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An Event Planning Blog by Gather Digital

How Event App Gamification Can Help Drive Event Goals

Written by: Angie Sloan

Angie Sloan

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A little friendly competition goes a long way to encourage participation at events. Gamification in your mobile event app is fun for meeting-goers, but at its core is a great way to engage attendees and help drive the behaviors that get to the very heart of your event goals. 

In her TEDx talk, "Gamification at Work," Janaki Kumar said, “Gamification is a mindset that can transform the way we work. It is about carefully selecting elements that we love about games—challenge, connection, competition, feedback—and adding them to a non-game context to solve a problem or engage an audience.”

Those event goals are ever present in your mind

When creating a game, it’s no different. In fact, we’ve found that including games is one of the most compelling ways to move the needle for driving attendee behavior and achieving event objectives. The leaderboard displays in the app on a large screen so that participants can keep tabs on who’s ahead and how they are stacking up versus the competition.

Games can be set up however you want, again depending on your event goals. You decide what actions earn badges and what badge designs to use (your own or ones provided). It’s your game; you set the rules.

Maybe you want participants to meet and network with each other.

Create badges for:

  • Filling out their attendee profile in the app
  • Trading virtual business cards
  • Attending certain types of sessions—participants see who else has similar areas of interest and expertise
  • Sending messages to other attendees 

If you’d like attendees to visit exhibitors, create sponsor badges.

A person could earn a badge by visiting five exhibitors from a group that you choose or have certain key sponsors with their own unique badge (maybe it’s their logo). Participants go to the booth, talk with the exhibitor, receive the code word and earn a badge. This is a great way to drive traffic to the exhibit hall floor.

Perhaps you want to get feedback for strategic planning, to improve future events or for use in upcoming marketing initiatives.

Create badges for participating in live polls in certain sessions, answering an ongoing poll during the conference and filling out surveys. You catch participants when they are in the moment and their thoughts and minds are on the meeting. You won’t have to collect paper questionnaires at the door or enter data into your spreadsheet. And you’ll get valuable data through instant reporting. The key is getting people to respond to your call for feedback and we’ve found that a small incentive can tip the scale.

It may be that creating excitement and getting people to contribute in meaningful ways to the event is a key objective.

Create badges for posting discussion topics and commenting on the threads, posting photos of themselves, other attendees or interesting things that are happening in town or at the conference.

Really, badges can be created for many actions and for so many purposes. The options are limitless. You could even create teams if you have certain groups of people you’d like to bring together. Setting up the game with a team concept takes the competitiveness up a notch. If you have to complete activities because your team wants to win, that’s compelling. People really get into event app gamification; attendee interaction, collaboration and networking soar.

Quick Tips for Setting up Your Game

  • Early gratification—easy-to-earn first badge, perhaps the Login Badge
  • Easy enough to earn, but challenging enough to be meaningful
  • Some serious badges, some fun badges—perhaps an iCloud Expert Badge for attending certain sessions and a Work Hard, Play Hard Badge for attending the late night karaoke party and the early keynote session the next morning
  • Consider a prize drawing for the highest badge earners
  • Enlist a few helpers to commit to participating to get the ball rolling
  • Announce the game ahead of time in your event email

Here are a couple of badge examples:

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Gamification can encourage certain behaviors that help achieve your conference goals. And it’s fun. So you may want to give it a try at your next event and see why people love it.

 

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