Event Gamification Done Right
Gamification can be described as taking the competitive nature and structure of gaming and applying them to things outside the world of entertainment. When it comes to the event world, gamification basically means that attendees will be playing while they learn and network. Mobile devices are the key to event gamification, and smartphones are the most important of the bunch. Since nearly everyone now carries a smartphone around, it's a safe bet that almost your entire audience will be able to participate and be engaged beyond passive listening.
Attendee interaction and enjoyment is definitely the end goal here, but there are many tangible benefits to be had for the event planner and sponsors as well. The trick is to make it so the attendees have fun without becoming too aware of these benefits. It is therefore important to identify your goals and target audience in advance so you can engineer the games around what attendees really want and the data you'd like to capture.
Once you've laid out your objectives, technology can then be used to achieve them in the most creative and fun way possible. What follows are some ideas for implementing gamification that will help take your event production to the next level.
Spice Up Your Presentations
One popular use of games is the transformation of speaker presentations into fun, interactive displays where the audience is transformed into active participants. Gone are the days of the boring, 90 min lectures that echo 100 level college courses. With a little bit of thought and a few apps, speakers will be more exciting and audiences more attentive. Each of your presentations should have at least one interactive aspect built in.
As a starter, TweetWall and LiveTweetApp allow you to moderate and display tweets on a screen of your choice. You can poll attendees, have them respond via Twitter and Instagram, and then display the results in real time. Gamify is an app specifically engineered to gamify your entire event with components to transform presentations with polls and social media integration. You can offer prizes and enter everyone who responded to the polls into a drawing. Monetary prizes are always a hit but you can also offer unique event content such as VIP access to networking events, local gift certificates, or discounts on hotel amenities.
Crowdmics is another simple but effective app that transforms every attendee's cell phone into a microphone that can be synced with the PA system and used for Q & A. Questions and comments can also be texted in through the app, giving you another opportunity to collect info and offer prizes. Perhaps the easiest way to gamify your presentation is the world's first throwable microphone, the Catchbox. What could be better to increase engagement than throwing around a colorful padded box microphone? The audience will be kept on their toes and the speaker will command more attention throughout the whole session.
Increase Foot Traffic & Booth Interaction
If your main goal is to drive more traffic to different event stations, there are are a variety of ways to go and apps to help you along. Self-described as 'the worlds most engaging event app,' Livecube looks to motivate attendees with badges, points, and real-world rewards using Salesforce Chatter, Twitter, and Yammer. Eventgoers can utilize their iPad rentals or phones to check in at event locations, communicate with speakers and other attendees, and complete polls and surveys, all for points. Participants who garner the most points can win prizes that are displayed within the app and the winners can be posted on monitors along with real-time results.
SCANVenger Hunt and Go Game are great platforms that play off a scavenger hunt model to increase engagement across your entire event. Posters and signs with scannable QR codes can be placed at different stations, allowing players to scan the code for clues about where to go next. Participating attendees will learn more about each station, your event in general, and even sponsors as they continue to earn points. With Go Game, teams are encouraged to network and submit photo and video submissions that are later judged by everyone and presented by an event MC.
Crack the Code and Badgeville focus on encouraging attendees to visit as many booths and attend as many sessions as possible to gain points and redeem prizes. It should be noted though that if the goal is to increase interaction between attendees and exhibitors, there should also be incentives to ensure that people stick around each station and network with others. One way to ensure guests hang around booths that they are interested in is to incorporate Beacon Technology that automatically pushes out notifications to them when they are in close proximity to a certain area or vendor. Otherwise attendees may just scan QR codes or check in quickly to get points without exploring and learning.
Break the Ice & Ramp Up Networking
We've already talked about a few apps that aim to increase and incentivise networking between attendees, speakers, and exhibitors, but there are plenty of other ideas that will really help engage attendees and get them mingling. You can create your own social media feed using Hootsuite, post it up on a large monitor, and select the most fun and creative posts to award with event swag. Trivia stations can utilize rental iPads or touchscreens to test individual attendees or teams on topics related to the event and your industry. Randomizing questions will keep people coming back, and you can change up prizes as the event goes on.
Group activities like small discussion sessions or a theater themed charging station will engage further, and encouraging icebreakers during dinner and cocktail hours will get everyone involved. Incorporating things like 5-min exercises as opposed to coffee breaks will keep energy up without the caffeine crash, and providing extra-curricular suggestions will keep people mingling even after the daytime event activities.
We'd love to talk to you about your gamification goals and ideas. Check out our touchscreen and iPad kiosk rentals to start, then give us a call at 1-877-633-8866. Whatever the event, Meeting Tomorrow can help!
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