By now I am certain that the majority of the people who attend a virtual event are bored to death. We have gone from minimal effort in the virtual space to full steam ahead not ever understanding the vastness of virtual events. We believed virtual events would be elevated by using polls and surveys to entice engagement. Nope that didn’t work. To have a truly engaging virtual event, one must not overlook gamification at virtual events.
Gamification is defined as the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
Does that mean gamification at virtual events means attendees have to play video games? No, but they can.
Gamification at virtual events in essence is a way to increase the engagement of attendees. It also gives them more of a reason to spend their time glued to a computer screen for you.
Here are some quick gamification benefits your attendees will receive:
- Higher energy during your virtual event
- More attendee registration and engagement
- Community and Collaboration
- Sponsors providing prizes
- Create a healthy competitor spirit
All of these sound like great reasons to have gamification at virtual events. However, what exactly does gamification look like when implementing it?
Here are a few event gamification options
- Virtual Escape Rooms
- Team Building Labs
- Progress Wars
- Fitness Breaks with Point Systems
- Networking Games
The list of gamification options are endless. The goal is to use it to engage and entertain your audience while creating your virtual event. What is important is that gamification at virtual events serve as a support element to your overall event. Unless you are Xbox, your event should not primarily be about gamification.
When creating your virtual event, ensure that you focus on the attendee. For the event organizer your focus tends to gravitate to who the keynote speaker is and your sponsors. You can have the best Keynotes and sponsors and still fall short by not looking out for your attendees.
You are entering into a psychological arena and not necessarily tech. This is all behavior driven so you have to consider this when creating your virtual event.
A great virtual event will have a combination of things. Video/pre-recorded video, live talks, slide share, and gamification. Feel free to add polls and surveys. What is important is to refrain from sticking to just one option. The attention span of a human is 8 seconds. Imagine how long it will take before they start to find other things to do while watching your content? The more you change the style of content you offer and types of gamification at virtual events, the easier it is for them to focus on what you worked hard to produce.
Before you go let me give you icing on the cake.
You now have all of the good ingredients for a successful virtual event. You still need to make it more exciting because adding gamification isn’t all there is. When creating your virtual event, do not pack your schedule full of content. Allow your attendees to have breaks.
In an article published in the journal Neuron, neurobiologists Blake Richards and Paul Frankland explain why people don’t remember certain things. “From this perspective, forgetting is not necessarily a failure of memory,” explain Richards and Frankland in the study. “Rather, it may represent an investment in a more optimal mnemonic strategy.” If you want your audience to remember what is going on, I recommend that do this. 1 – you give them a reason to remember. 2 – you give them a break to digest and even discuss what just happened with other attendees.
A break can be in the form of
- A 5 minute comedy show from Comedian Sampson McCormick
- Having a Magician
- Using Elan Artists to have a short music segment
- Speed networking
- Or simply free time
The goal is to allow your audience a chance to breathe.
Need help coming up with more ways to gasify your virtual event? Send us a message here to get started.