Event industry professionals agree that one of the major challenges in hosting virtual events is audience engagement. Unlike in-person event participation, attendees join virtual events from the comfort of their homes, they aren’t physically surrounded by other attendees and can easily drop off the event at any time. All these makes keeping attendees attention a difficult task for the event organizers but integrating the elements of gamification might be a perfect solution to improve online audience engagement.
What is virtual event gamification?
Gamification is the process of incorporating game-like systems around content of the event. Gamification is already widely used for educational and coaching purposes in order to make studies and trainings more dynamic, innovative and engaging. Similar strategies might be applied to virtual events to enhance the overall event experience.
Apart from that, introducing the elements of gamification of virtual events allows to:
Improve audience engagement
Increase attention span - the amount of time your audience is concentrated on the content before becoming distracted
Attract new sponsors by offering more memorable sponsorship deals
Enhance networking opportunities
As a result of integrating one of the gamification strategies, your event stands out, audience as well as sponsors become more satisfied.
Now we know what are the benefits of virtual event gamification, the question is how to make it work.
How to gamify your event?
Ideas for virtual event gamification may include:
Spin The Wheel
...and escape rooms, bingo, quizzes and polls, etc.
The sky is limit when it comes to creating new ways of virtual event gamification. The above list includes the most common tools, so let’s take a closer look on the first two of them.
The digital rewards system is usually used to add a sense of competition to the event. The general idea is to give your attendees an opportunity to earn points whenever they take a meaningful action. In the end, participants who have the highest scores get prizes. For example, prizes could be merchandise, discounts on future events or gifts provided by event sponsors.
A spirit of competition motivates many people to be more active to receive rewards and eventually win the game. At the same time, attendees consistently become more engaged and interactive with other event participants and sponsors. Sounds like a win-win!
What can you give points for?
Getting early bird tickets
Offer bonuses to your loyal customers who got their tickets in advance. Apart from treating your loyal audience, giving points on early registrations is a smart marketing strategy to boost ticket sales from the very beginning.
As simple as that! Give points for those who attend virtual sessions and don’t drop off. You can also reward attendees who initiate conversations, actively participate in discussions and ask questions during the sessions.
Engaging with sponsors
Give rewards for attendees who visit sponsors’ virtual stages and participate in their activities. After all, brands invest into event sponsoring to generate new leads and create a better brand image. Therefore, it’s important to encourage your attendees to interact with sponsors by rewarding extra points. Finally, participants will be happy to receive points and sponsors will be able to generate more sales leads compared to the events without any gamification elements.
If you aim to draw audience attention to event sponsors and promote them, scanverger hunts are a great solution to meet these goals. Create a list of things (key words, images, emojis, etc.) that your participants have to collect throughout the event. The ones who collected all (or most) of the items, win. Of course, don’t forget to place at least a few things at sponsors stages!
Virtual tours and Spin The Wheel game are also commonly used in event gamification to increase sponsors visibility and attract audience to their stages. Whereas escape rooms are useful for improving communication and networking among participants of the event. Quizzes and polls are the most familiar yet effective gamification tools to increase engagement during the virtual sessions.
If you want to know more about making your virtual events interactive, engaging and fun, join us on Wednesday 26th May at 10.30 (CEST) / 11.30 (EEST) for a free webinar “No More Boring Online Sessions” or watch the recording later.