Illustration

7 Oct 2022

Use Case: How Conference Organizers used Leaderboarded to get Heaps of Free Publicity

Make a game to see who can promote you online the most

Most conference organizers and sponsors have a strong marketing objective in mind - whether that be generating new leads, generating PR buzz, increasing brand awareness or scouting talent. On top of that, you want attendees to be talking about your event online to share how much they got out of it, who they met, and how much fun they had. This is a sure way to create positive associations with your company and increase sign ups for the next event you organize.
This article delves into creating a gamified conference experience using Leaderboarded’s scoreboards to get attendees buzzing about your event online. Hint: It’s a way to get your attendees to do some of your marketing for you, without even knowing it!

Let the games begin

Excitement built early in the day when a large room of attendees at the UCISA Digital Capabilities event were told about a conference-wide game.
The rules of the game were simple. One point was awarded for original selfies; @mentions; and retweets featuring the #udigcap hashtag. Two points were given for the social behaviors needed to: take selfies with another delegate; take selfies with a speaker; and take selfies with organizers. Three points were awarded for creative selfies, such as selfies with passing celebrities who work in the area, or a selfie with a famous landmark.
Oh, and during each break a Leaderboarded scoreboard with everyone’s name, profile picture and ranking would be displayed on projectors throughout the venue. Talk about an incentive to participate!

leaderbpard on the UCISA Digital Capabilities event

Benefits of Gamification to Boost Engagement at Your Next Event

1. It makes the event more exciting and memorable
Games are something humans are wired to rally behind. By integrating one into your event, you are likely to stimulate beneficial behavior you might not have otherwise. You attendees might not remember the key takeaways of your guest speaker, but they’ll almost certainly remember the game that ran for the whole conference.
2. Get your attendees to buzz about you online
There are few better hallmarks of event success than your attendees talking about it online (unless it’s complaining about semi-cold savories you served for lunch, or something similar). Really, there is no guarantee that you will be mentioned online at all. But by making it a game with points on the line for doing so? Well, this seems to be a surefire way to ramp up that engagement and start seeing your organization's name all over the social feeds.
3. Fuel the competitive spirit amongst attendees
We mean in a good-natured way. Somehow, it seems unlikely that you’re going to encourage hostility between attendees, especially when so many points are up for grabs for actions involving collaborative actions. By displaying leaderboards around the venue across the day, attendees are motivated to look good in front of their peers.

4. Facilitate interactions between attendees

By making a game which awards a higher number of points to actions involving other attendees, you can create a strong basis for networking and introductions. If only, by providing a fantastic conversation opening: “hey, let’s start talking so we can get two points for taking a selfie together.”

5. Get people talking about your event online, before its even started

If you’re particularly forward-thinking, you might announce the game a few days before the conference even begins so people can start collecting points. These points might be captured by an attendee while traveling to the event, outside the venue on the morning of the conference, or even a simple tweet saying they’re excited.

6. Make the event more enjoyable

The word games and fun are synonymous. Meanwhile, the same is not always true for conference and fun. By gamifying the experience, you are likely to see more consistent enjoyment across the event.

selfie on the conference

Real-time scoreboards to supercharge engagement

Leaderboarded is a Google Sheets add-on which can publish scores for a diverse range of metrics in a stunningly visualized leaderboard. It updates automatically to reflect any changes made to your original scoresheet.

At the UCISA Digital Capabilities conference, a Leaderboared scoreboard was displayed on projectors throughout the day so everyone could see what they stood and double down on their efforts. With image profiles attached to each attendee, social recognition made people want to boost their scores even more.

What Types of Events Might be Good Candidates for Gamification

Dare we say that every event could be made more memorable by using gamification, but here are some of the top categories we think would be a great fit:

● University events;● Professional development conferences;● Speaker events (e.g. TEDx);● Startup conventions; ● Conferences with international delegates.

Create your own leaderboard

Tips for Using a Leaderboard to Gamify Your Next Event

feeds of the conference

While the competition hosted by the UCISA Digital Capabilities was largely successful, one of the organizers had some key recommendations for how conference gamification could be improved in future. Fiona MaNneil, a UCISA Committee member, shares her reflections below:

1. Set up your Google SheetsTM scoresheet (and make sure you’ve installed the Leaderboarded Add-On) before the event by adding the names and images of attendees, plus the actions they can score points on.
2. Consider using a games-master to lead the challenge, build the initial hype online and award special points.
3. Define times when you will be displaying the leaderboard on the event projectors, to build anticipation and keep attendees actively competing throughout the day (or days).
4. Limit the number of times point can be awarded for certain actions, like online mentions, so you don’t spam online feeds with low-quality content and hashtags from attendees who are eager to ramp up their scores.
5. Include ‘wild-card’ actions throughout the day that people can score extra points for, such as getting attendees to tweet about the conference pack they find under their seat.
6. Consider how both remote and in-person attendees can participate effectively.

Well, there you have it. A great example of how the UCISA Digital Capabilities organizers effectively used a game to generate buzz about their conference online, and why you should consider using Leaderboarded to gamify your next event.

Find out more about Leaderboarded’s Google Sheets add-on .

Illustration

Article's author:

Toby Beresford

founder and CEO of Leaderboarded

Make your own board online!