Games continue to engage when people play. Merely adding points to something and a badge doesn't do it.
Creating an environment of play, fun and recognition helps event attendees join in and participate in an immersive experience.
At SourceMedia's 24th Annual Card Forum, BoothTag was given a mascot dog, BoothTag Bruno. Bruno, wearing a smartphone dangling around his neck, was boldly featured on a tee shirt awarded at the 100 point level.
Affinion, a loyalty solutions company, sponsored prizes for the Card Forum and Expo game, including a first prize of $1,000, an iPad 3, Amazon Kindles, and several gift cards for the top 10 points leaders playing BoothTag.
Affinion's Vice President of Sales and Strategy, Charles Christianson, spoke at the Card Forum on gamification for the loyalty and credit card industry. In a one-on-one conversation Charles noted that with increasing competition among health care providers offered opportunities to engage consumers with game-based interactions to increase levels of loyal and thoughtful interaction.
After-hours conversations with the good folks from MasterCard additionally revealed that consumers are going mobile - with every type of interaction and transaction available.
Acknowledging behavior with a badge puts a label on specific behaviors. The Card Forum and Expo attendees using BoothTag this week demonstrated that:
• At industry events, attendees want to connect with each other
• Attendees feel empowered when *they* are scanning exhibitor barcodes, not the other way around
• Fun happens, when game mechanics are shaped around real-world business interactions
• Engaged players provide amazing feedback on both what they love, and what they don't love about a game - and continue to play no matter what
What exhibitors said:
• This game is awesome! (yep, we had an 'awesome')
• They universally love downloading an excel spreadsheet with all the contact information of attendees who scanned the booth barcode (average unique scan connections per exhibitor at the Card Forum = 31)
• Not all booth traffic is qualified, but "you just send us the traffic, and we *will* qualify it!"
Finally, some thoughts on managing an event with a game, successfully demonstrated by Source Media (thanks, Alicia, Sasha, Rebecca and the whole team - you did a great job!):
• Receive player feedback thoughtfully and graciously
• Encourage people to play
• Create incentive for participation
• Actively support anyone with a question
• Reward sustained engagement
• Create additional play opportunities when players ask for more!
There's no substitute for human interaction.