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3 Inspiring Examples to Drive Your Event

A whopping 33 million people in the UK, more than half of the total population, are active gamers. And while an impressive 97% of young people play games on mobile devices, the audience ripe for gamification is spreading as evidenced by the fact that 1 in 4 gamers are now over the age of 50.

People spend an average of 13 hours per week playing games on computers, iPads, mobile phones and game consoles. This form of entertainment also appears to make people happier, with 80% of them reporting increased happiness while playing, even if they lose.


With games grounding themselves in the daily lives of consumers, it follows that marketers are brightening up traditional advertising campaigns with gamification. Gamification is the incorporation of game-like mechanics to improve engagement with otherwise mundane experiences. Not only is gamification directed at engaging consumers, but now large businesses are starting to use gamification to motivate and unite employees internally.

The opportunity to inject game-playing properties into corporate events is only limited by the imagination. And in a world where 61% of senior executives say they take daily game breaks at work, the event industries are taking note. Below are three fantastic examples of gamification to inspire your next event.

1.  New Zealand Air

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Proving that gamification need not be limited to mobile apps and conferences, we recently used gamification as part of an experiential marketing campaign for Air New Zealand to publicize an innovative new offering for economy travelers called “Skycouch”. Now available on several routes and nicknamed “cuddle class” by some, Skycouch gives its flyers the opportunity to convert three economy class seats into a two-passenger “couch”, selling the third seat to couples at a reduced rate. To increase engagement during the event, we created an e-scratchcard that tied in with the event and rewarded consumers with chances to win a variety of prizes. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with customers willing to trade their personal data in return for tangible rewards.

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The campaign saw hundreds of tweets from notable publishers like Glamour magazine and the Evening Standard, using the marketing hashtag #cuddleclasstour to drive over 1,000 new followers. The response to this campaign through Facebook was more conversational, with hundreds of new comments and over 1,000 Facebook likes.

2. Citrix Synergy

Citrix SynergyCitrix Synergy is the premier global IT conference focusing on mobile workspace solutions that allow people to work better. Once a year, professionals from around the world gather in a different U.S. city to strategize, network, and showcase groundbreaking industry tools, from virtualization to networking and cloud solutions. Against that backdrop of technological innovation, the planners of Citrix Synergy 2013 decided to capitalize on attendees’ tech savvy and interest in mobile efficiency by creating a multi-event mobile app featuring The Synergy Game. The game challenged participants to complete various activities, such as visiting a specific exhibitor’s booth and answering a set of questions, in order to amass points and win cool prizes like free event passes to future events.

The app’s developers were clever to create a game that motivated people by way of a reward system, while seamlessly requiring them to network and learn. Exhibitors reported significantly more visitors to their stands than in the previous year, and a higher level of interest in their products. Since the game made interacting with one another more fun, attendees engaged in a lot more of it.

3. Hallmark

Hallmark-app-screenshotHallmark Gold Crown hosts a retail summit each year, and the greeting card titan moved into the future with the implementation of an event app that allowed its more than 600 attendees to register, communicate and network with each other. The event, aptly themed “Get Connected”, gifted a new Apple iPad uploaded with a custom game to each participant. Awarding points to users for performing tasks such as messaging other attendees, uploading photos, completing surveys, attending sessions and downloading Hallmark apps, the company cited it as having been an extremely effective communication tool that motivated attendees to engage both with each other and with the brand.  Like many other large companies, the 104 year-old company said that the use of gaming apps was “a deliberate effort to embrace how they plan to do business in the future”, and that it was eager for opportunities to broaden brand awareness through modern mobile apps. The more fun, the better.

What gamification have you experienced at events you’ve been to? As evidenced by New Zealand Air, Citrix, and Hallmark, sparking a competitive edge through gaming has enriched the overall experience of brands, and it can enrich your next event too.



Duncan McCaslin is Director of Kreate, the award winning experiential marketing agency.  Having worked in the niche for more than a decade, Duncan is keen to share his learnings about gamification and the future of marketing by way of brands adding legitimate value to consumers lives.

About the author : Event Solutions

Event Solutions

Since 1996, Event Solutions has been giving corporate, association and independent event and meeting professionals the resources they need to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of the industry. From cutting-edge features on trends and technologies to behind-the-scenes profiles of some of the industry’s most prestigious events, we provide professionals with the resources they need to succeed.

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