Gamification applies the fun, competitive structure of games to areas outside the world of entertainment.

Posted on Sep 24, 2018

When used correctly, a gamified event strategy encourages attendees to more deeply engage, creating a highly memorable (and valuable!) experience.

Contrary to what some may think, not all gamification methods are digital. Savvy planners take advantage of digital, analog, AND mixed gamified experiences to increase the effectiveness and appeal of their strategy. Here are a few pro-tips on gamifying your next meeting or event:

Set-up a game corner.
A prominently located gaming corner is a great way to engage attendees and create some buzz. During breaks and free time, these areas – which can feature video games, foosball, chess, and even VR games - help attendees unwind and network in a fun, relaxed environment As an added bonus, this space also provides interesting opportunities for sponsorship promotion.

Explore icebreakers and networking games.
Attendee interaction through games is a great way to encourage networking. Games like two truths one lie or the nametag switch work well to get conversations started. You might also consider dividing attendees into smaller teams to amplify interaction. If your event has its own event-networking platform, you can encourage attendees to play games like trivia or a quick rapid-fire quizzes.

Gamify through polling.
Polling is a great way to solicit feedback and opinion. To make polling more fun and appealing, divide attendees into teams, offer a variety of different polls, and the team with the most participation is the final winner. Polls can consist of quirky, interesting facts, or even feedback on your actual event.

Invest in an event app. 
According to Guidebook, in 2016, 86% of event attendees rated an event app as a key aspect that made their time at an event more enjoyable. Take advantage of this built-in engagement and gamify your event app by including fun and simple games. Classic games work well, and if you have a bigger budget, you could integrate augmented reality such as Pokémon Go. It's a great way to engage the audience as well as increase the adoption rate of your event app.

Acquaint attendees with the venue.
Planners and organizers are tasked with making sure that attendees are familiarized and acquainted with the whole event venue. A classic scavenger hunt is a fun and interactive way to encourage exploration. You can organize the hunt either the traditional way or through fun audience engagement tools like Loquiz, Huntzz, Mapdash, etc. You can also expand your scavenger hunt to include fun areas of your destination city. Your partners at VisitDallas have great ideas for exploring all that Dallas has to offer.  They can help you arrange the perfect guided or self-guided tour of Big D.

Encourage Q&A. 
Learning is a key agenda item and Q&As help initiate insightful and relevant discussions. To amp up your Q&A engagement, turn it into a competition - managed through social media, your event app or even offline.

Overall, make sure that the rewards and giveaways you provide are valuable and win-worthy. From goodie bags and special badges to discount vouchers and food passes, appealing and useful giveaways are a great motivator for participation (which translates into engagement!).