Impact Publications : MiceBTN_61
MICEBTN - NovEMBEr 2015 • Page 17 About DArren eDwArDs Darren Edwards is the founder of Invis- age Creative Services in Australia. With more than 22 years’ experience in the meetings and events industry, Darren con- tinues to explore and develop creative de- sign and innovative technology products to the benefit of the global event industry. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Gamification: what’s the buzz? GAMIFICATION was the 2014 event industry buzzword. It doesn’t seem to come up nearly as much anymore when talking with potential or current customers. I assume that is due to the industry’s general consensus and overall experience of low engagement with Gamification. But, proper education has helped to guide the industry on when to, or not to utilise Gamification and how to properly implement the correct format for it to be successful so that it’s not just a buzzword. Gamification is a broad term. It can be implemented in several different types and formats from scavenger hunts to leaderboards, while utilising QR codes, photos, iBeacon technology, pedome- ters, and check in codes to name but a few. When investigating whether Gamifica- tion is right for your event app and how you’re going to implement this feature, you have to think about why you have an app in the first place. There is one main reason besides networking, reve- nue generation and cutting print costs (amongst other reasons) and that is to deliver event content in a digital format to the palm of your attendee’s hand. A saying we like to use in the event industry is “content is king” and with- out a good feature set built around a sufficient amount of content, your app will never deliver to its highest usage potential. Apps that suffer from low usage are typically due to lack of and/ or insufficient content and marketing. When implemented properly, Gamifi- cation can be a great supplement to increase app usage but should not be used as a band-aid to entice app usage for lack of useful features and content. App usage games where you receive points for posting to social media, sharing a photo, or rating sessions to top the leaderboard are the focus of some apps where feature rich content takes a back seat. While this type of game can inflate your usage numbers, you have to wonder if it’s because users want to earn points or because you have content that they really want to engage with? Unfortunately, this type of game can also be counter-productive to app usage at the same time but more on that for another day. Once you have a feature rich app, with sufficient content, and proper mar- keting in place, you have to think about the goal behind the Gamification. Some of the most common goals include increased: • App usage • Revenue generation • Floor traffic • Networking After that you have to think about the proper target to achieve that goal. A common mistake that we see often is creating a game that does not include the largest demographic of participants possible. Games involving social media are an example of this because not every user actively utilises every social media platform to be able to participate. Also, if you have exhibitors, don’t forget about them as they make up a large amount of your attendance base. Now that your goals and target audience are determined you will need to choose a format and type of Gamifi- cation that aligns your goals to provide the best ROI. This is where you need an experienced app developer where experience and support excels. They will review your goals to match the type and format of Gam- ification that fits best with a proper imple- mentation plan to successfully meet those goals. Successful implemen- tation of Gamification provides value for the attendees, exhibitors and the event organiser. Of course, they should also provide robust metrics and stats in or- der to showcase your Gamification ROI. If you’re interested in event mobile apps and Gamification it is best to start the conversation early by contacting your app development partner. Give them a call of shoot me an email and I will put you in touch with someone who can assist. About Invisage Creative Services www.invisage.net Invisage Creative Services has been providing creative and technology products to the Meetings and Associations industries since 1993, this provides them with a solid under- standing of the needs of professional confer- ence organisers, associations and events. They understand that often event managers need to be budget conscious and utilise effective time management strategies as they are often steered by volunteers and sub-contractors. Their products and services have been devel- oped with this in mind in order to save you both time and money whilst still maintaining a professional presence. Core services include graphics design, mobile event apps, associa- tion apps, polling solutions, email marketing and surveys, document submission portals, collaboration tools and technology consulting.