Game On: 6 Gamification Ideas to Increase Your Virtual Event’s Engagement

June 3, 2022
Meisha Bochicchio
Meisha Bochicchio
Senior Content Marketing Manager at Goldcast

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Once your attendee numbers are locked in, audience engagement is the single biggest challenge for event marketers.

But in the age of overflowing inboxes and endless webinar invitations, it’s easy to feel like it’s all been done before. If you really want to increase time in session and keep your attendees in the event, you’ll have to get creative.

That’s where event gamification can help.

By tapping into the spirit of competition in all of us, you can go beyond stellar attendance rates to drive your best engagement scores yet. These six virtual event gamification ideas are a great place to start.

So, are you ready? Game on! 🎮

💡 Tip: Looking for more ways to wow your attendees? Get inspired with 5 Netflix Shows that Will Change the Way You Run Your Virtual Events.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is virtual event gamification?
  • The #1 rule for event gamification: points must equal prizes
  • How do you gamify an event? 6 engaging ideas

What is virtual event gamification? (And why all the hype?)

Event gamification is the process of using game-like elements to engage your event attendees.

From something as simple as collecting badges, all the way to complex point scoring systems and digital leaderboards — there’s a game for every type of session and audience.

Event and field marketers love event gamification because by introducing awesome digital rewards and incentives into the mix, gamifying your virtual event helps motivate attendees to interact, engage, and of course, stay inside the event.

But gamifying your event does take resources. You’ll need to invest time, creativity, and quite possibly a chunk of your virtual event budget if you want to get it right. So there better be some pretty impressive benefits in return, right?

Here are some of the biggest perks virtual event gamification has to offer:

  • A shared sense of purpose — Setting a goal is great for getting attendees fired up. Instead of just watching the event pass by, gamification gives attendees both a role to play and something to achieve.
  • Better event engagement — Gamification is a surefire way to keep attendees actively participating in your event. As your attendees’ personal scores go up, you can bet that your event engagement score will also increase.
  • Increased time in session — Where there’s better engagement, there’s increased time in session. If you want to keep attendees in your event, the right game can make a big difference.
  • An epic event environment — No one wants to feel like the only person in the room. Networking is a major motivator for attending virtual events, and gamification is a simple way to jumpstart those conversations.

As another major bonus, greater attendee activity can also mean increased interaction with your brand and sponsors, which can have important knock-on effects for your bottom line.

The #1 rule for event gamification: points must equal prizes

Clearly, gamifying your event has some awesome benefits for event marketers.

But what’s in it for your attendees?

For some attendees, the internal gratification of winning is all they need. But for most, they’ll want something tangible they can put their hands on at the end of the event.

That’s where the rewards come in. Whether it’s e-gift cards, experiences, branded swag, or donations from partners and sponsors, you’ve got to offer something of value that can also be gifted virtually.

How to define your event gamification points strategy

Points systems are an awesome way to keep attendees engaged in your event games.

To figure out how to structure and award your points, start with these questions:

  • What journey do I want my attendees to take?
  • What resources do I want them to interact with?
  • What behaviors do I want to encourage?

Each event element or action should have a set number points assigned to it. One way to do it is to set the number of points based on how important each action is in achieving your event objective.

For example, you could put your attendee feedback survey, form, or poll on the screen and get invaluable, on-the-day feedback in exchange for a few extra points.

How do you gamify an event? 6 super engaging event gamification ideas

A solid points system is key to any event gamification strategy, as are the juicy prizes and rewards that go along with them.

But believe it or not, gamification isn’t just about points and prizes. At the end of the day, event gamification is all about the experience.

“Virtual events are all about the experience you can provide. Gamification is becoming huge because it gets people to have a bit more fun,” says Nick Bennett. Director of Field, Community, & Partner Marketing at B2B gifting platform Alyce.

We couldn’t agree more. When you lead with the goal of creating an awesome experience for everyone involved, there’s no limit to the event gamification ideas you can try.

Here are a few ideas to help get your wheels turning.

Idea #1. Integrate virtual event games

If you want to really up your excitement factor, integrated gaming solutions like Drimify and Engamio allow you to design and launch interactive games within your virtual event.


But self-produced scavenger and treasure hunts can be just as fun too. Hide clues, points and prizes in all the areas you want your attendees to visit.

Some areas of the event you may want to gamify include product tours, branded pages, and important speaker sessions. Keep in mind, the right event gamification strategy lets you guide the attendee journey.

As long as you keep it fun and engaging, the attendees are sure to follow.

Idea #2. Go with a classic (non-cheesy) icebreaker

There are a ton of different types of virtual events out there and it’s important to choose an event gamification idea that fully aligns with your unique format and mission.

But regardless of the size or shape of your event, the right icebreaker is almost always a great fit.

Whether it’s splitting attendees into teams for a specific challenge, competing in an event-wide virtual game, or sharing their best workplace story to win a prize, use your gamification strategy to break the ice and encourage attendees to get to know each other from the very first session.

Idea #3. Shout-outs, scoreboards, and signals

You’ve heard it before: Flattery will get you everywhere.

People want to know when they’ve achieved something, and they usually want others to know too (even if they won’t admit it). Create a leaderboard in your event and ask the event moderator to give regular shout-outs to the top players.

With the right virtual event platform, you can even use real-time event data to send notifications to participants and let them know how they’re doing.

And if you can’t manage scoring during the event, no worries. Just send an email immediately after the event to let everyone know who the winners are. 🏆

Idea #4. Gotta catch ‘em all

Whether it’s Pokémon or baseball, collectible cards are a longstanding fan favorite.

People love the challenge of collecting a set, beating the competition and trading to get the best deck. And it’s easy to adopt this gamification strategy within your event.

For example, you could award a special badge to anyone who answers a live poll or trivia question or attends a specific session or booth. You can even allow attendees to swap collectible badges or “cards” as a way to organically boost the amount of live networking exchanges.

Idea #5. Raise your sponsorship game (literally)

Sponsors typically want one thing from your event: leads.

With the right event gamification strategy, you can help incentivize sponsors while putting some clear parameters around their participation by attributing points to specific sponsorship levels.

The more attendees they engage, the higher their points, and the greater their return on investment (ROI) will be.

Once they’re within the exhibitor or virtual booth space, you can attribute points to either sponsors or attendees for certain sponsor-related actions: visiting a booth, speaking with them, registering an email address, engaging in a demo, etc.

Idea #6. Go all-in on team spirit

Teamwork really can make the dream work. Especially if the dream is to give the attendees a networking experience they’ll never forget.

One or two days before the event, split your registration list into groups and send out team sheets via email. By letting your registrants know they’ve got a team counting on them, you’ll also help keep those attendance rates up. After all, no one wants to let the team down!

From there, set up each group with a list of engagement-focused tasks, then sit back and watch the organic networking commence. 🍿

The best event gamification ideas put experience first

Whether it’s a digital scavenger hunt, an exclusive gift for the first 50 attendees, or extra points for attending your hottest networking session, event gamification gives you endless opportunities to boost event attendance, increase time in sessions, and achieve your best engagement scores yet.

But remember, no one likes cheap tricks or cliché icebreakers.

If you really want to fight back against virtual event attrition and keep your attendees with you for longer, focus on creating an event gamification strategy that lets you guide the journey, while keeping it fun and value-packed the whole way through.

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