1. Goals

Determine the overall business goals of the organization, then narrow those down to your specific event goals: Do you want to grow attendance? Generate more revenue? What do you want attendees to achieve through playing the game?

2. Rules of the Game

It can be tempting to go for every bell and whistle, but don’t get too confusing, complex, or overwhelming, he warned. Make sure your rules are clear, and that the game is fair, achievable, and goal-oriented. Again, keep your attendees’ motivators in mind when setting up the rules.

3. Feedback System/Rewards

Build in rewarding moments—and don’t “punish” participants by doing things like deducting points for not completing certain goals. Also, think about whether your players will be more motivated by the intrinsic reward that comes from the sheer fun of playing the game, or extrinsic rewards such as points awarded for scanning QR codes from exhibitors. Research shows that rewards that make people feel good about themselves are more powerful than those that make others feel good about them. It can be demotivating for some if they see they’re nowhere near the top of the leaderboard, so think about creating random rewards to engage those who aren’t among the high-scorers.

4. Voluntary Participation

“Keep it fun—don’t force them into it,” said Roald. If you try to force people to play, all your work will backfire. Think about ways you can make the game so fun that they can’t help but want to play.

For more on gamification, download the IRF’s Game Mechanics, Incentives & Recognition whitepaper.