Video games. This is something millions of people around the world have in common. We jump into the virtual world to go on quests and solve mysteries. We team up to win battles, win massive points and, of course, claim virtual prizes and level-up our scores in the hopes of gaining the ultimate bragging rights as the best in the game.
Immersed in the fun. Senses engaged. Full interaction. A feeling of achievement.
These are essential to helping participants to stay motivated while using a particular platform. This is what gamification can bring to your virtual event. In short, gamification is exactly what you need to power up engagement and help your event to go all the way to attaining success.
Gamification is the process of integrating gaming elements into non-game environments to make the experience more entertaining. The concept of gamification is far from new; there is quite a bit of history behind it, including how it has been used to enhance education. Here's a good source where you can find out more: What is Gamification?
Download our free infographic outlining popular gamification features.
Much like the experience in a video game, points, timers, progress bars, badges and leaderboards provide visual indicators that give immediate feedback concerning progress and achievements. When applied to virtual events, these features help to drive the interests of event attendees, encouraging them to participate and feel ownership in their progress while also inspiring engagement within the event's virtual world. This makes the entire event more interactive and enjoyable for all.
There are several ways gamification can be beneficial to increasing engagement during your virtual event. Here's a look at three of them.
Gamification activities are excellent ice breakers and present an ideal way to get your event attendees to engage and interact with each other. Increased engagement can lead to better networking. Having this kind of friendly interaction will make it easier for event attendees to develop conversations and make the most of opportunities to network with each other.
Facilitating viable opportunities for networking can boost the standing of the virtual events your organization hosts, as it adds an additional layer of value for event attendees who are seeking relevant connections that will enhance their job or partnership opportunities and while enabling them to exchange knowledge and potentially fresh perspectives while communicating with fellow attendees and guest speakers.
Whether your organization is conducting in-house training sessions for employees or if you are doing team building activities to strengthen team cohesion and camaraderie, gamification can be used to effect desired outcomes and behaviors. For instance, during onboarding or professional development sessions, gamification can be applied as a motivating factor that encourages employees to complete training modules within a particular timeframe while reinforcing the key learning points of each phase of the training.
When applied correctly, gamification can enhance learning experiences by transforming them from mundane tasks into fun, interactive and rewarding sessions. A good dose of friendly competition should really liven things up! Training can then become engaging learning experiences that efficiently convey all the information required. Have a look at The Top 5 Benefits of Gamification in Learning for further insight into other ways to use gamification as a way to increase engagement during training sessions.
Opportunities to leverage event exposure for sponsors can extend beyond virtual display booths. Incorporate a gamification strategy that makes attendee engagement with event sponsors an integral feature of your event.
You can gamify attendee interactions with sponsors' event assets such as brochures, video content and products by awarding points for interacting with this content, or even including knowledge of these assets as part of a quiz. Create an event-wide scavenger hunt featuring bonus surprises, also known as easter eggs, from sponsors. Or bridge the virtual and physical world with QR codes to unlock bonus points and access to special giveaways and offers from sponsors.
Additionally, you can work with sponsors and allow them to include their own interactive mini games during event breaks. Further still, use social media as part of the gamification strategy you have planned for your sponsors and take engagement into each attendee’s social network. This will expand your sponsors' reach into conversations outside of the virtual event.
A well thought out gamification strategy that includes your event sponsors will truly make it possible for your event to maximize visibility and engagement opportunities for your sponsors. Event attendees will be able to make valuable connections with sponsors in entertaining and interactive ways. Most of all, it will allow your sponsors to tap into several avenues to increase the return on their investment.
Gamification can improve the customer experience of your organization's virtual event and make it is possible to achieve better overall event engagement. Happy sponsors and excited customers will organically spread the word about your event, which will in turn expand brand awareness for your organization and your events, as well as your sponsors. Re-energized employees will feel inspired by what they have been able to achieve during virtual training sessions and this will motivate them as they apply their new-found knowledge to better manage real-life work situations.
Just remember, gamification is a tool, and like all tools, it must be used correctly in order to be effective. When planning gamification, take the time to clearly identify the objectives and the desired behaviors you want to accomplish, then align your gamification activities with objectives you are trying to achieve.
Keep everything transparent. Establish clear rules and goals for each game activity and identify the prizes for each level of achievement.
Make things winnable. Keep event attendees happy with game points that are attainable.
And finally, don't make your gamification activities overly complicated - keep it simple.
There are so many ways you can use gamification to boost event engagement. Check out our blog 10 Effective Ideas to Improve Audience Engagement During a Virtual Event to get a few more tips!