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13 Audience Participation Games for Corporate Events

When it comes to audience participation games, these are some of the questions that our potential clients bring to us in our first meetings. Ultimately, they are searching for the best game for their needs:

  • What are some simple and fun, games for audience participation?
  • How can you create audience participation games that are relevant to your content?
  • How can you create audience participation games that keep attendees engaged over multiple days of your corporate event?
  • If you are a speaker (or facilitator) trying to spice up your session, how can you implement these games yourself?
  • How can I use the data collected to make better business decisions?
  • What should I keep in mind when creating a game?
    • Create a simple game title or theme
    • Game rewards

To help you with your brainstorming, we pulled together a list of audience participation games and provided a short explanation of how they could work inside your event. Use this list as one input for your own sales meetings, customer events, and conferences. We grouped the games into three different game families:

  • Interactive trivia games
  • Challenge (or Activity) based games
  • Spin-to-Win games

I promise you will not like all of these ideas. Some will not be a good fit for your audience or event. On the other hand, I promise that this list will help your team start the brainstorming process to more easily identify the experience that you want to create for your event.

trivia for event gamification

Interactive Trivia Games

Many people are familiar with trivia games, because they have either used them with their audience response software, played HQ or Trivia Crack on their phones, or have watched some of these games on TV. 

Here are seven different trivia games that could work for your next event:

1. Trivia Game Connecting All Content

Simplify your life and create a single massive trivia game based on your learning objectives and all of your session content. Implement this game as self-paced. Attendees will be able to start and stop games at their convenience. Also, they will be able to play on their phones (inside the event app or on a web-based app) during breaks.

There are several advantages to this trivia game format. First, clients usually choose this game format because it’s easy to set up and execute onsite. Once the game is set up, all you need to do is show the leaderboard during walk-in and walk-out a few times. Then, give the top players a prize at the end. That’s about it. Second, the self-paced gameplay allows attendees to answer more questions than they would through a hosted game. By answering more questions, you are exposing players to the content again and helping them retain your learning objectives.

Of course, one of the drawbacks of this format is that attendees will play during sessions. You can turn the game off during these sessions if you think it will be a distraction.

2. Elimination Game or Last Person Standing

Another strategy is to use an elimination game to see who is the last person standing. It’s a way to boost the energy in the room and recognize awesomeness.

Similar to the popular trivia game HQ, players answer questions until they get one question wrong. This game style works because everyone thinks they are smarter than the person next to them. You can use the leaderboard to show the number of people who are remaining in the contest until you get down to the last 10-20 people left in the game. Then, the leaderboard switches to showing the names of the final players remaining. The list will get shorter until you identify a winner.

In the previous game format, players may answer many questions, make mistakes, and play again. In the elimination format, the player’s turn will end after one false move.

3. Trivia Bar on the Show Floor with Sponsor-Based Content

Think about this format as a sponsorship experience. You are going to drive traffic to the trade show floor and use content from exhibitors to populate the trivia game. So, even if players don’t visit all the booths, they get exposed to the sponsors’ key marketing messages.

The game works like this: Setup a leaderboard on a large monitor behind a 6-foot bar or a horseshoe-shaped bar. Then put multiple iPads on tabletop stands. Players will walk up and start playing the trivia game, and a small crowd will form.

When you use a trivia bar, you create an entertaining physical space where attendees play shoulder to shoulder. Plus, you create a new sponsor benefit for exhibitors.

We have seen this pattern used in Customer Events, Sales Meetings, and Association events. The goals are always the same: (1) Drive people to the trade show (or resource fair) floor and (2) Educate attendees on sponsors’ content at the same time.

At the end of the event you can give the sponsors game metrics such as unique game players, the number of games played and performance data such as the number of trivia questions answered about the sponsor and how attendees answered the questions.

4. Multi-Content Interactive Trivia Game

An alternative to the single trivia game (option #1 above) encompassing all learning objectives, is a series of smaller games (or quizzes). Then, use the leaderboard to add up the scores from all of the games.

There are several advantages to this game format. One advantage of this type of game is that it’s easy to relate the content to the session that just completed. Another advantage is that you can set up different gameplay rules for the content. For example, you may want sales reps to take the quiz on IT safety standards just once (and then you show them the correct answers) – while the game on selling skills could be played 3-5 times (while the correct answers remain hidden).

If you have the time and energy to setup up your game this way, it could generate a massive payoff for you.

5. Countdown Trivia Game

If you have ever played bar trivia, this game might be familiar to you. You give attendees 12 – 20 seconds to answer trivia questions. The faster the player answer the question, the more points they earn. However, the points will decrease as the time ticks off the clock. So, players need to think and act quickly to do well in this game.

This game rewards your sharpest attendees and game players. Use this type of gameplay at the end of a conference, instead of a test or quiz. It can be an energizing experience for your attendees to see how much they know.

6. First To The Finish Line

This type of trivia game uses graphics to show player’s progress toward the finish line instead of a traditional points leaderboard.  The graphics could be of race cars, horses, and more – that are racing to the finish line. As players (or teams) answer the questions correctly, their vehicle (or another themed character) moves forward. The winner is the first player (or team) to make it across the finish line. This game format requires an emcee or host to drive the game. All players are answering the same questions at the same time. We like this game format for two reasons. First, the game format can easily tie into your event theme. Second, it’s a way to incorporate team gameplay.

7. Quizzes

Quizzes, well, I hope you are familiar with a quiz. Create a quiz as either a pre-test or a post-test on the content you are presenting. This format is suitable for self-assessment. Some players will be motivated by social recognition (leaderboards) and other by rewards (prizes).

If you are doing more than one quiz, you should consider rolling them together into a multi-content interactive trivia game (like option #4).

activity based challenges for event gamification

Challenge (or Activity-Based) Games

This category of event gamification is scavenger hunts, trade show passports, and similar games. They could comprise elements of trivia-based games as well as other games.

Here are three different challenge or activity-based type games that you can create:

8. Event Gamification

These activity-based games are great because attendees earn points for completing challenges or participating in activities. Depending on the game vendor, the activities could be event app activities such as looking at the agenda or posting a comment. Another option is content-based activities that align with the event content.

One advantage of this game format is that you can use the technology to construct a series of challenges that can be completed in-app, on the trade show floor or in another location.

Depending on the game platform, there may be multiple reward and recognition systems – such as earning prize wheel spins, a spot on the leaderboard, entries into a drawing and more.

This flexibility makes it easy for you to build a game that works how you imagine it.

(See SocialPoint’s Event Gamification Options)

9. Trade Show Passport

The trade show passport game is a commonly used game to drive attendees to the trade show floor to visit the exhibitors’ booths. Usually, players receive a card or booklet – like a passport. Exhibitors stamp the passports of each player who visits. Players who stop at all of the booths earn an entry into a grand prize drawing.

Digital versions of the game may offer additional reward systems like free spins of the virtual prize wheel.

10. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are typically photo-based gamification used for team building and collaboration. Small groups are organized into teams and sent on an adventure to find a bunch of artifacts or complete a series of challenges. The goal is to get small groups talking and working together.

The digital version of these games allows clients to replay the highlights from the event by showing the photos captured on a photo wall at the end of the event.

spin to win event gamification

Spin-to-Win Games

Spin-to-win energizes your prize draw or drawing a name from a hat. Instead of pulling a name blindly, the spin-to-win animation adds excitement and hope to the game.

Here are three different spin-to-win games that you can create:

11. Prize Drawings

When clients have 5 to 12 prizes to giveaway – clients will use spin-to-win to pick the prize. The wheel adds an element of excitement to the giveaway process. Players see all of the prizes going past. It’s fun for everyone.

12. Name Wheel

Put the attendees (or the qualified attendees) on the name wheel. Then spin the wheel to see whose name will be selected. Attendees love watching the names slow down, hoping the wheel stops on their name.

13. Golden Ticket

Tape a few Golden Tickets under the seats in your general session. Then, ask people to check to see if they are sitting in the location of a golden ticket. Bring the ticket holders on stage to spin the virtual prize wheel to see what prize they have won.  Some clients will allow people to spin the wheel a second time to see if they can win a better reward. Beware – the second spin could give them a less desirable prize than the first spin!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many ways to build Audience Participation Games for your event. Your success will come from your ability to choose the right game (or games) for your audience and event objectives. Not all games are right for every audience or event situation.

I wish you the best of luck with your next event game.

If you’d like to learn how you can keep more of your attendees engaged in your event content throughout your entire sales or customer meeting, click here to read more about our Audience Participation Game or click here to ask for a product demo. We’ll help you more deeply engage and educate your attendees about your event content, and provide metrics to demonstrate how much learning they retained.

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is a thought leader, researcher, speaker and award winning innovator on event technology. In 2011, BizBash Magazine added Sam to its annual innovators list. Since then, Sam has won awards from Exhibitor Magazine, IBTM World, RSVP MN, International Live Events Association and MPI for innovation in event technology.

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