When done right, a game increases engagement and fun for attendees, and supports your event or community goals. Check out our tips below for creating a game that is easy to create and maintain, enjoyable for attendees and exhibitors alike, and helps you achieve your goals!
Keep Your Goals in Mind
Do you want to increase attendee interactions with exhibitors? Encourage exploration of the venue? Maximize social networking? Teach attendees something? It's okay to have more than one! Focus on what you want attendees to remember. When deciding what challenges to create, keep your goals in mind and assign points to them accordingly. You can create challenges that drive sponsor engagement, survey participation, session attendance, and other ROI-positive behaviors, such as:
Booth visits to obtain secret codes. This is a great way to reward attendees for engaging with your sponsors/exhibitors!
Scavenger hunts to find hidden items. This is a great way to encourage attendees to explore your venue!
Social challenges to drive connections. Use badge ID numbers, personal trivia answers, or names as the challenge code. This is a great way to reward attendees for meeting with particular people!
...But Don't Forget Your Attendees' Goals
When designing your game and challenges, look for ways to align value between attendees, sponsor/exhibitors, speakers, and your event or community planning team. If you have set up opportunities for attendees to take part in fun activities, reward attendees for participating! If sponsors/exhibitors want to meet with certain attendees, book meetings, or encourage social activity, then create challenges that support this. If attendees want to meet with your team or speakers, consider rewarding them for meeting up with important people!
⭐️ Keep in mind, it's important not to overdo it or create "pointless" challenges. The value should align for everyone who is a part of your event or community!
Define the Framework
Some events incorporate the game into their entire event across multiple days, and fully integrate the game with the event experience. For other events, the game is a smaller component of their event, and may only take place during one day or a few hours of the event. They may do a scavenger hunt, an exhibitor show-only game, or align the game with specific parts of the event agenda. Choose what is right for your event, attendees, and support team, and be sure to make sure there are enough challenges to keep the people in love with the game busy.
Challenges that are worth more points should be more intensive, or the people involved should be receiving more value from them. Make sure that no one runs out challenges! While we don't want you to go overboard, we recommend leaning towards more challenges than less.
Start publicizing the game (and prize, if applicable) in marketing emails and announcements, to get people excited to join in.
Allow participation even before an event! Start by rewarding attendees for what they already do, such as checking in, downloading the app, or reading your marketing email. Once they start playing, they'll be hooked.
Clear & Concise Instructions
Ensure that attendees are confident in completing the challenges, and empowered with all necessary information — keep it simple! This is important for the game instructions, as well as individual challenge instructions.
For the game instructions, be sure to include prizes, limits, and goals. You can even create a challenge to prompt users to read the game instructions — simply put the challenge code in the instructions! 🔥 For more info on the game instructions, check this out.
For the challenge instructions, be sure to tell attendees what the challenge is, but also where or how to get the code. This will decrease confusion!
Put your leaderboard on the big screen with our Live Display product. Live Display is a great way to drive competition and engagement between attendees, so they can see who is on the leaderboard, and the different challenges available to complete. For more info on Live Display, check this out!
Structure Challenges with Your Team in Mind
Make sure that any challenges you create will be maintainable! Try to keep most challenges virtually maintenance-free for organizers. For example:
Post a flyer with the challenge code at a location you want attendees to visit.
Present a code on the closing slide of a session presentation.
Have check-in clerks provide a code when attendees check in.
Have sponsors/exhibitors provide a code when attendees visit their booth.
Include a one-word trivia question in the keynote presentation.
Provide a challenge code on the closing page of an event/session survey.
⭐️ Keep in mind, if you do have codes that will be given out by your team, exhibitors, etc., be sure to brief them on the challenges and codes and game so they're prepared.
Incentivize (the Right Way!)
Rewards don't have to be expensive — a small prize can go a long way! We recommend that you consider what kind of prize your specific audience would want. The game often takes off organically, as folks love to compete — and it gives introverts an excuse to interact! While we have seen folks give away $10,000, we have also seen folks simply use recognition as a motivator.
Here are some ideas to consider for incentives:
Consider a raffle or "swag bucks" in exchange for game points, to encourage participation at every level. This will keep folks motivated and make sure that everyone has a chance to win something!
Ask your top sponsors if they want to give away a prize! You can even name the game "Game sponsored by ""Sponsor"", and use this in your promotional materials for even more sponsor visibility.
If your event is internal, offer a paid vacation day for your prize.
Consider offering more than one prize, to encourage attendees to reach for the top five or top ten spots.
You put all this work into the game — make sure everyone attending knows about it! If the game is a big part of your event or community, include it on your event website or social media. Mention it during the keynote and in promotional materials around the event. Post reminders on the wall and in announcements. Get it out there!
Pro tips! 😎
Make your game your own! While there are several ideas in this article, don't forget that your event changes from year to year, and so should your game. No two events are alike, so don't be afraid to get creative and crowdsource ideas from your team!
Once you have a "rough draft" of your game, share it with your team! Share it with your top exhibitor/sponsor, or even your speakers! See what they think. They'll probably have some awesome ideas. 👍
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