An Event Planning Blog by Gather Digital

Expert Series: Gamification

Written by: Taylor Sisk

Taylor Sisk

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A mobile event app feature that clients are increasingly embracing is gamification, or the badge game. Gamification is an excellent vehicle for encouraging more comprehensive event participation and offering positive reinforcement. It’s a fun enticement for your guests to effectively network, provide valuable feedback and create their own narratives.

Gamification offers a real-time reward system in the form of digital badges. It rewards your attendees for the activities that maximize their event experience and help you achieve meeting goals—schedule planning, session check-ins, exhibitor booth visits, giving feedback, social sharing and Charlotte Headshot for post.pngmore.

And it’s all made easy in the mobile event app. 

“All that organizers need to do is decide on the activities they want to encourage,” says Charlotte Ainsworth, a UK-based Gather Digital account executive.

Now: Let the games begin.

Reach out

For many clients, networking is the number-one gamification objective. The app awards badges automatically if, for example, your guests exchange virtual business cards or add personal information to their profiles in order to more readily connect. Your guests will see what badges others are earning and identify people with similar interests and expertise.

Or maybe you want to reward attendees for getting involved in the discussion boards or polling opportunities within the app. This encourages interaction while generating valuable feedback.

Speaking of feedback … Since you’re collecting it in real time from the backend of the app, you can put it to immediate use­—add an additional breakout session on the fly or reach out to guests who have specific questions. You can increase your meeting’s ROI by having a sales team member follow up right on site with helpful information or use the feedback to help inform future marketing initiatives.

Get the message

Tharrow with 22tip22 large.jpge badge game can be played as a team sport between business units or geographic regions. Ancombining gamification with the Gather Digital app’s messaging capability offers an opportunity to heighten the spirit of competition.

“You can periodically send little updates,” Charlotte says. “Like, ‘Team A just nudged into the lead,” or “Don’t let up, Team B; you can still catch them.’”

“Meanwhile,” Charlotte continues, “you’ll see at a glance who the individual and team leaders are, either displayed in the app or on a wide-screen version displayed in a common area. People are then reminded of who’s surging forward, and are enticed to get a bit more involved themselves­—to collect a few more badges.”

“It’s also just good fun,” she attests. “And it allows guests to perhaps stand out from the crowd a bit.”

Tell your story

Gamification can also serve to level the social playing field. Charlotte explains:

“First of all, it flattens the company hierarchy. Everyone is an equal competitor. I also think it can be enticing to all personality types. You’ll always have people who are more forthcoming; they’re in it from the start. But those who are a bit more reserved will be encouraged to get aboard as they see their colleagues being rewarded publicly. They’ll want to join in.”

Charlotte says there tends to be a snowball effect as guests build their own narratives by contributing social and business content.

“Someone might earn their first badge simply by completing a survey form or participating in a live poll. Then they find themselves taking selfies next to the statue in the foyer, and onward from there.
Now they’re ready to participate in team selfies.”

Be clever

Charlotte tells of a client who recently put gamification to particularly creative use.

Thearrow with 22tip22 large.jpg event was held in a collection of galleries; floorplans of those galleries were loaded into      the app. Guests were then directed to different areas—an abstract painting at the south entrance, for example. Once there, they were given a multiple-choice selection of descriptions of the painting. They made their selection, and were immediately awarded a badge. Then on to the next destination.

“Another creative idea is to plot a treasure hunt.“ Charlotte suggests. “Make it as easy, or not, as you wish. Or give a quiz based on content covered during specific sessions to reinforce key takeaways.

“And since the leaderboard continually updates in real time, this can culminate in a nail-biting and memorable experience for everyone.”

Why not?

Fire up your imagination. Gamification offers enhanced engagement, encourages actionable feedback and, as Charlotte put it, is “just good fun.”

“Why wouldn’t you want to try it?” she asks.


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