Evolution of Gamification in the Event Space

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You have probably already experienced gamification and its ability to engage your attendees.  But you may not have thought about how gamification has changed and evolved in the event space. This evolution is worth a review, to see how the platform has adapted to both the technology and the attendee experience.

The earliest gamification idea can be traced back to the introduction of frequent flyer miles with airlines.  But while this provided incentive for behavior, and rewarded loyalty, it was more of tracking rewards for yourself.  True gamification ties in status levels and achievement in competition with incentivized behavior and collaboration.  The term ‘gamification’ was coined in 2003, but only gained widespread popularity in 2010.  This popularity surge makes sense, with mobile devices becoming more prominent after 2007 and app usage increasing after its introduction in 2008.  So, gamification is still relatively new and can almost be considered as in development with new technology and engagement parameter changes.

Gamification has become increasingly popular and well suited for the trade show industry. In terms of a show or event, you have a specific time frame for playing, you incentivize collaboration with participants, both attendees and exhibitors, and you provide clear feedback on personal achievement and how it relates to other participants.  What’s more, you are driving behavior from attendees for further engagement with exhibitors who participate in the platform, and that can help start conversations on the show floor.

Where the practice has really taken off is with the inclusion of data, and exhibitors and show organizers can now use data to develop a more engaging experience for the attendee.Data has become, and will continue to be, a large driver in how gamification is used.  Because you are allowing attendees to determine the type of engagement, you can monitor what activities, content type, and incentives yield the best results.

The focus with a good game platform is to provide a great attendee experience, which is what we all strive for at the end of the day. It is clear with gamification that a little healthy competition and a potential reward are a strong formula for that.