I’m sure you’ll agree with me, if I claim that highly motivated participants are crucial to create a successful meeting.
So who can we turn to, if we want to learn more about how to motivate people to cooperate and work hard? I would definitely look at the computer game industry.
More and more people leave reality and immigrate to game spaces. In the US alone, more than 5 million people spend more than 45 hours a week on computer games.
The Game developer and researcher Jane Mcgonigal explains this mass exodus: “The truth is this: in today’s society, computer and video gamse are fulfilling genuine human needs that the real world is currently unable to satisfy. Games are providing rewards that reality is not. They are teaching and inspiring and engaging us in ways that reality is not. They are bringing us together in ways that reality is not.”
The average age for video game players is 35 years and 44% of them are women. A study showed that 61% of CEOs and CFOs take daily game breaks at work. Game dynamics are apparently appealing to all kinds of potential meeting participants and not only young men, as many would assume.
The best games are so intrinsically motivating that you never want to finish them. To play the game is a reward in itself and both quitting or winning the game are equally unsatisfying outcomes beacuse you had to finish playing. If you have been caught up in Tetris or absorbed into Angry Birds you know what I mean.
What if we designed our meetings like games? If we made them so challenging and engaging that the participants wish they could stay longer?
To do that we have to think like game developers. We have to make attractive goals, challenging rules and immediate feedback systems, so participats can see how they progress on the tasks they are working on. And finally we have to make it voluntary to participate in the game, if it is forced it is experienced as stressfull work instead of as fun and fulfilling.
It’s not easy to gamify meetings succesfully but it is possible.
Recently I’ve developed a meeting concept with Visit Denmark, called the Pitch Perfect Game. In a gamified way, the participants experience a very unusal site inspection, that ends with them pitching the strengths of the Venue to each other. The Pitch Perfect Game has been evaluated unusually high on both satisfaction and learning outcomes.
Together with Ann Hansen I have also developed a card game called the Meeting Design Game. A game that helps meeting planners design better meetings. So far the game has been received very positively.
This post was written by Bo Krüger, Meeting designer, Facilitator, Speaker and Writer.