Gamification has become incredibly popular. The application of game mechanics to what have traditionally been non-game contexts has proven to be an extremely effective way of motivating and inspiring people. The concept has been applied to a diverse range of areas, from army recruitment to teaching people how to code. (Check out some of the most creative applications here.)

The research company Gartner made a prediction in 2011 that, by 2015, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention would become as important as Facebook, eBay, and Amazon. They also predicted that 70 percent of Global organisations would have at least one gamified application by this time.

The prediction was prescient: a 2013 survey revealed that more than 70 percent of Global 2000 companies planned to use gamification for marketing and customer relations in the near future. And, whilst there’s no gamification company that’s as famous or successful as Facebook, eBay, and Amazon, the industry is growing rapidly.

Now the concept has been taken up with gusto by the events industry. Treasure hunts, quizzes, photography competitions, and more, events globally are introducing games as a way to connect and engage delegates.

And this is a good thing. When delegates participate passively, they come out of an event with very little to report, and a feeling of dissatisfaction. But games encourage active participation, which prevents your delegates sleep-walking through your event thinking about what they’re going to have for dinner or, worse, places they’d rather be.

Thinking about gamifying your event? First there are a couple of things to consider.

Most importantly you must decide what the objective of your game is. Is it increasing attendance at sessions? Increasing networking? Increasing your delegates’ communication with exhibitors? Your game will look very different based on what your objective is, and, whilst games can be incredibly effective, it’s important you don’t dilute their impact by trying to get it to do too much.

Once you have a clear objective, the next step is creating the game. There are loads of apps available that have been created with the express purpose of gamifying events. These include apps that allow you to create various quests, challenges, quizzes, leader-boards, and more. With so much to choose from, it’s well worth taking the time to explore what’s available. But to get you started, here are a few of our favourites.

Scavify: Scavify enables you to create interactive mobile adventures. Tailored to the events industry, the app specialises in encouraging exhibitor interaction, conference exploration, and attendee engagement.

Loquiz: Loquiz allows you to create various types of games. These include indoor games such as quizzes and clue games, as well as outdoor ones such as photohunts and “seek and avoid” games. It takes minutes to set up, and gives you a lot of creative freedom.

Mapdash: Mapdash is a mobile scavenger hunt app. It is designed to bring your delegates together and get them to interact with each other and their environment. It’s easily customisable and offers various cool functionalities.