By now, almost everyone has heard about the awesome power of gamification to engage and motivate audiences. So we thought we’d share a few things we’ve learned along the way that can help make a game engagement successful. To illustrate each point, we’ll refer to a game we just featured at EXHIBITORLIVE called Maximum Impact. Here are our top three:
#1 Build on common knowledge You don’t want to bog players down with having to learn new rules or actions. So keep it simple. This is particularly important in a trade show or event setting where time is limited. MSM’s game, Maximum Impact was based on a classic board game design, Monopoly, so players were able to get right into the action. However, there was a twist. The entire game was played virtually, complete with electronic console, game board and digital dice. Very familiar, yet exciting and new—that was the idea.
#2 Have it be about them Whether it’s an avatar or just a simple game piece, that little token moving around the board represents the player. After all, people want to project their persona, so the more faithfully your game reflects the lives of your target audience, the more powerful their experience will be. Maximum Impact presented trade show and events managers with the kind of real-world scenarios they face every day. And it worked—the players really got into it.
#3 Make the rewards emotional The satisfaction of winning ought to come from more than just a prize. Ideally, what the winner should “win” is a sense of pride about themselves, a feeling that they’ve accomplished something meaningful. That’s how to raise the emotional stakes and create real involvement. Winning our game meant skillfully allocating a budget to create “maximum impact” for your event program—which is the ultimate goal for this audience. So doing well at it became a way of validating the player’s professional skills and judgment.
One last thought. If you have any doubts about just how hot gamification is, we can tell you that we received triple the requests for pre-bookings than we’ve ever had at this show. So it makes sense for all of us to keep learning everything we can about it.
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