Gamification in events and its impact

Gamification is the application of game mechanics and psychology to non-game context. It adopts the persuasive elements of games, tapping on rewards and level progressions to ignite the intrinsic motivations to do and share.

events-heavenly-headerEvents are staged occurrence and attendance are derived from the ability to participate and socialise. People are grouped together for a defined period of time and it’s an occurrence whereby attention can be curated and controlled. It is an ideal platform for branding and promotion. For it to truly attract and retain target audiences there has to be strong engagement mechanisms. In this post, we will look at how events can leverage on SoLoMo and Gamification to provide a positive experience.

Use of mobile devices enable better engagement

The proliferation of mobile devices has provided marketers with the tools to turn target groups into partners. As an extension of the 4Ps of marketing, mobile enables participation. Passive event-goers can be engage through the use of simple Gamification event apps, all at the palms of the participants. In the traditional sense, games in events have long been played. Merchants staged temporary promotional events at shopping malls, offering rebates or coupons for items on sale. Shoppers are enticed and encourage to shop at these events, to achieve the rewards of discounts. Merchants attain the benefits of increased sales while the shoppers get the incentive of a bargain.

Gamification brings mobility to events. Asia’s first gamified event, ideas.inc. Business Challenge, increase engagement and participation through a Gametize powered mobile app. Participants earned virtual points and items through completing challenges involving QR codes and photo sharing. Virtual points and item can then be redeemed for actual prizes. Participants are encouraged to interact and share, and this creates a more engaging atmosphere for the event. The provision of an immersive experience attracts and retains target audiences’ attention.

A promotional guide to downloading the app.
A promotional guide to downloading the app.

A gamified mobile app can serve as utility for an event. Gametize created an app for Walkabout Singapore 2014, a city-wide open house for technology startups, which allows participants to locate the various startups around Singapore. The app acts as a mobile guide, which complement the theme of walkabout.

Gamification in events creates social unity and motivation

participationGamification in events can steer participants’ behaviours and motivations. It helps achieve the objectives of the event. For instance, should the event’s objectives be about learning and sharing, a Gamified app can have inter-department challenges which require participants to tap on their team mates’ knowledge for answers. Gamification in events can create positive on-boarding motivation, interest and participation. With an app, activities or challenges can be directed at everyone, preventing alienation and boredom. Providing “something to do” at an event give participants little reasons to leave during an intermittent stage of an event’s proceedings.

Good delivery of Gamification at events

Create simple content and friendly interface design.
Create simple content and friendly interface design.

An event would have its own objectives to achieve and a Gamified app would serve as an enabler to a better experience. Delivery of an appropriate game, not for Gamification sake, requires proper planning and execution. We suggest:

1) Create good content through storytelling. Take the participants through a journey of exploration. Let them be the agent on a quest to uncover great bands at a music festival. Awards points (that can be exchange for food) when they take a selfie with the band on stage!

2) Provide an easy-to-use and intuitive platform. Create easy login through Facebook (for on-boarding), for instance. Adopt good design principles in the user interface. Do not ruin an experience due to a complicated set-up.

According to Gartner, 70% of top 2,000 organisations would deploy at least one type of Gamified application. Put your game on and create an immersive event with a simple yet attractive app. Or simply have game elements be the backbone of your event!

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This post was contributed by Max Ang, Business Development Mentee @ Gametize
Max is the summer Business Ninja at Gametize in 2014. He loves reading, especially on themes that deal with the modern society. A sporty person who enjoys runs in the morning and rock climbing on the weekends.

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