For corporate event planners far and wide, delegate engagement is an ongoing concern. In our constantly connected world, the competition for your delegates' attention and the expectations of measurable results from your event are greater than ever.
It's this demand for captivating event content that can produce quantifiable outcomes that drives savvy corporate event planners to adopt gamification in their event strategies. Adopting mechanics and psychological motivators from the world of gaming, gamification incorporates elements of fun and modern technology to enhance the delegate experience and satisfy stakeholder demands. That said, gamification shouldn't be mistaken as just the implementation of a corporate event app or networking game - instead, consider gamification strategically and holistically to reap the full benefits.
In this article, we'll address how your corporate event management can be taken to the next level with a well-considered gamification strategy.
What is gamification for corporate events?
Games are a part of most peoples' lives these days. A staggering 2.5 billion people in the world today play digital games - either on their phone, computer or other console, according to the Newzoo 2019 Global Games Market Report. That's roughly a third of the entire world playing games. The number only increases when you consider other types of gaming - newspaper crosswords, board games, sports.
We play games because they're fun. They stimulate parts of our brains that enjoy competition, collection, or completion. The very format of a game often motivates us to complete the actions intended by the game's designers, and this is exactly how gamification works in events.
By taking elements of games - such as point systems, progress bars, collections, challenges or narratives - and instilling them in the event experience, corporate event designers can tap into intrinsic motivators and drive delegates to perform key actions that are valuable to event stakeholders. This can be done without technology, but the addition of modern event tech enables seamless quantification of those actions to make reporting and analysis much more simple.
One example of an event game might reward delegates visiting sponsor booths throughout a trade show. Using a corporate event app, delegates could scan codes or enter passwords given by sponsors they engage with to mark their progress. Once they've collected every code, they might be rewarded with swag, an invitation to a satellite networking event or even just bragging rights. Using this strategy, you can encourage delegates to engage with sponsors on the event floor and directly collect data to gauge the strategy's performance.
Gamification might also be used to encourage delegates to share your event on social media and generate buzz, enable deeper learning and reinforce conference presentations, reward attendance or facilitate networking.
What are the benefits of corporate event gamification?
More now than ever, people are talking about blurring the lines between business and pleasure - bleisure travel being a great example. Gamification brings familiar elements of fun back into corporate events, stimulating engagement and eliciting an emotional response from your delegates. Properly implemented gamification has the power to transform your corporate event in the following ways:
- Encourage and reward desired behaviours.
No matter the behaviour you're seeking from your delegates, there's a way to motivate and measure those actions through gamification.
- Reinforce an event narrative.
Games today are just as much about storytelling as they are mechanics. By rewarding actions with progress through a powerful story, you can form strong emotional bonds with your delegates.
- Weave a social fabric.
Help delegates create lasting relationships and memories by encouraging them to play together and activating a sense of common purpose.
- Boost delegates' self-confidence.
Leave delegates feeling great about themselves through simple reward and recognition tactics within the event game.
- Collect relevant, valuable data.
Measure patterns in desired actions through the use of event technology.
- Demonstrate value to key stakeholders.
Report on valuable behaviours to communicate return on objectives to internal and external stakeholders.
How does corporate event gamification succeed?
So how can gamification alone achieve all this? In short, it won't. Gamification must be carefully woven into your broader event strategy, aligned with your event goals and the expectations of your delegates. In order to truly be successful gamification can't be considered a secondary aspect to your event, but rather part of the whole picture, right from the start.
To successfully design game elements for your event, you need to ask if the strategy satisfies but intrinsic and extrinsic motivators of your delegates. An intrinsic motivator is an internal feeling, something that naturally drives someone. Usually this is a sense of accomplishment, recognition, or status. Meanwhile, extrinsic motivators are what we typically think of as rewards - trophies, swag or cash.
When gamifying your event, consider how the game with appeal to both of these types of motivators. Intrinsic motivators can be satisfied through a leaderboard or digital badges. Extrinsic motivators require incentives, but shouldn't be your primary focus. Delegates already have their reasons for attending your event - and it's probably not to win an iPad. Consider offering exclusive access to networking mixers or free materials from guest speakers. Using a mix of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators ensures you're appealing to all types of people.
Your motivators should always be tailored to your existing demographic. Understand what makes your audience tick using pre- or post-event surveys and ensure you're designing directly for your audience.
Design your gamification strategically. Consider the goals of your business and event, then translate those into delegate actions. Consider how you delegates can be motivated to perform those actions, and then think about facilitating that with corporate event technology. Not only does technology allow the capture and analysis of actionable data in real-time, it's familiar to today's delegates. Embracing the "second screen" keeps your delegates connected to their phones, without pulling them away from the event itself.
Gamify your next corporate event with cievents
Gamification is a powerful tool to engage and motivate delegates. WIth the right strategy in place, you can leverage game mechanics and technology to produce events that inspire and delight. To work with the experts in developing your gamification strategy, reach out to cievents today.
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