By Nina Mercer
Industry events and conferences are absolutely crucial to business growth and career networking, as Forbes clearly explains. Unfortunately, many such events can feel stale; beyond collecting merchandise and a couple of big ticket events, many attendees can leave without the sense of excitement that good events bring. Fortunately, the accessibility and affordability of modern gamification tech is making boredom a thing of the past in industry events.
Through experiencing real-time thrills through VR, to conducting events and engagement through gamification, through to the unparalleled serenity of Metaverse meetings, the modern professional event can become something to be truly enjoyed through the use of virtual reality experiences. The balance needs to be made between work and pleasure, of course. However, the nature of gamification means attendees can achieve results while feeling like it’s simply a game.
A window into realities
Virtual reality experiences in the gaming field tend to focus on one of two areas – socialization, or ‘extreme’ sports. Being able to experience the highs and lows of navigating an exhilarating experience, with none of the risk, is the primary goal of these experiences. They give a little window into a different world. There’s something else that can be enjoyed through these experiences, too, and that’s to help develop team knowledge on the dangerous roles that help to support industry.
Most American tertiary industries are nothing without the supply chains that support them. Whether that’s constructing the offices and services that support growth, or simply providing the resources, including food, that keep the nation moving, there is a lot of debt owed to workers within often dangerous fields. Often, these jobs are the most dangerous in the country. VR related safety training has already been shown to be effective by a study published by Springer. Those same experiences can be brought to the corporate event, and help to provide in-depth learning experiences that also function as team building exercises.
Bringing in gamification
It’s through these shared VR experiences that you can start introducing gamification to the corporate event. As one study published on Science Direct highlights, gamification has been shown to be an effective tool in driving up engagement and also improving outcomes in a number of different fields; work, education, and play. How might it shape up at a corporate event?
Many corporate events rely on the engagement of participants through tools such as Sli.do and Teams. Where these engagements are not received, it can lead to flat events that don’t meet the strategic goals set out at the start. Introducing gamification could be through something as simple as providing merch for participation points. Everyone loves picking up the accessories, toys and trinkets presented at events; add a value to them, and it will help to further engage attendees.
Moving into virtual?
Virtual communication has been the hallmark of modern business. As Forbes notes, virtual communication has the potential to raise the ceiling of all businesses, ushering in better standards of collaboration. However, it needs to be fine tuned. There are plenty of problems standing in the way of effective digital communication, from poor levels of visual engagement through to connectivity issues. Tackling this head on is key, and there may be a way through for events – and that’s through the Metaverse.
Business events within the virtual reality space have been a thing since Second Life released in the mid 2000s. However, the most recent developments by Meta and their partners have seen a new push towards business interactivity within the digital medium. This is an inclusive measure, first and foremost. Virtual events allow a greater number of attendees, and create a sense of solidarity among all attending. Aside from that, it broadens the scope of what digital communication can be, how events can take place, and encourages imaginative measures within that. It’s fun to be inside game-like environments; the environment encourages gamification in every interaction; and the quality of technology and communication is paramount, eliminating many of the endemic issues associated with such platforms.
Moving forward with a virtual reality and gamification powered event will help to set the tone for the organizer and future industry events. As technological change continues to sweep through every sector and every area of work, so too does the need for widespread change within every auxiliary part of that industry. That includes events, the most important networking opportunity for businesses looking to grow or even just solidify their base. Getting it right is important, however. Halfway committing to future-facing and virtual reality events can end up causing confusion and an adverse performance for the business; damaging reputation, and potentially harming these crucial industry networking occasions. A fully fledged and committed plan, however, will firmly place a business or its network at the forefront of the chatter.