Events can be fun, insightful or a team-building experience, but they’re not worth much if they’re not engaging. Having an engaging event is the difference between remembering to tell your peers or forgetting the next day why you went.
Gamification is a versatile tool to bring to get people to experience an event in a personal way. Now, more and more event organizers are seeing the value of gamification at their events.
We sat down with Casper Christiansen, CEO of Scratcher.io about what they’ve seen regarding gamification and engagement at events.
So, what is gamification?
In principle, gamification means adding gaming mechanics to a non-gaming environment. We run into it everywhere but might not recognize it as such. For example, an app like Duolingo using levels, awards, and points is a nice example of how you add gaming mechanics to learning.
When I talk about gamification, it primarily adds gaming mechanics to a marketing strategy.
It can be difficult to engage customers in corporate marketing strategies. Games can help with this, as the playful nature of games makes it easier for a company to sell its brand or products. Games are also stimulating and competitive—and people become more likely to engage with any content that is stimulating and competitive. This plays into the marketer’s hands since they are able to get more people to engage with their content and also convert leads into customers.
Gamification’s ultimate objective is to influence customer behavior. It plays on how a customer’s brain works so as to influence them to buy. Additionally, it encourages positive user engagement, which significantly aids in helping brands build an emotional bond with their audience.
The best thing about gamification is that it businesses of any size can feel the benefit.
Is gamification always about playing games?
Yes and no, it’s adding gaming mechanics.
A progress bar is a form of a gamified customer journey, but it might not be considered playing a game in the general understanding.
This is the reason why marketers are hesitant when you drop gamification marketing into the conversation. They see colorful wheels of fortune with blasting bells and whistles but are not able to translate that to an engaging way of generating leads, enriching data, and creating interactive customer journeys in line with their brand and strategy.
What are the benefits of gamification for event organizers compared to attendees?
Marketing gamification is a tactic, never a goal. It is a means to help you achieve your KPI. Gamification is a fantastic way to educate your participants and fully engage them in your event. When used properly, it can create a much more enjoyable and memorable experience.
Event gamification requires the audience to interact with an event app or platform. This means you can track visitor behavior and gain more insight into which elements of your event are most successful. By identifying these elements and understanding how visitors move through the virtual event space, you can improve any future online events you plan.
It will also help you build engagement benchmarks, which in turn will help you create future events and provide more accurate data on what event partners can expect from audience interaction.
Is gamification always online?
Usually at some point, if only for the data collection aspect. The increasing use of QR codes in the world around creates the opportunity to use QR codes to invite people to your campaign. You can basically convert offline traffic to leads you can directly add to your CRM with our integrations. You can even use it to get insights on your reach of printed media like ads or flyers you give out. We all know how many flyers end up in the bin, but what if you add a QR code to a game with a relevant prize? The flyer will still end up in the bin, but the lead will be visible in your CRM.
What is your top tip for improving engagement at events?
As I mentioned earlier, rewards lead to motivation. You can reward the attendees for their engagement in various aspects of your event.
To give an example. You can award points to the attendees for attending sessions, visiting particular stalls in an expo, engaging in the networking platform, and being active in the event community. You can track this easily using game analytics. Maintain a board with each attendee’s score. This could be displayed on your event website or an event app.
At the end of the event, the attendee with the highest engagement score wins. Thus, you can decide the key facets of your event that you want your attendees to be engaged in and drive them towards it using this incentive.
Once you start using and connecting your events to gamification, the possibilities are endless. As with anything in marketing, you are only limited by your creativity and resources. With 20+ game formats and a very intuitive drag-and-drop builder, our platform accommodates both these important aspects for marketers.
Scratcher (2017) is a company that rates interactive customer journeys. They turn visitors into customers with higher conversion rates by adding a wide selection of gamification experiences to your marketing strategy.