Anyone in search of a way to liven up a conference or event should consider “gamification”. Events, conferences and large scale meetings are often characterized by the words stale, sterilized and boring. There’s typically a preordained speech given by a presenter that might be followed up by a period of questions and answers. There’s little spontaneity. Why not add some flavor to spice things up? Gamification is important for events. The gamification of the event will provide the fun that is sorely lacking. In order to gamify an event, the organizer will have to either take the digital route or a traditional route.
Event-specific gaming mobile applications are commonly created to satisfy the gamification demands of unique audiences. They gamify an event by adding small incentives for participation in certain competitions and challenges like Easter egg style “hunts” that require attendees to move about the conference arena with their mobile unit in hand. Or, the apps can be preloaded with small tests that appear after certain segments of presentations. The tests require the participant to answer questions relating to the event’s subject matter. Certain apps even allow participants to rack up points and collect cool prizes at the end of the seminar.
In more competitive gamification environments, attendees are able to view where their gaming performance slots on a leader board in comparison to others. This competitive element makes event attendees even more inclined to listen closely to speakers and participate in the happenings of the event. Digital gamification can turn a boring topic into one that is wildly popular and thoroughly engaging. This is precisely the magic of games. They stimulate the intellectual curiosity and competitive elements that are deeply ingrained in all of our psyches.
The digital route is typically the most common means of gamifying a large scale meeting. Yet, organizers should also strongly consider gamification by way of more traditional routes that use pen and paper or those that require communicating and playing with fellow attendees. Group attendees into factions and politely request that they interact to accomplish a goal or compete with the other factions.
For example, groups can be challenged to incorporate the event’s thematic elements into a comic strip. Or they can script a small skit that involves role playing and present it to the rest of the audience. This will inspire teamwork, demand creative thinking and stimulate socialization. Human beings are social animals. They should not be forced to sit and stare at a speaker as if they are watching television.
An Effective Means of Marketing
The gamification of an event should be touted in the literature and correspondence sent out to potential participants before the actual event. Incorporating a gaming element makes people much more likely to show up to the event. They’ll also arrive with a sense of wonder and excitement as they anticipate a participatory intensive event.
The gamification can even occur before the event starts. Points can be awarded to individuals who register for the event before fellow attendees. Or let them recruit others to the event and track each person’s recruitment total with a digital app or cloud based technology. This is an effective way to motivate people into generating widespread interest in the event.