May 6, 2020
In an age of instant gratification and immediate payoffs, time-consuming certification courses can often become a mundane aspect of membership. Knowing the importance of certification courses, associations should invest time into making these courses fun and stimulating while continuing to be informative.
Usually implemented as an online marketing technique, gamification is the application of game-playing elements in other activities to encourage engagement with products or services. Point scoring, progress bars, contests, rewards and trivia are all aspects of gamification that can be applied not only to certification progression, but many other aspects of your membership, as well. Trophies can be awarded for most attendance at conferences, volunteering can lead to higher access levels or prizes and punch cards at booths can help increase traffic to different set ups during sessions.
Build an ongoing engagement system.
Take the language learning app Duolingo, for example. They use small quizzes, mapped out stages, badges, milestones of achievement and points throughout their courses. Each of these aspects of gamification can trigger a release of dopamine in the brain. According to UPMC HealthBeat, dopamine “helps motivate you to work towards achieving a reward.” Having multiple layers of gamification creates constant stimuli which keeps your members coming back.
Keep in mind:
Don’t overwhelm your members.
Gamification is supposed to be a fun and easy way to receive benefits. While multiple facets of gamification can seem intriguing and important, too much too quickly can be an additional stressor on members.
Don’t become stale.
Once established, it can be tempting to continue with the same programs your organization started with. Over time, completing the same tasks or having too simple of a program can become redundant, leading to potentially losing your members’ interest.
Not only does the feeling of accomplishment keep members coming back, positive reinforcement is a large factor in triggering a dopamine delivery system. Rewards, recognition and even career growth are all ways to reinforce the use of your association’s gamification aspects.
Think of new ways that you can implement gamification in your conferences, meetings and even employee projects. Not only will your members be inspired to engage with your content, they may influence your organization for the better.
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Ashley Neal joined the Sidecar team as Community Coordinator in March of 2020, right as the COVID-19 pandemic began to shut down life as we knew it. Having to adapt, overcome and predict the changes needed to survive in the new normal, Ashley now has the skills needed to juggle any obstacle thrown her way. A soon-to-be graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University in the field of Strategic Communications, Ashley spends her days balancing her work and education with her love of dogs. Taking her three dogs — Scooby, Pipsqueak and Moose — to restaurants, hiking trails, vacations and even participating in dog shows and sports is the highlight of her weekends.