Marketing & Communications

Gamification: You Never Had So Much Fun Connecting With Members

By Hillary Levitz • October 2, 2013

Hillary Levitz, Naylor Association Solutions

Gamification. You’ve heard the term multiple times by now, but do you really know what it means? What is gamification and how can you leverage it to benefit your association and members?


  • Gamification is a valuable tool for increasing member engagement at your events and educational programs.
  • Using game-like programming in a non-game setting can help students, association members and employees learn more effectively and enhance long-term memory.
  • While gamification is designed to be fun, a player’s score can be used to suggest courses for improving their professional skills and learning techniques.

According to the highly-respected tech blog, Mashable, gamification can be defined as “using game-like programming in a non-game setting.” It is often used to increase user engagement, assist in teaching and some research suggests that it may even enhance long-term memory. No wonder seventy percent of Forbes Global 2000 companies have announced plans to deploy gamification in some form or another. Many associations are also adopting the use of gamification for education and event engagement purposes.

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The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers uses a trivia game to help members choose which continuing education classes to take. The game asks skills-based questions of varying difficulty, and based on a user’s score, suggests courses to help improve skills. Playing the trivia game helps members find out which courses are appropriate for their skill levels and, in turn, promotes the association’s continuing education courses (a member benefit).

The Competitive Carriers Association includes a gamification element in its mobile conference application. The app features a scavenger hunt-like digital badge section where attendees can unlock badges by performing specific tasks within the app while roaming the show floor or attending conference sessions. For example, an attendee can unlock a badge by checking into a certain booth on the app and attending a product demonstration. App users also earn points for every action they make within the app, such as posting photos or offering speaker reviews. At the end of the conference, the attendee with the most badges and points receives a prize. The badges encourage attendees to visit booths at which they may not normally stop and help draw more foot traffic to vendors.

Another way to employ gamification is to reward members for attending association events. Similar to the badges at the CCA Annual Convention, associations may offer codes to members who attend lunch-and-learns or networking events. Members with the most codes can earn prizes, such as membership discounts or product samples.

Gamification is a valuable tool to help increase member engagement at events and during programs. It allows members to enjoy themselves while learning the value of their membership.

Check out Hillary’s tips for a stellar social media contest.

Hillary Levitz is an online marketing specialist with Naylor, LLC.