I was recently invited to write a guest blog post for Pete Jenkins‘ Gamification+ blog (Pete is an instructor in Brighton Business School). I used this opportunity to reflect on my experience of creating a conference-wide game for the UCISA Digital Capabilities Group, Spotlight on Digital Capabilities conference in 2016 (in collaboration with Farzana Latif from the University of Sheffield). I split the reflection into two parts in order to provide the case study in blog format. The introductions for each post are included below, as well as links onward so that you can read each post in their respective, full glory at the Gamification+ blog.
How To Gamify A Conference – part 1
“It’s teaching, with time-travelers, a tight schedule, collaboration and bags of social media” (MacNeill & Latif, 2016a, p. 6).
The quote above describes the conference game in one sentence. The sentence is written in a style akin to a movie pitch. It is also deceptively simple like a movie pitch and in fact it will take two blog posts for me to do justice to the ideas and logistics involved in running the actual conference game. Part 1 provides the background on the conference, the previous game in 2015 and what we changed in 2016; leaving you on a cliffhanger for the next installment. Part 2 will relieve your anguish by outlining the results of our endeavors and will also provide a list of 10 recommendations for building conference games.
MacNeill, F., & Latif, F. (2016a). Spotlight on digital capabilities (2). Pre-conference meet-up and game launch webinar [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from UCISA website: http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/~/media/groups/dcg/19%20may%20Webinar%20Slides.ashx
How To Gamify A Conference – Part 2
In part 1 we found out about the conference, the previous conference game and how we redesigned the game in 2016. In part 2 we reveal the results and provide a juicy list of 10 recommendations for building conference games!
Results in 2016 based on the original objectives
#1. Increase audience engagement at the conference
Result: We trended 2nd in the UK on Twitter, just after #PMQs, on the first day of the conference. The only downside to this was that the hashtag was heavily spammed.
Participation in the game was measured by the number of people who received a participation badge (53 people). The measured commitment amounted to a 41% engagement rate across all delegates, exhibitors, organisers and speakers at the event. This was a 17% increase over the 2015 game. Of those awarded participation badges, 52% were male and 48% were female.
Thanks for reading! – Fiona