Gamification | Cracking the Code on Data Collection in Conferences

Everyone who knows me knows I’m ridiculously excited about attending this year’s Disney Data and Analytics Conference #ddac2019 and even though it has only just kicked off, I’m already learning SO much. Pretty sure my brain will explode at the end of Day 1.

But one of the things I have been most impressed with is how Disney has cracked the code on conference participation. They have taken gamification and self-professed data to a whole new level and I am totally here for this.

So how does this work?

Gamification is taking a typical online function or interaction and applying the elements of gaming to make it more of a competitive process. It increases employee engagement and often learning and retention when employed properly.

And it’s something a lot of our organizations have dabbled with – awarding profile completion scores and “top fan” badges for interaction on the company site – but haven’t fully invested in. Just as punishments have to have teeth, incentives have to come with, well, things people want other than just being at the top of a leaderboard. While that is enough to attempt the compulsively achievement motivated employee, it’s not enough to get the average person motivated enough to share their data.

So what does work?

Providing sufficient motivation. If that sounds vague, it is, because different things motivate different work forces and different personality types within the workforce. But I digress. How does this help you figure out who is engaged in what parts of your conference for those all important participation and sponsor metrics?

Disney has gamified conference attendance through the game linked to their app. Points get prizes and the prizes are COOL. And you get points by being scanned into display booths, product demos, presentations, and more, and by answering surveys and volunteering more information.

Yes, it’s as easy as scanning a QR code, and awarding an attendee points, to see who is attending what talks.

The simple question you have to answer when setting up a gamification strategy is “What would I choose to buy with my data?” The answer is often less than you might expect provided the data you’re trading is perceived to be low risk, the people accessing it trustworthy, and the process safe. Increasing those three factors along with the incentive is critical in getting people to trade away their data.

And don’t make it too much of a distraction. You want people to know when the sponsor code will show up so they’re not ignoring the whole presentation looking for it. Disney wrangled this well.

So what would you rather do – try to circulate yet another sign in list to get conference attendee information, or incentivize your attendees to provide it to you? Disney has cracked that code.

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