Sure, Gamification Increases Audience Engagement, But its Real Value is in the Data and Insights it Garners

October 12, 2023 Array Team

Life science meetings are serious business, but incorporating games into them can help you more effectively achieve your goals. Gamification, bringing elements of games into what are traditionally non-game environments, can increase audience engagement and knowledge retention. Done correctly, gamification is also a means to collect valuable data that provides insights to help improve future meetings.

Why does it work?

There is a scientific reason gamification is so effective for audience engagement and improved learning. When people are learning, there is strong activity in the hippocampus, an area in the lower section of the brain largely responsible for recalling information. Clinical tests have shown that gameplay similarly stimulates the hippocampus. Presenting some of the more important information of a life science meeting via gamification, then, actively stimulates the region of the brain responsible for supporting retention of that information.

Other physiological systems are at play, too. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the nervous system considered to be responsible for the brain’s pleasure, is secreted by the brain during challenges and achievement. As games offer both, there are many opportunities for the brain to produce dopamine, which keeps participants feeling good and enjoying what they’re doing. This provides an intrinsic motivation for audience engagement that it’s difficult for presenters to elicit externally. Of course, gamification also relies on humans’ natural competitiveness, another internal motivator. This is why so many healthcare and fitness apps rely on gamification across communities to inspire individuals to stay the course to achieve their goals.

Gamification’s impact on meetings

Array marries the science of gaming to the science of meetings to achieve increased audience engagement, improved knowledge retention and improved data collection. It then provides meeting organizers with actionable insights based on analysis of the data. This can be used to assess the individual meeting’s effectiveness as well as to improve future meetings.

Through integration of gamification in life science meetings, Array has achieved:

  •  8% increase in average correct answers
  •  9% increase in response rate
  • 40% increase in highly engaged participants

Of course, gamification must be part of the overall strategic plan of the meeting. We work with our partners to identify the priority content and determine if gamification is an effective way to present it or measure its retention. While some gamification tactics help present information, some test audience knowledge. Being able to demonstrate in real-time how many participants can correctly answer a question about a key piece of content gives presenters the opportunity to stay on the topic if it isn’t being understood.

Examples of gamification for meetings

There are several types of gamification Array integrates into meetings, based on the meeting’s goals and objectives. The following are two examples of how gamification is commonly used.

In live gamification, the entire audience participates simultaneously. In this case, the moderator or presenter will introduce a trivia question and each audience member answers via the same Array managed iPad© they have been using throughout the meeting. A leaderboard helps inspire conversation and competition.

Self-paced gamification allows each individual attendee to respond at their own pace. For example, planners may choose to utilize an interactive survey that differentiates the scores of participants based on their “confidence-level.” By adding a confidence score to what would otherwise be a traditional survey, organizers can see what portion of the attendees really understood the content and what portion were ‘good guessers.’ For example, attendees might be asked to answer a pre-session confidence-level questionnaire. After the session, they are asked to do so again. The data from each has been captured and the discrepancies between the two can be compared to determine how much information participants retained, and their level of confidence around it.

Putting it all together

Array provides a variety of audience engagement tools to help deliver and measure important content while collecting data down to the individual participant level. Each slide saved, note taken, question asked or answered, and resource accessed helps us determine how well the meeting met its objectives, where there are areas for improvement and what might be done differently to make future meetings even more successful. As one of those tools, gamification can provide a fast-paced, fun and easy way to increase audience engagement and gather that robust data.

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