there in the app. Engaging your audience like this is great and when people start talking about the app, rest assured that even the ones who aren’t attending will want to hear about it.
People like rewards, people like incentives. Improve the engagement by incentivizing it with the aid of gamification. People play games and they like to get rewards for it, it’s a motivational booster. That’s why you need to strongly consider this idea. Reward your attendees for their engagement in various parts and aspects of your event. For example, if a person visits every stall or attends numerous sessions, simply put, is an active individual that’s mingling through the event community, reward that behavior! Those individuals are the driving force at your event engagement-wise.
Discussions create engagement. Without questions and topics, there can be no discussions. That’s why you need to supply the questions and thus encourage engagement. You’ll want to provide a chance for your attendees to learn new stuff at your event and one sure way to do it is by questioning. Q&A will initiate relevant discussions that are useful to the attendees that are there for the session. Of course, people aren’t always inspired and ready for questions. So, gamify that! Turn it into a competition. Announce beforehand that they are requested to ask their questions in relation to the session and the topic that is discussed. You can do that through social media and event networking platforms. You can even to it all offline. The person with great question that generated a good discussion wins. Simple!
Boosting engagement isn’t easy but with the help of a powerful tool like gamification, it can be done. Consider these ideas before your next event. You’ll find them quite useful.
This is a guest blog post by Dan McCarthy.
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience and Mask, event companies part of Concerto Group, based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.