Gamification for events: The fuel behind successful event marketing

Partner Content



If you're a marketer or event organizer, you know how challenging it can be to stand out in a crowded market and make your event memorable. That's where playable marketing delivered through event gamification comes in.

Event gamification is the use of game mechanics and playable campaigns in the running of your events, to increase engagement and participation, amongst other things. By tapping into human’s innate desire for competition, achievement, and recognition, event gamification can help you create more memorable, engaging, and effective events.

In this article, we'll explore the power of playable marketing delivered through gamification for events and provide practical advice and ideas for implementing gamification at your events. So, whether you're planning a virtual event or an in-person event, read on to learn how gamification can take your event marketing to the next level!

Benefits of event gamification

Gamification has many benefits for event marketers, and these benefits can be divided into three categories: before the event, during the event, and after the event.

Before the event:

  • Increase participation: By incorporating gamification into your event promotion strategy, you can increase awareness and generate buzz about your event. Make it playable - gamify pre-event challenges, games, or quizzes that can incentivize potential attendees to interact with your brand and build excitement for the event. This can ultimately lead to increased participation and registration, as people are more likely to commit to attending an event that they find fun and engaging.
  • Build anticipation: When attendees register for an event, they often only receive text-based reminders by email, which can lead to a decrease in excitement and engagement over time. However, by incorporating playable experiences into your pre-event marketing, such as guess-the-word games or pre-event competitions, you can build anticipation and keep engagement high. This can lead to higher levels of excitement and interest in your event, as well as reducing the likelihood of attendees canceling their registration.
  • Get to know your attendees: Don't miss out on valuable information that can help you provide a personalized experience for your attendees! With the help of gamification, you can collect important data points that will allow you to understand your audience better and create a more to-the-point event experience. By creating fun and interactive registration forms, surveys, or quizzes, you can incentivize attendees to provide the information you need to make your event a success. In addition, gamification can also be used to identify leads and gauge attendee interest in your product, making it a powerful tool for improving lead generation and event ROI.

During the event:

  • Enhanced attendee experience: Gamification can make your event more enjoyable and interactive for attendees. By incorporating games, challenges, and other gamification elements, you can create more opportunities for networking, learning, and entertainment, and keep attendees engaged throughout the event. This is true both for virtual and in-person events. 
  • Increased social media engagement: Gamification can also encourage attendees to share their experiences on social media, amplifying your event's reach and exposure. By creating gamified social media challenges or photo ops, you can incentivize attendees to share their experiences online and create buzz around your event. Thus, succeeding in generating more awareness for your future events.

After the event:

  • Improved lead nurturing: Gamification can be used after the event to further engage and nurture leads. By creating follow-up campaigns that incorporate gamification elements, such as personalized challenges or rewards, you can keep leads engaged and interested in your brand.
  • Better data collection: Gamification can also help you collect valuable feedback and data about your event after it's over. By using gamified surveys or quizzes, you can gather insights about attendee satisfaction, preferences, and behaviors, and use that data to improve future events.

With so many different ways to use event gamification, it's important for you as a marketer to be strategic and efficient in your approach. By identifying a few key campaigns that align with your main marketing objectives, you can create a targeted and impactful event gamification strategy that delivers results.

9 Event gamification ideas: in-person and virtual

Here’s some specific ideas for playable campaigns you can create  before the event, during the event, and after the event. 

Before the event

1.Guess-the-word or guess-the-image

Guess the word or Guess the image games can be a fun and engaging way to reveal exciting details about your event, such as guest speakers or specific activities. For example, you could post a series of cryptic images or clues on social media and ask followers to guess the identity of the keynote speaker on a specific landing page with a CTA to register for your event.

2. Personality test

Personality Tests are a fun and interactive way to learn more about the attendees of your event. By creating a series of questions that delve into attendees' preferences, interests, and behaviors, you can gain valuable insights into what motivates them and how they might engage with your event. For example, you could create a Personality Test that asks questions about attendees' favorite activities, music genres, or food preferences. This information can then be used to tailor your event experience to better suit their interests and preferences. Plus, attendees are more likely to remember your event if they feel that it was personalized to them.

3. Prediction games

One fun way to get attendees more invested in your event is by creating a Prediction game. For example, for a sports event, attendees could guess the final score or the most valuable player (MVP). For a conference, attendees could guess the number of attendees or the most popular session. By adding a reward for attendees who guess correctly, such as a special prize or recognition during the event, you can boost participation and excitement. 

During the event

4. Scavenger hunt

Marketers can create a list of items or clues for attendees to find or solve at the beginning of the event, which could include exhibitor booths, key event features, or even hidden prizes. By completing the scavenger hunt, attendees will be more familiar with the event's layout and content, making them more likely to engage and participate throughout the event.

5. Poll

Polls can be a great way to engage attendees and gather valuable feedback during any type of event. Marketers can create polls on various topics related to the event, such as speakers, topics, or activities. This not only helps attendees feel more involved in the event but also gives event organizers insights into what their audience likes and dislikes. Additionally, displaying poll results in real-time can add an interactive element to the event and create opportunities for further discussion and engagement.

6. Quiz

Another way to engage attendees during an event is through quizzes. This can be done through a dedicated quiz app or using QR codes. For instance, in a conference, you could use a quiz to test attendees' knowledge on the event topics and reinforce their learning. Or in a product launch, you could create a quiz to showcase the features of your product and educate attendees on its benefits. Additionally, quizzes can also be used to promote event partners and sponsors by including questions related to their products or services during festivals or sports events. 

After the event

7. Survey

After an event, marketers can use surveys to gather feedback and insights from attendees. By asking targeted questions about the event experience, such as the quality of the content, the level of engagement, and the overall satisfaction, marketers can gather valuable data to help improve future events.

8. Swipe it

Surveys are undoubtedly useful, but let's face it, they can be dull and uninspiring. To make the feedback-gathering process more engaging, marketers could create a playable campaign, such as a Swipe-it game, to learn about attendees' likes and dislikes. In a swipe-it game, attendees are shown a series of images or statements and swipe right or left depending on their preferences. This approach not only collects valuable feedback but also adds an element of fun and interactivity, which can encourage more attendees to participate and provide their feedback.

9. Luck games such as lucky numbers or scratch cards

After the event, marketers can use luck-based games to engage attendees and reward them for participating. Lucky numbers, Wheels of fortune, and Scratchcards are all examples of games that can be used to incentivize attendees to share new data points, complete surveys, or provide feedback on their event experience. 

For example, luck games are very valuable for collecting one specific data point you are missing. For instance, you could encourage participants to identify their favorite activity at the event using a luck game. By doing so, you can send them more targeted information about your future events that are specific to their interests, increasing the likelihood of their attendance. 

Examples of event gamification 

Let's examine two examples, one in a B2B setting and one in a B2C setting, to illustrate how gamification can be beneficial for event marketing.

Sahara - Sahara Festival wheel of fortune

Sahara is an Icelandic marketing agency. 

Campaign highlights: 

  • Goal of the campaign: Generating ticket sale to their event, increasing newsletter subscribers and brand awareness.
  • Type of game: Wheel of fortune 
  • Campaign description: The campaign was mainly about generating awareness around their event Sahara Festival - a festival-style conference with some of the world’s leading marketing leaders  taking to the stage in Reykjavik city with the theme of Simplifying Digital Marketing.
  • Incentives to participate: Winning free tickets or discounted tickets to the event
  • CTA: A button to learn more about the festival or to buy a ticket


Shaping New Tomorrow - Gamifying a store opening 

Shaping New Tomorrow is an innovative and modern alternative to conventional menswear. They offers menswear with innovative features for maximum comfort.

Campaign highlights: 

  • Goal of the campaign: Enhance engagement during the retail store opening and collect marketing permissions 
  • Type of game: Wheel of Fortune - Customers played the game while waiting in line for the store opening.
  • Game description: The wheel of fortune game offered customers the opportunity to win exclusive Shaping New Tomorrow merchandise. The engaging and quick gameplay attracted substantial participation.
  • Incentives to participate: Exclusive Shaping New Tomorrow merchandise. 
  • CTA: Be part of the excitement at our Aarhus store opening. Register now for a chance to make your wait rewarding!

Campaign results: 

  • 200 registrations within the first hour and 
  • Nearly 600 unique registrations by the end of the day. 
  • On average, each player engaged in 32 game plays.


“Being able to provide our guests with an awesome experience while waiting in line is really special. Playable has been extremely helpful and engaging in developing this game for us. The value of entertainment and the number of unique registrations unite perfectly with this concept. Therefore, we have chosen to pass on this game to future store openings. ”

– Jacob Bech, Digital Marketing Manager, Shaping New Tomorrow


Are you ready to implement event gamification?

The possibilities of event gamification are endless. From scavenger hunts and personality quizzes to lucky games, there are so many ways to use playable campaigns to engage and delight your audience before, during, and after your event. And with the rise of virtual or hybrid events, the need for innovative and interactive experiences has only increased. 

So don't be afraid to get creative and think outside the box! And if you're looking for a gamification platform to enable you to create playable experiences for your event, maybe Playable can help support. Get in touch to see how we could work together to make your next event unforgettable.

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