Every event organizer hopes that their event’s content is fascinating enough on its own to capture and hold participants’ attention. In reality, though, you might need a dose of something extra to keep attendees engaged and energized, especially if your event is longer than a day. Event gamification is a reliable and surprisingly easy way to keep your attendees interested and boost your event outcomes.
Event gamification is a broad term that refers to incorporating game-like processes and elements into your event to make it more engaging and to motivate attendees to keep interacting. It can involve prizes, but it doesn’t have to, because even the presence of a challenge can boost your attendees’ interest and engagement.
If you want to incorporate gamification into your next event, there are plenty of ways to use this strategy smoothly. Consider these top examples of gamification ideas.
People love to test their knowledge, and what better way to do that than with a trivia contest? There are a few ways to do this. You could have session leaders start off each session with a trivia question and allow attendees to submit their answers. Or, you could send out trivia questions about the information that has been covered in sessions to keep attendees on their toes. Either way, you keep a running tally of each attendee’s score for their correct answers throughout the event.
In a scavenger hunt, you give participants a list of tasks to complete at some point during the event. You might challenge them to find out the first name of at least five vendors, for example, or to get a picture with a presenter. They can get a prize if they complete all or a certain percentage of the tasks on the list.
A photo contest can be a similar challenge to a scavenger hunt but centred solely around photos. You might challenge attendees to get a picture with two attendees who are from countries that aren’t their own, get photos with a certain number of vendors, and get a photo with two people that have the same job title they do, for example.
Before your event, you can come up with a variety of participation tasks and you can put each one inside the square of a Bingo card. You can even use software to randomly mix up where each task is so that each participant’s card is different. Throughout the event, participants can mark off each square of their Bingo card as they complete the task in that square, and when they mark off squares in the right configurations, they’ve won a Bingo.
There are plenty of ways for people to participate and engage in your event: answering questions during sessions, signing up for vendors’ mailing lists, participating in interactive activities, and so on. You can assign points to each of these actions and set up a way for participants to win points for completing each action. Throughout the event, you can display the running tally on a leaderboard, sparking competition and driving attendees to earn more points.
Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say! Foster networking and interaction by putting your attendees into teams and pooling the attendees’ participation points together for their team. This gives them the drive to motivate each other to be more engaged and interactive.
Collecting a “set” of something can be an exciting motivator for your attendees, and you can put that to use by creating personal badges or trophies that attendees can earn for engaging and participating in certain ways. When attendees collect all or a certain number of badges, you can reward them with a prize or public recognition.
You don’t need material prizes to motivate people; public shout-outs alone and the pride they bring can be enough to drive attendees to be more active in your event. You can create a system that awards points throughout the event for active participation and announce the winners at the end of the event, or you could give event staff the opportunity to submit shout-outs for any particularly active participants they see.
Part of the benefit of an event, whether it’s virtual or in-person, is networking. To encourage participants to network more actively, try setting up icebreaker games. For example, you can have a sheet of prompts such as, “Find someone who has a Taurus astrological sign,” “Find someone who has a hobby that you haven’t tried,” or “Find someone who has traveled at least 100 miles to be here.”
Event gamification can make your event tremendously more successful, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive if you use the right platform like Canapii. Learn more about Canapii event software and how we can help.