I’ll admit it: When it comes to games, I play to win. Whether it’s the monthly spades tournament with my next door neighbors, or team building games here at Meeting Tomorrow, a little competitive energy always brings people together.
I know I’m not alone in loving a good dose of friendly competition. That’s why, when AirMeet asked me to host their recent session on Reenergizing Your 2022 Virtual Events, I decided to start the session with a round of Event Industry Trivia. I knew this would kick off the session in an engaging, immersive way. The winner would receive (drumroll please) a Roomba! (Yes, the robotic vacuum cleaner.)
The game was a hit. We used the platform Kahoot!, which integrated within Airmeet. We had over 70 people participate, and it set off a flurry of questions about how to replicate something similar. (Congrats, Sarah on your new Roomba!) It showed how games can be a powerful way to engage your virtual attendees. Below are additional tips I shared about playing trivia or other virtual games for large groups at virtual events or conferences.
#1 Have a Goal for the Virtual Game
Don’t just add in a game for filler. Make sure it has a purpose. In my case, I kicked off with a game to encourage event planners to be creative with their formats.
You may want to kick off with a game to test learning, teach something new, or let attendees get to know each other or the presenters. Treat the game like you would a keynote — put thought and resources into it, and keep a specific outcome in mind.
#2 Virtual Event Prizes!
Who doesn’t love a prize? It will incentivize people to join in. Have fun with your prizes — your goal should be to surprise and delight your audience. People love to win things they might not buy for themselves but would love to have. Here are some additional ideas:
- Luxury slippers
- Dyson hair dryer
- Apple Watch or iPad
- Gift cards to Nuts.com (delicious snack website!)
- Donation to a non-profit of their choice
- Air fryer
- Portable Hammock
- Yeti cooler
- Bluetooth speaker
Note how the prizes above don’t include alcohol — an inclusive choice that makes everyone welcome to compete for the prize.
#3 Make Participation Easy
You don’t want your players to feel confused, or scramble to understand how to participate. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen when the rules of the game haven’t been described clearly, or when signing up is clunky.
Offer streamlined, fool-proof instructions for people to play. You also want to rehearse your game just like you would another session. Have a few people on your team play in real time to work out any technical issues, poorly worded questions, or other flow issues.
At the Airmeet event, players could enter and play Kahoot! by simply clicking “Join Here” above the chat box, since Kahoot! can integrate with the platform. They could also scan a QR code with their phone. The way your attendees enter the game will differ depending on which type of virtual event gamification you’re using, but no matter what it should be easy and seamless.
#4 Hire a Virtual Event Host
Hiring an energetic game host livens things up. This person should be focused on running the game and encouraging attendees, but shouldn’t need to focus on the technical pieces. One idea that we have seen work really successfully is to hire performers from local improv groups.
There are also companies who specialize in bespoke virtual event games, and often provide a professional host. This option can take the bulk of the work off your plate, and ensure the game is polished and entertaining.
#5 Mix Up the Difficulty of the Trivia Questions
Make sure there’s a mix of easy, medium, and difficult questions, whether you’re playing virtual event trivia or another game format. Participants will feel discouraged if the game is frustrating. At the same time, a game that’s too easy can veer towards too-childish. Have a good mix of questions to keep people invested through the very end!
Are you ready to incorporate a game into your virtual event? We have lots more ideas and strategies for an engaging virtual event, and would love to hear what you’re planning. Get in touch with us anytime!