Virtual events and especially conferences can feel long, veeery long, and it may become hard to follow the sessions when you keep staring at the screen but never move in your chair. Time to bring back the action from live events, convert them into virtual activities that get the adrenalin flowing, and boost engagement levels with smart gamification!
Gamification helps overcoming virtual event obstacles
Sometimes, clients are afraid to use gamification because they immediately feel someone is trying to make their business meeting a game show and lose its professional character. But that is not what gamification is about. Instead, when used wisely, gamification helps you to overcome a lot of obstacles which we face virtually:
- How do we keep attendees engaged throughout the entire event and stop losing them along the way?
- How do we lift the spirit of the audience when sessions are taking place in kind of dull atmospheres?
- How do we encourage networking when there are no opportunities for random encounters in hallways?
The list of positive influence of gamification is long. From rising poor energy levels to satisfying vendors and sponsors to get in touch with the customers, gamification is a great tool to extend your event experience for the attendees and increase participation and attendance. It can help you overcome vague feedback related to the success of your event and give you the opportunity to continue training and/or relationship building beyond the virtual conference itself.
Gamification can be implemented with a variety of activities
There is no ONE activity that is the ultimate gamification experience. Instead, it always depends on the type of event you are organizing. Are you hosting an exhibition or training event? Then scoring points by answering questions will be a great way to incentivize gathering information at booths and raise product awareness. Especially for sponsored events and exhibitions, being rewarded for visiting sponsors or VIP partners will come in handy if your focus lies on vendor traffic.
A totally different focus will be at business lunches or gala dinners: the main reason why your guests (should) attend these events is to network with the other attendees. You could facilitate networking for the introvert part of the audience by including a game around connecting with colleagues or guests at the event. This will make it easier to get in touch with ‘strangers’ and start conversations to build new relationships by approaching it in a fun and playful way.
Last but not least, you may be looking to grow your team together. This is especially important in times of increased remote work to not lose touch with the other colleagues when you don’t see them every day in the office. Book a virtual team building activity like our Virtual Escape Room to have small teams work together to solve riddles and tasks. Alternatively, you can also plan and implement small challenges into your event which have to be completed in teams. Not only is this a fun way to deal with work-related topics – these challenges don’t necessarily have to be off-topic – but it opens your eyes about skills you might have never known you or your colleagues had.
Incorporate goal-oriented activities to awaken participants’ ambition
As human beings somehow we cannot help it; as soon as there is a (fun) goal to be reached, ambition awakens in almost all of us immediately. Therefore, make us of this automatic mechanism and implement goal-oriented activities in your next virtual meeting or conference. Not only will it boost engagement levels but also help the audience to focus and process information easier, let alone make them feel good about themselves. A clear win-win for both sides, organizer and attendee.
Installing a points leaderboard is a great idea to keep adrenalin high and participants motivated to reach the very top, or at least beat their office neighbor. For exhibition booths, those leaderboards are also a great magnet to almost compel visitors to come back and re-visit the stand to see the updated board. With others participating throughout the day, curiosity will lure them back to see whether someone managed to score better.
Gamification can also be used to increase session engagement or interaction with the virtual event platform to unlock achievements. There may be a badge for attending and watching an entire online session, and another one for having visited three exhibitors or scheduled four 1-on-1 meetings. Or increase attendees’ attention by making them find a specific icon throughout the session which needs to be clicked to earn the respective badge. You name it. I’m sure the energy levels during those meetings will see quite a peak compared to others.
Alternatively, participants could also gain 1 point for every comment they posted or 2 points for every question they asked. And as an incentive to engage and collect points, they might increase their chance to win an iPad or other useful tool or give-away for their job. Of course, there is always the option to participate for honor and group up colleagues to compete in teams, using the ambition to show Team North that Team South has always been the most productive. The list is long, and gamification activities are always chosen best according to each events’ different goal and participating audience.
You are looking for concept and ideas to boost engagement levels at your next virtual event? Contact us and together we will find out which gamification activities suit your event best. Oh, and gamification is not only useful for virtual events. It is a great addition for live and hybrid events as well, same as to connect events with smaller teams at different locations.
Let’s make virtual events more interactive and engaging again!
All the best
PS. Business is allowed to be fun! 😉