How to Engage Your Audience in Mobile App With Gamification? -

The events industry was never so demanded as it is now. Just think about it! Every day there are hundreds of events taking place all over the world – from meetings of international leaders to scientific conferences and music festivals. However, it also means that event organizers should look for interesting and unusual ways to attract the audience and keep it engaged. And just having some mobile app may not be enough.

That’s why today we’re going to talk about the event gamification. What is it? Let’s find out!


What Is The App Gamification?

Everything is simple as that! As you can guess from the word itself, gamification is the use of games and game-like elements in non-game apps. These elements may include scores and leaderboards, mini-games and much more, but we’ll come back to this a little bit later.

A bright example of gamification in mobile apps (image by Danial Siddiki).


Applying game principles to event apps is an effective (and what is also important – proven) way to keep users engaged. Despite 88% of event attendees saying that access to meeting or event schedules in an event app is extremely important, it’s not enough to make users really active. And that’s when the app gamification can really help you! In what forms? Let’s learn together!

Top 5 Ways To Implement Mobile App Gamification

There are many different approaches and none of them can be called the best or the worst. Each case should be treated individually, so you have to make up a list of entertaining elements for your app together with the team that will develop it. Now I’m going to present you with the top 5 ideas of gamification in apps that you can use during your event app development. Check it out!

# 1: Rewards

People like to be rewarded. First of all, it makes them feel special. Secondly, we all love free stuff. Combination of these two gives people sense to open your app more often than once. Use it to your advantage!

You can encourage users to interact with your app more actively by promising them useful rewards. However, remember the golden rule: the more intensive/deep interaction you expect, the more valuable the prizes should be. Nobody will complete a list of 5 tasks or spend a lot of time in your app for a pencil with your logo (in case you’re not Apple, of course). So make sure that requirements are correlated with the reward.


Rewards are perfect for keeping users engaged with your app (image by Zelah Hoekstra)

As possible gifts you may offer your attendees:

  • Free entrance ticket (if it’s not free for everybody, of course).
  • Some unique possibilities (for example, a private meeting with headliners if it’s a music festival or a tete-a-tete conversation with one of the speakers if it’s a conference).
  • Really valuable things (like merchandise with autographs of artists or speakers of your event).

In return, you may ask your users to:

  • Share information about the event with special hashtags or repost your own messages in social media.
  • Take part in different in-app activities (play quizzes and perform other tasks).
  • Visit your app on a daily basis or at least a number of days in a row.

# 2: Quizzes

Everybody has played quizzes. So everyone knows how fun and captivating they usually are. Moreover, this mobile app gamification element can also be very useful personally for you. How? Because it can be used as a tool for collecting feedback from attendees. Offer them to share their expectations and impressions before and after the event and use this data for analysis.


The beautiful concept of the in-app quiz (image by Anton Kosolapov)

Besides, it’s also possible to create entertaining quizzes about your event (if it has a long history) or its main topic. This approach will make users even more interested in it and they will more likely come. By the way, you can offer some small but pleasant rewards for completing the quiz. It will stimulate activity and give even more reasons to answer all the questions and not abandon them.

# 3: Badges

Badges can be actually considered as “free rewards”. They are not as effective as the 2 previous event gamification tools but still widely used. The brightest example, I guess, is Foursquare.

The “secret” behind this solution is to give people sense of achieving something. This will drive them to collect more badges. How can they get them? By performing different activities. For example:

  • Logged into the app 3 days in a row – take your badge!
  • Invited a friend thru the social network – grab one more!
  • Bought some merchandise in the in-app store – here you are!


Bright badges are perfect for increasing users’ engagement (image by Sherjeel Javed)

Moreover, you can also offer them to exchange these badges for rewards during the event to make the process even more engaging and interesting.

# 4: Leaderboards

Feel free to add some competitiveness to the app! This kind of gamification in mobile apps is especially effective for entertaining events (like parties and festivals). Users will compete just to stay on the top!

If you combine leaderboards with social media marketing, you will get even better results. Why? Because people are more inclined to compete with friends and colleagues rather than with strangers. Besides, this approach also encourages people to open your app more often in order to check how their position has changed.


A leaderboard in the event app (image by Adam Nielsen)

The criteria for forming the leaderboard can be different: from a number of badges or right answers in quizzes to the number of points gained by being active in the app.

So as to make the competition even more thrilling, promise some nice gifts or benefits for the top 3, 10 or as many as you like users. It will give your audience much more sense to compete.

# 5: Levels

Another example of gamification in apps is levels. It lies in the human nature to strive to achieve some goals. And when we’re talking about event apps we may consider levels as these goals!

Actually, this can hardly be named a separate gamification element in the app. For example, users may achieve new levels as they collect badges or perform other tasks in your app. However, it will be more difficult for them to abandon or delete your app if they know that they have made some progress in it.


That’s how the levels system is implemented in the Starbucks app (image by Jesse Herlitz)

And, of course, you may encourage them with small gifts and benefits when, for example, they achieve the top level.

P.S. It may seem that I’m talking about rewards too much. Yet, don’t forget that using all of the approaches mentioned in this article may not be very effective (because it may look too sloppy and people won’t take it seriously). So you will have to choose only a few, and in this case, the number of rewards will be totally appropriate.


I hope that now you know how to gamify your app! Gamification is a powerful tool when it comes to boosting engagement and making users interested in using your app on a daily basis.

Talking about specific approaches, there are 5 of them that have proven their effectiveness:

  • Rewards.
  • Quizzes
  • Badges
  • Leaderboards.
  • Levels.

Combine them to achieve the best result and you will definitely engage your audience!

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