5 tips for engaging attendees with conference app gamification

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What does gamification mean, and why has it become a leading trend in the event technology world? In short, gamification is the process of taking concepts that are typically used in games, such as point systems, scoreboards and prizes, and applying them to your event marketing goals.

Gamification is one of the most intuitive, enjoyable ways to keep your attendees engaging with your conference app and across your event campus. Friendly competition encourages them to explore, meet with exhibitors and sponsors, attend sessions and network with fellow attendees. Finding new ways to wow your audience and keep them engaged is the best way to have them to return year after year.

Gamifying your conference app also gives event planners a meaningful way to meet and measure event success metrics. To get the most out of your event app game, you’ll first need to understand what your event goals are. Attendee engagement can mean a lot of different things to different event managers depending on what event metrics you’re trying to achieve. Are you looking to spark attendee networking opportunities? Improve trade show vendor return rates? Up your event app adoption?

By understanding what your conference goals are, you’ll make it easier to design a meaningful event app game that helps you improve your event planning. Here are 5 tips for designing an engaging conference app game for your conference or event.

Incentivize your gamification
Nothing drives competition like the knowledge that there’s a prize at the end. While some attendees will be driven by competitiveness alone, it’s always a good idea to further incentivize with a prize to kickstart the game.

Cash prizes are always welcomed by attendees, but you’ll be able to scale the amount dependent on the size and budget of your event. Gift cards and branded swag are also great motivators to your attendees. Consider collaborating with your sponsors and vendors to design a swag bag or gift card prize package that also promotes your event partners.

Encourage attendees to explore your conference app
Event apps are only successful when your attendees are putting them to use. Encourage your event attendees to download and explore your app by rewarding points for completing certain actions within it.

Introduce users to your app by rewarding points to attendees for basic app actions such as completing their profile, favoriting a session, registering for a demo, sharing a post on social media or messaging another attendee to network. Design these actions around meeting your event goals.

Display leaderboards onsite
Keep the competitive spirit alive by displaying the top gamers on screens around the venue. You can also use this as a placeholder on screens in between sessions so attendees can easily see what they can do to earn more points as they make their way to their next session.

Use beacons to enhance your analytics
Beacons track your attendees as they explore your venue. Encourage your attendees to visit certain sessions or vendors by placing beacons in these key locations and rewarding points when they come within a certain range of the beacon.

This is a great way to encourage your attendees to visit your top sponsors on a busy trade show floor, or book a session with your enterprise’s partners. When designing your sponsorship and vendor packages, include these as incentives for an additional cost. You’ll be able to offer your sponsors and vendors analytics on how many attendees visited their booth or demo, making their attendance more meaningful.

Make networking fun
According to Event Manager Blog’s Corporate Event Planning Guide, 81.7% of event planners stated that their attendees’ top priority for attending corporate events was networking. Building professional networks is inarguably a driver for attending meetings and conferences, but it can be difficult—even awkward—to find the right people to network with and start a conversation with a stranger.

Gamifying the process is a great way to help attendees meet and start conversations. Give attendees points for sending another attendee a message within the event networking app. This helps attendees rise to the top of the leaderboard while accomplishing one of their key conference goals.