Play to win: The power of gamification in events

Gamification engages attendees, relieving cognitive overload and creating connections through a range of game choices, making events memorable.

Gamification can foster stronger connections and break barriers in the event industry.
Gamification can foster stronger connections and break barriers in the event industry.

Gamification has become increasingly popular in the event industry due to its effectiveness in engaging attendees. By tapping into basic human tendencies like competitiveness and the desire to achieve, gamification offers a fun and interactive way for event professionals to motivate and energise their audience.

In a recent Cvent webinar, industry experts shared insights and strategies on how to effectively use gamification to make events more exciting and memorable.

Gamification relieves cognitive overload

With the abundance of content that attendees are exposed to during events, including keynotes, workshops, and breakout sessions, cognitive overload can quickly become an issue. However, gamification offers a welcome distraction from the information overload.

As Chelsea Robinson, principal solutions consultant for event solutions at Cvent explains, "Gamification might be the cognitive break that attendees need to digest all the information they're learning and experiencing. It can even recharge their energy for the rest of the event."

By providing attendees with a fun and engaging activity, gamification can help them to better retain information and fully enjoy the event.

Gamification is centred around connection

Gamification offers a unique opportunity to create connections among event attendees. People naturally seek a sense of belonging, and gamification can provide an ideal platform for participants to interact with their peers and become part of a community or team.

As Jeremy Soler, senior solutions consultant for event solutions at Cvent explains, "[Along with connection], achievement is also important as we seek a sense of completion and accomplishment. We want to take pride in our efforts."

By incorporating gamification into events, organisers can not only foster connections among attendees but also provide a sense of accomplishment and pride, making the experience even more rewarding.

Games come in all shapes and sizes

The possibilities for incorporating games into events are endless. While trivia, augmented reality, photo contests, and scavenger hunts are popular choices, Soler advises event professionals to think outside the box and consider a wider range of games.

"The type of game you choose should match the experience you want to provide for attendees," he explains.

For instance, if you want to offer a fun and enjoyable experience, a golf simulator might be a great way to distract attendees from the event's content during unscheduled breaks. On the other hand, trivia and scavenger hunts are more geared towards driving certain behaviors. By carefully selecting the right game for your event, you can create an engaging and memorable experience for your attendees.

Make it simple and fun

Effortless creativity is key. Attendees are more likely to adopt a game that is both easy and enjoyable, rather than overly challenging or complicated.

"We want to take away all those barriers and we want as much adoption as possible," says Soler.

Promoting the game before the event through emails, push notifications, or instructions in the event app or attendee hub can also help. Involving exhibitors and sponsors can also add to the fun, such as by awarding points for getting badges scanned at booths or through lead capture, or for setting up appointments.