In recent months, we’ve been tasked to create some gamification elements for various clients with a large portion for events. So we thought we’ll share some tips on how you could also potentially use this for your next event.
Just a bit of background first: Gamification may have begun as a simple way of keeping people on websites for longer, but it now has so much more to offer – and event organizers may be able to capitalize on it in order to raise their ticket registration and sales. This may also be extended further in engaging attendees during the actual event as we are seeing trend now.
Durham University Business School in the UK is well aware of the benefits the phenomenon can provide, as it just hosted an international workshop focusing on them earlier this month. But for those not lucky enough to be able to attend, what are the advantages of using gamification in marketing?
Forrester describes it as “the insertion of game dynamics and mechanics into non-game activities to drive a desired behavior”, meaning that it uses aspects of play to entertain customers or members, engage them and ultimately make them more likely to spend or provide information.
Indeed, the experts at Durham University point out that it is an excellent method of changing a passive marketing experience into an interactive one through competition and rewards.
For example, marketers could create a game in which the prize should be of extrinsic value to participants, such as free miles (sponsored by an airline?) or free conference tickets for next year’s corresponding event.
As the definition suggests, it is important to remember that gamification can be used as a data-gathering tool as well as an incentive to buy, though. Durham University predicts that by 2015, this will be one of the primary mechanisms by which event organizers engage and gather information from their audiences, so remember to ask potential gamers to tell you something about themselves if you plan on trying it.
So what are the considerations for gamification for events? Here are 5 at the top of our list which we think are vital:
1) It’s not all about badges and points, it’s about motivations and objectives.
As Brian Burke, VP of Gartner Research points out, a lot of gamification failures points down to design. Creating enough motivations for users to participate in the gamification process is key to having a successful campaign.
2) Simplicity is beautiful
Make it easy for attendees to participate. Making apps that prove too challenging will result in a high drop-off rate. Remember, simple is beautiful.
3) Think mobile
With your event attendees not having access to desktops during the event and with a high likelihood of owning a smart device, enabling the gamification process via an event app would more than help in the participation rate. Where necessary, work with the venue to provide internet access especially for overseas attendees. Better yet, if they can also participate in the gamification through a kind of sponsorship.
Create something straight-forward, simple and easy to use
4) Integrate your gamification app into your Event CRM
Having your gamification app integrate to your Event CRM would help you to data mine the information collected through your gamification app and ultimately, have a data gold mine for you to extract value out of the information collected. This not only provides value as organisers, but also for sponsors alike.
5) Make it fun
Finally, always make the game fun so people play for the enjoyment as much as the end result – they may return for more if this is the case.
Spokesperson for the Durham event Lord Stephen Carter said the benefits of gamification should not be ignored.
“In an inter-connected world, to play is to participate regardless of device, platform or geography. Intense and individual participation is the premium that all conference and events businesses are seeking to create,” he added.
What kind of gamification elements do you think attendees are looking for in 2014? Feel free to leave your comments below!