May 19, 2023

How to Incentivize Meeting Engagement With Gamification

If you’re like most people, you’ve already spent hours of your life sitting through dull meetings — and you don’t want to do that again! Instead, you’re looking for a surefire way to improve your organization’s meeting structure. 

Gamification is a great way to shake up your organization’s meetings so that participants are energized and enthusiastic. This article will dig into exactly how gamification works and what it can do to incentivize meeting engagement. 

What Does Gamification Mean?

Gamification simply means turning things into a game. Games tend to motivate people. Inserting competition into a meeting fires participants up and gets them excited. Games also make people laugh and talk. 

Quizzes can turn a standard meeting into a fun and interactive environment, as documented in VPOLL’s case study helping FS Investments turn compliance training into a game. And games can foster cooperation, too, helping to forge stronger teams and incentivizing employee engagement.

There are ways to turn just about any activity into a game. In the office, sales teams often use gamification to compete over sales figures. At home or in a community center, groups can gamify activities like cleaning. And of course, meeting organizer scan also use gamification.

Meeting planners can use quizzes to keep participants focused on learning new material. They can also use games to encourage socializing or to build a deeper understanding among participants. Quizzes and polls are similarly useful for building and deepening engagement.

What Are the Benefits of Meeting Gamification?

Building More Engagement

You would probably like to see greater engagement among your team members. After all, audience participation is a great way to learn more about your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. When participants are engaged, they’re more likely to tell you their concerns. You’ll learn where you’re succeeding, and where you still have room to improve.

It turns out that incorporating gamification into your meetings can increase audience engagement and motivation, leading to better outcomes. Quizzes, polls, and surveys capture the audience's attention. You can introduce a poll at the beginning of a training session, for example. Or you can throw a pop quiz at your participants just to see whether they’ve been paying attention. 

Instead of twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the meeting to be over, participants will sit up and take an interest. “What’s the answer to the next question?” they’ll wonder. “How did I do on the quiz? What do other people here think about the poll?”

Of course, you’ll have to make sure not to overuse gamification elements; as with anything, it’s all about striking the right balance. 

Deepening Connections

Most of us would like to build stronger, longer-lasting connections with others. One way to do that is to get people talking, laughing, and involved in a friendly competition.

Gamification makes that easy. Using quizzes can introduce an element of playful competition to a group. Participants can vie with one another to see who does “better” on the quiz. They can also choose to team up and compete in small groups, or of course, groups can bypass the competition and opt to work through the quiz together. 

Polls and surveys can also bring a group of people closer. It’s human nature to wonder how other people answered different poll questions. Even if the results are anonymous, participants will learn much more about the other members of the group simply by looking at the results.

Many meeting organizers opt to share poll results in the form of a word cloud so that participants can see some of the most popular responses. For example, imagine a group of new dads a ta meeting: A poll might ask them to share their feelings about fatherhood. The resulting word cloud would show some of the most common words the dads used, and the meeting organizers could choose to discuss some of the common responses.

How to Gamify an Event

Once you’ve decided that you want to gamify an event, it’s important to figure out exactly how to go about it. Here are the basic steps to follow. 

1. Set Clear Goals

Determine what you want to achieve during this meeting. Do you want to share information about upcoming plans, for example? Do you need to get feedback from your group about a recent development? Are you trying to reach a decision about a potential new client?

If you know exactly what you’re working on, you’ll be able to use gamification strategically. For example, if you’re trying to share information, you may want to use a playful quiz to make sure your participants listen closely.

2. Know Your Audience

Every group is different. When you’re planning your meeting, keep the unique needs of your audience in mind. 

Is it a close-knit community, or is it a disconnected group that could benefit from some team-building exercises? Do the participants love competition, or do they prefer teamwork?

Use these insights to design a gamification strategy that makes sense for your audience. 

3. Use Game Design Elements

Gamification isn’t just about quizzes and contests. You can wrap in all the game design elements that people love to keep your audience happy and engaged.

If you’ve got a crowd that loves competition, you can also insert challenges into the meeting.

Many audiences love to see reward points, for example. Even if the “points” are just gold stars on the screen, it’s a fun way to motivate participants. You can hand out rewards for participating in the meeting, for taking part in challenges, or for completing tasks. The choices are endless.

You can also build on that friendly competition by creating a leaderboard. Most people love to see their names on the leaderboard and will work to get there.

4. Create a Sense of Competition

We’ve touched on this already, but it bears repeating: Introducing some friendly competition is a great way to keep your audience engaged and happy.

You can do things like creating a customized ranking system and displaying it on a leaderboard. Break your group into teams to encourage bonding. Reward correct answers with some type of recognition. 

5. Provide Instant Feedback

Instant feedback makes people feel heard and deepens their engagement. You can use leaderboard rankings to provide that feedback right away.

It’s an easy way to keep participants on the same page, interested, and engaged. It also helps to reinforce your message and ensure comprehension, since you can immediately address areas where a majority of the audience didn’t answer the question correctly.

6. Offer Real Rewards

We’ve already talked about the simple benefits of handing out gold stars. But you can take that principle one step further by handing out real rewards too.

The exact type of reward depends on your organization and your audience, of course. You may want to give out gift cards to a favorite local store, or you may prefer to give out treats like baked goods. 

Some organizations use time off as a reward, while others find that trophies motivate their teams better. The bottom line? There isn’t any one-size-fits-all answer. Whatever gets your audience excited about participating is good! 

The other great thing about offering real rewards is that people talk about them afterward. So it’s also away to keep the meeting fresh on people’s minds while encouraging bonding.

7. Make It Fun

It’s important to keep your meeting fun and lighthearted, wherever possible. Gamification offers plenty of opportunities for laughter and good cheer. You can insert fun polls or quizzes at the beginning, middle, or end of your meeting to lighten the mood, and to get your participants talking and laughing.

8. Evaluate Your Results

How did the gamification and incentives work out for you? At the end of each meeting, quickly analyze what worked and what didn’t. Use those findings to plan out an even better meeting next time.

Ready to improve your meetings with gamification? Contact VPOLL today to schedule an online demo to learn what our technology can do for your organization.

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