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3 Principles for Event Gaming Success


Posted by Lanyon on 12/17/2015

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Chances are, some variation of the phrase “let’s gamify our event!” is currently buzzing around your office. Gamification is one of the hottest topics in the events industry — and you’d be wise to figure out if it’s right for you. Haven’t your events worked perfectly well this far, without having something extra to create and manage?

But done well, gamification can deliver surprisingly powerful benefits for attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and event organizers. Get it wrong, and you’ll have spent your money without enjoying any of the perks — so it’s important to be smart about it. Here are three basic principles to get you started:

#1: See Through the Eyes of Your Attendees
You know what you want to achieve when you gamify your event; you want to drive specific behaviors throughout the event lifecycle, while creating an unique and memorable experience for your attendees.

This is likely to include attendance (with check-ins at the venue, sessions, meetings and booths), getting social (with sharing, commenting and rating), networking (with rich user profiles, meetings and messages) and also feedback (during sessions, on sessions and about the overall event).

What you gain for yourself — and for your sponsors and exhibitors — is clear. But to be successful, you need to step into your participants’ shoes. Ask yourself — why should your attendees want to play your game? And why would they want to win?

#2: Consider Your Incentives
The element of competition, while crucial, will only get you so far. Earning points and climbing the leaderboard are just parts of gaming. Achievements have to be tangible and accessible to all players, not just the winner.

Incentives don’t have to be financial. They could be linked to status and recognition (e.g. being invited to speak or receiving a media pass) or access (e.g. special workshops and a post-event party). Even coupons for lunch, coffee or free chocolates to be collected from an exhibitor booth can prove very popular. Of course, you’ll want to include some big money prizes, too.

#3: It’s All About Value Exchange
Your goal is to build intrinsic value into each game, so that the very act of participating will provide value for the attendee —  such as making more or wider-ranging networking connections than they otherwise might, had they not participated.

Want more mobile event app tips?
Lanyon webinars are a great place to get information on cutting-edge event technology. Check out our on-demand webinar — The BIG Payoff: Mobile Event Apps — to understand ways in which you can measure your event app ROI.
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