Game Mechanics. It’s a fancy word for something that’s been around for a long time… games!

Games tend to make things more fun. In the mobile event app space, they also make the event more engaging. If you have purchased a mobile app for your event, game mechanics are important to consider.

Our ethos at DoubleDutch is “incentivize the behavior you hope to create” to make game mechanics effective. For example, if the goal is to get everyone on the app, try offering a badge for users that invite 3 others to the app. If your goal is to get everyone to the keynote session, add a badge for that session.

Let’s talk more about badges, points, and other game mechanics:

Points

App users with the most points have the opportunity to get on the top of the leaderboard. Points are gathered by being active on the app – checking in, adding a photo, connecting with people, etc. The leaderboard continuously updates with each check-in and can be found within the app. Promote the leaderboard in public places so that people are encouraged to check-in.

 

Badges

Take the behaviors that will make your app successful, and make a badge out of it. Here are some examples of badges created to encourage certain behaviors:

  • Caffeinated Badge — Unlocked by all people that check-in to the app before 8am
  • Super Networker Badge — Unlocked by the person with the most people check-ins, or the most connections

You can also offer your sponsors customized badges, with their logos. For example, “Earn the Cisco Badge for checking-in to the Cisco Booth.”

In-App Offers and Prizes

App dashboard admins can control where offers appear within the app. Scavenger hunts can be devised to encourage friendly competition between users and increase usage.

Some companies find it useful to include tangible prizes with the in-app offers to encourage the behavior they desire. For example, if the goal is to get the app viral and maximize number of active users, some companies offer a free iPod for sending the most invites. If the goal of the app is to increase networking at an event, a prize can be given to the user that checks-in to the most people at the event. Incentivizing the behavior you want to see is a great way to make that happen.

What other gaming mechanisms have you employed at your events? What games have been the most effective?