How (Great) Events Are Like Video Games

There’s a reason adults still play video games, and it’s not just because they don’t want to grow up or they like spending time with their kids. It’s probably not because they don’t have other things to do, either. And although today’s immersive experiences are evolutionary leaps from early home consoles in the 1980s, not much has changed regarding gameplay.

The idea today is the same as it always has been:

1. Identify a goal
2. Gather supplies along the way
3. Learn how to accomplish that goal

Great events are set up the same way. Most goals involved something specific — industry knowledge, networking, business deals. The supplies we acquire are social skills, new product tips, and even shortcuts from experts. To use those supplies, there are opportunities to practice along the way — morning meetings, hallway conversations, and walkthroughs in your hotel room.

8-bit Basement

What if we started treating these obviously event similar tasks the same way we do video games? Why not create accomplishments that allow attendees to record progress, prizes/supplies from vendors as rewards, and information from colleagues and peers to show us best how to use what we’ve learned?

Add Badges To Badges On Lanyards
To event professionals, the idea of walking around with a lanyard and badge holder adorned with stickers, ribbons, and buttons may seem overkill, but if those extras are worn as pieces of pride, we can see how they’d be fun to show off. Think of scavenger hunts (question based), side-event attendance (breakout sessions, off-site meals), and vendor collaboration (say LoopLogic and Infusionsoft presenting on tracking viewer engagement over time through video).

Publish Online Leaderboards
There’s nothing better than showing off accomplishments to the world, especially if traveling the world isn’t required. Online leaderboards listing top achievers at conferences are a great way to get people asking about experiences, if they should attend, and exactly what those achievements stand for.

While treating events like video games sounds cheesy, we bet it’s a heckuva lot of fun and great advertising. What’s the ROI on that?