Whether you’re organizing a large-scale conference or a smaller workshop, adding event gamification to the mix can elevate the participant experience and help organizers reach their goals.
In this post, we’ll discuss the power of gamification for different event types and provide you with 19 gamification strategies and ideas to bring some fun to your next event! We’ll also look at examples of organizations that successfully used gamification as part of their event strategy.
What is Gamification in Events?
Gamification means using game-like strategies to make activities, tasks, and experiences more interactive and engaging for participants.
In the context of events, gamification is the practice of integrating game-like elements and principles to enhance attendee engagement, promote interaction, and achieve desired outcomes. “Gamifying” parts of your event lets you can tap into your attendees’ sense of adventure and competitive spirit.
Event planners can use gamification to transform familiar activities into fun, immersive, and interactive experiences that encourage participation, networking, and learning! Through challenges, rewards, leaderboards, and more, the best gamification examples foster a sense of community and add a dynamic layer to the traditional event format.
Why Should I Gamify My Event?
It takes a major effort to host an event! So when you do, you want to deliver an amazing experience for attendees and achieve all your event goals. Your attendees expect more than just information—they’re seeking engagement, interaction, and memorable experiences.
This is where gamification shines! So what is gamification in event management, and why is it a staple in successful events worldwide? Let’s take a look.
Let’s face it—your attendees aren’t at their most engaged when they’re passively watching presentations. By using gamification to integrate game-like elements into your event, you can reignite that spark of interest. Attendees are more likely to be actively involved, interact with content, and engage in sessions, rather than passively consuming information.
Many people find networking intimidating, especially at large events. Gamification breaks down these barriers. Challenges or activities that require attendee collaboration or interaction can facilitate introductions, drive conversations, and foster meaningful connections.
Sponsors are always on the lookout for ways to boost their exposure and engagement with attendees! Through gamified elements like sponsored challenges or branded activities, sponsors can organically weave their messaging and branding into the event.
Offer better learning opportunities
Games and challenges can reinforce key takeaways from sessions or presentations. They tap into various learning styles, making complex information more digestible and retention more likely. Instead of just listening, attendees can apply and practice what they’ve learned in a fun, relaxed environment.
By enhancing attendee engagement and participation, you’re more likely to achieve your event’s objectives, whether it’s lead generation, sales, or building brand loyalty. With a well-executed gamification strategy, the chances of attendees returning for your next event skyrocket, thus boosting your event’s return on investment.
Build a stronger brand relationship
Gamified experiences can be tailored to reflect a brand’s identity and values. As attendees engage with these elements, they strengthen their relationship with your brand. It’s about creating positive interactions that resonate long after the event concludes.
How Do You Gamify Events?
Stepping into the world of event gamification can seem daunting. But gamification apps for events can make things easier. From choosing the right app to devising the perfect set of rules, there’s a lot to consider. But fear not! Whether you’re a seasoned event planner or new to the game, this guide will help you navigate the ins and outs of event gamification to create an unforgettable experience.
Set an event goal
Before coming up with event gamification ideas, it’s crucial to pinpoint what you’re aiming to achieve. Is your goal to boost attendee enjoyment? Or perhaps you’re looking to enhance sponsor engagement or drive more traffic to exhibitors? Identifying your primary objective will guide your gamification strategy in the right direction.
Choose a gamification app
Selecting the right tool can make all the difference. EventMobi, for instance, offers comprehensive gamification features tailored for events. It’s user-friendly, customizable, and packed with features designed to boost engagement and maximize your event’s success.
Set up the rules of the game
While it’s tempting to craft a complex game with intricate rules, simplicity often prevails. Attendees should quickly grasp the game’s mechanics to fully participate and enjoy your event. A clear, straightforward setup ensures broader participation and fewer hiccups along the way.
Promote your game to attendees
It’s not just about having a gamification strategy, but making sure everyone knows about it! Promote it before your event via emails and push notifications. During the event, have speakers mention it in sessions and showcase leaderboards to spur competition.
Celebrate your winners & offer great rewards
Recognizing and rewarding winners is a fun way to generate buzz about your event, even after it’s over! Sharing their achievements on social platforms magnifies the impact, especially for associations. Celebrate your winners, share statistics, and highlight the game’s success. Oh, and don’t forget to show off the grand prize to motivate participants to play and engage even more at your next event!
Communicate the wins to your stakeholders
The outcome of your game isn’t just interesting to your attendees. Share success stories with your sponsors, board members, and other stakeholders. Communicate the tangible benefits of gamification to help cement its importance for future events.
Get feedback in your post-event survey
To refine your gamification strategy, gather attendee feedback. Ask specific questions about the gaming elements in your post-event survey. Find out what worked (and what didn’t) so you can craft more effective strategies for your next event.
Apply lessons to your next event!
Attendee expectations for events are always evolving, so your gamification approach should be too. Armed with feedback, insights, and the experience of the previous event, tweak and adjust to keep your gamification fresh, relevant, and exciting for attendees.
15 Event Gamification Ideas
Your attendees crave engagement, challenges, and friendly competition! Event gamification taps into the universal desire for fun and connection. Try these gamification ideas for events and watch the fun begin.
Whether digital or physical, puzzles challenge the mind and can inspire collaboration among participants. They can be themed around your event topic or general fun teasers to break up sessions.
2. Photo contests
A picture is worth a thousand words, and at your events, potentially a thousand interactions. Encourage attendees to capture and share moments with a branded event hashtag. Gamify the contest by offering a reward to the most creative or liked photo!
Set specific challenges for your attendees. It could be anything from visiting all exhibitor booths for trade show gamification to attending a set number of sessions. The sense of accomplishment drives engagement.
Hand out themed bingo cards to encourage attendees to break out of their routine. Replace traditional numbers with event-related activities. The first person who gets a line or a full house wins a prize!
5. Shout outs
Recognize attendees for special achievements, whether it’s for being the most active participant or for contributing unique insights during sessions.
Start sessions with light icebreaker activities. This helps attendees get to know each other and sets a positive tone for the event.
7. Social media contests & wall
Encourage participants to share their experiences on social media. Displaying a live feed of these posts on a wall at your event can boost engagement and give attendees their moment of fame.
Track and display attendee participation in real-time. Those attending the most sessions or completing other challenges can climb the ranks. It’s a fun way to foster healthy competition!
Reward attendees with digital badges for accomplishing certain tasks or reaching milestones during the event. These are a visual representation of their achievements and can be a great conversation starter.
10. Live polls & quizzes
Integrate live polls and quizzes during sessions. It not only makes content delivery interactive but also keeps attendees on their toes.
11. Networking challenges
Set up structured networking challenges that encourage attendees to meet a certain number of peers or connect with speakers. Help facilitate that next new connection!
12. Scavenger hunts
Whether virtual or in-person, scavenger hunts drive excitement. Provide clues in your event gamification app and let attendees hunt for answers or specific locations.
Test attendees’ knowledge of the event theme or related fun facts. Trivia is not just educational, but also a great filler between sessions.
Design gamified activities that highlight your sponsors. For example, you could create quizzes with questions about sponsors or challenges that require attendees to visit their booths.
15. Early check-in
Reward attendees who check in early with points or special offers. This encourages punctuality and eases the check-in process.
4 Gamification Ideas for Virtual Events
Gamification for virtual events requires a unique blend of creativity and technology. Luckily, Event App gamification makes this easy! If you’re thinking of adding a fun twist to your virtual events, consider the following easy gamification ideas tailored for the online space.
1. Virtual booth challenges
Why let physical booths have all the fun? At virtual events, encourage attendees to visit sponsor pages to gather unique codes. Not only doest this drive traffic to sponsors but it also motivates attendees to explore your entire event space.
2. Session scavenger hunts
Marry the thrill of a scavenger hunt with your online sessions. As attendees absorb knowledge from your presenters, ask them to keep an eye out for special codes sprinkled throughout presentations. It’s a fun, simple way to encourage attentive participation.
3. 1:1 networking challenges
Networking at virtual events doesn’t have to be confined to webinars or chat rooms. Encourage attendees to connect one-on-one over messages. As they bond and exchange insights, they can also share unique gamification passcodes, adding a gaming twist to professional interactions.
4. Add codes to on-demand content
Your document and video library is a treasure trove of information. To increase views and ensure attendees dig deep into this content, add special gamification cues to on-demand resources. It’s a nifty way to gamify learning and ensure valuable information doesn’t get overlooked.
Event Gamification Examples
If you’ve been wondering how different organizations elevate their events with gamification, you’re in for a treat! Here are some of the best gamification examples that not only amped up attendee engagement but also improved the attendee experience.
1. GO WEST 23
This GO WEST event amped up sponsor engagement by giving attendees event codes only after participating in specific activities. This is an easy way to keep attendees actively involved and ensure your sponsors get the attention they deserve.
2. TD Bank’s Diversity & Inclusion Event
TD Bank used EventMobi to power of networking game that encouraged attendees to strike up more convesations at a Diversity & Inclusion event. Their conference gamification ideas ranged widely, from embracing live polls to gauge audience sentiment to using a leaderboard to track participation and engagement levels. The positive feedback was evident, with attendees frequently inquiring about EventMobi’s gamification app due to their memorable experiences.
The Canadian Meetings + Events Expo (CMEE) used gamification strategies to boost attendee-exhibitor interaction. Their “play to win” feature was a hit, offering an interactive and enjoyable experience for participants. The Event App’s gamification features made it easy for attendees to navigate the event, with tools like the event map heightening the overall experience.
4. CSAE Annual National Conference
The Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) designed a gamification challenge that revolved around trivia questions submitted by sponsors, exhibitors, and CSAE staff. The game was simple: to win points, attendees needed to interact with sponsors and exhibitor representatives to obtain the answers. The motivation? A total of 25 prizes donated by sponsors and showcase exhibitors! To earn points, many tasks required networking with sponsors and exhibitors, which prompted booth visits and enhanced sponsor value.
Harness the Power of Gamification (and Get Up to 90% Engagement!)
Making your event stand out isn’t just about hosting speakers or scheduling sessions. A successful event keeps attendees engaged and offers an interactive experience. Whether you’re running a virtual or in-person event, there’s a gamification strategy out there waiting to transform your attendees’ experience!
With EventMobi, it’s gamification is built right into your Event App. This makes it easy for you to:
Boost attendee engagement
Attendee priorities are shifting. One of the keys to increasing engagement lies in gamification. CSAE’s use of Event App gamification saw them achieve a remarkable 90% attendee engagement. Their attendees found an easy and convenient way to stay updated, network, and participate in the CSAE Challenge. Introduce a spirited, friendly competition that keeps attendees hooked from start to finish.
Increase value for sponsors and exhibitors
By incorporating event gamification, you’re not only elevating the attendee experience but also maximizing the value for sponsors, exhibitors, and everyone involved. Branded challenges reward sponsors and exhibitors with heightened visibility and interaction.
Drive meaningful results (that you can track!) with less effort
Whether your event is in-person, virtual, or hybrid, drive desired actions and behavior seamlessly. Plus, building your games into your Event App allows you to say goodbye to manual raffles and tedious post-event point tallying.
As we wrap up, remember this: in an era where attention is a prized commodity, gamification provides the edge–and spark–that can set your event apart. So, whether you’re planning a large conference or a smaller meetup, there are plenty of reasons to embrace gamification.
Keep innovating, keep engaging, and most importantly, keep playing!