The best event hosts add a unique and memorable touch to their events. Here are a few tips on gamification from guest blogger Dan McCarthy.

Events these days should go beyond a presentation and a few workshops. Remember, an event is about captivating an audience to build your brand. One way to achieve this end is to incorporate gamification. This is something you can expect and should already be seeing more of at events hosted by for-profit companies.

Why Gamification?

The answer is simple: attendee satisfaction. You want guests to engage with the activities and share what a blast they’re having on social media. Gamification is especially lucrative if your demographic makes up mostly of millennials.

According to one study, millennials spend an average of 203 minutes a day gaming on their mobile devices. 16.7% of their data is used for gaming. The gamification craze has also extended to the older generation. 61% of CEOs play games on their phones when taking a break from their hectic schedule.

Event gamification is one way to feed the craving for gaming. This can be fused with your branding efforts to really drive your business and products to the public.

Ways to Incorporate Event Gamification

There are two ways to make gamification part of the event: through an event app or interactive kiosks.

Event App

More events are incorporating event apps. All attendees have to do is download the free app before event day, and they have access to a gamut of features, such as the event schedule, venue map, and notifications.

You can go further and add a simple game. This can be a tried-and-true classic favorite, perhaps a game similar to Space Invaders or Arkanoid. Such games are based on accumulating points and achieving high scores. You can take advantage of this score system in various ways. You can reward those who achieve a score threshold with event swag or a discount code good towards a new product being launched at the event. You can also promote competition by showing the top 10 scores.

It should be noted that such games can also be made available several days before the event as a marketing tool. Perhaps you can release the first few stages and promise the rest of the game to be unlocked on event day.

If you have a large event venue that also incorporates a section of the outdoors, then you may use the app as a map and guide for a scavenger activity. Mapdash is an example of an app designed specifically for team-based scavenger hunts. Such an activity is great as an icebreaker, which encourages teamwork and networking among the members, many of whom may be strangers to one another.

Interactive Kiosks

Another gamification method is to install kiosks at the event venue. You can customize a game into the unit. Most systems utilize touchscreen or sensor motion technology. Many companies have used interactive kiosks and created a simple yet engage-worthy game that incorporates the brand into the activity one way or another.

Interactive kiosks are commonplace in areas like metro stations, airports, malls, and other places that accumulate a large daily gathering. They’re also becoming an increasingly common staple for events. They’re typically used as an engagement tool for promoting the company or a sponsor.

One creative example of an interactive kiosk was implemented by the Austrian beverage company Rauch. As part of a promo campaign, it set up a kiosk at several locations. The kiosk was motion-activated and included a race car game where participants controlled the vehicle by swaying their body. If they successfully completed the course, they will receive a promo code good for a free drink at a Rauch shop.

Kiosks don’t even have to be gamified as long as it contains some element of interactive-ness. There are, for example, interactive photo booths where guests can take photos with a company logo as part of the background. Here is one by Disney where guests can take photos with their face edited into the body of a Disney character.

Event gamification is about making an impact. It’s about creating an experience that reflects an activity that most people already do and love on a daily basis. Making games a part of your event creates the fun factor element that can’t be overlooked regardless of your industry.

Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 6 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.

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