How to Convince Your Boss to Send You to a Gamification Conference


Conferences have always been a great way to bring everyone together. A place where like-minded professionals, industry experts, novices and know-it-alls alike can make new discoveries, share knowledge and collaborate. 

But what about gamification? Is it a big enough deal to warrant an entire conference?

We think so, but don’t take our word for it.  Here’s some compelling statistics about gamification that may help drive home the value to your boss:

  • The global value of gamification in 2018 was $6.8 billion and is predicted to reach $40 billion by 2024
  • 80% of employees enjoy using gamification software solutions at work
  • 50% of startups are reportedly integrating gamification into their strategy.
  • 87% of retailers will use gamification strategies in their operations in the next five years
  • Gamification is one of the top 10 must-have features of a learning management system
  • 75% of the global workforce by 2025 will be made up of millennials who are proven to react positively to gamification
  • 53% of technology stakeholders said that by 2020, the use of gamification will be widespread.

Now that gamification has gone far beyond its status as an ‘emerging trend’ to become a go-to approach for many businesses, it makes sense that there are now a rising number of gamification conferences popping up across the globe. That’s right, entire events dedicated to the wonderfully immersive and revolutionary world of gamification! A conference created for innovative brands who want to revolutionise how they inspire, influence and engage their workforce… and of course, unlike your standard business conference, a gamification conference has plenty of challenging and playful elements to keep things interesting throughout the day - what’s not to love?

As we continue to prep for our third Gamification Europe Conference taking place this year in December in Berlin, we often hear from prospective delegates keen to attend the struggle to get a sign off from their boss: 

“You want to go to a conference about gaming?”

You can see where they might be confused - if you want to persuade the boss that you should go to a gamification conference, you literally have to play the game! Lucky for you we have helped many to build the business case for attending a gamification conference and collated all of that beaut advice into this here blog. Think of it like your boss gameplay cheat sheet - work your way through this lot and you’ll soon be on your way to immerse yourself in the world of gamification.  

1. Innovation: keep up with the latest gamification trends

"Gamification has provided an innovative approach to existing solutions but has been limited in developing innovative outcomes that have resulted in paradigm shifts which solve problems. This is a subtle but important difference. The most significant social, environmental and economic challenges we are facing need us to think in terms of systemic change and managing complexity. This will require a different type of gamification than the one we know.” 

Marigo Raftopoulos, Strategic Innovation Lab"

One of the main reasons people attend conferences in general is to keep up to date with the latest trends and innovations. When it comes to making the case for attending a gamification conference, this could not be more valuable. While the general concept of gamification is one many are beginning to get behind in a workplace setting, the industry is going through rapid growth and therefore staying up to date with the latest gamification trends and innovations is key.

While the boss may think ‘gamification’ sounds a  little too fun for any real value, a gamification conference is ultimately an industry led and expert guided playground for learning about the latest trends and topics. When you attend a gamification conference not only will you be introduced to new concepts and theories, you will also discover the latest products and be able to try out new technology and keep your finger on the pulse. You will be able to gain knowledge from experienced professionals that have tried and tested ideas and strategies that can add fuel to your creative concepts.

2. Differentiation: discover how to elevate your employer brand

While gamification is increasing in popularity, there are still a number of businesses lagging behind. In fact, a 2019 TalentLMS gamification at work survey found that 43% of employees haven’t noticed any gamification elements at work. This means that there is still opportunity to leverage gamification as a key differentiator both as a brand showcasing your company culture to your customers but more notably as an employer brand to attract and retain top talent. The same survey noted:

Employers actively using gamification in the workplace, whether that’s as part of learning and development, processes or as a recruitment tool, are already seeing the benefits, including brands Google, Unilever, Hilton, GCHQ, Formaposte (French postal service) and Dominoes to name a few. Here’s a few winning statistics to help drive things home for the boss:

Even if you aren’t able to implement gamification right away, just attending a gamification conference sets you apart from the crowd and gives your business a competitive edge. It shows that you’re willing to diversify and make changes to get the very best for your people

3. Collaboration: meet new people and make waves together

“When people come together to solve problems and overcome challenges they become part of something greater than they are on their own.”

 Juliette Denny: ​Growth Engineering

Industry events and conferences are widely known as a great place to meet new people, expand your network and make things happen. A gamification conference has all of the professional benefits of a standard event but the added opportunity to play and have fun.  Gamification is weaved into learning and education throughout the day so you can experience it first-hand and strike up better networking relationships whilst playing.

This means that not only are you likely to be less bored, you’re also much more likely to break the ice earlier and actually get to know potential partners, investors, clients and even future colleagues or employees. 

You might even find a new gamification company that wants to use your business as a testing ground for a reduced rate. While a ticket may seem expensive, it could lead to more affordable ways of implementing gamification and provide ideas that can be put into action in the workplace right away.

If you’re serious about leveraging the benefits of gamification in the workplace or are already part of that industry, then attending a gamification conference is your opportunity to essentially get access to all areas with industry giants and meet other professionals and leaders who advocate gamification. When you confirm attendance you will then just be an email away from arranging a meeting with an otherwise unattainable industry member who in person and over coffee will gladly answer all of your questions.  Knowing that you’ve secured a meeting with someone your boss has their professional eye on makes a compelling case for attendance!

4. Learning materials: access to conference content

Whilst you can retrospectively watch panels online from the comfort of your office and tenaciously follow conference related hashtags on the day, if your names on the list and you have a ticket you are going to get access to EVERYTHING related to the conference and this includes exclusive learning materials. This may seem a little left-field, the content you receive following a gamification conference can be invaluable and essential to sharing your new found knowledge with your colleagues and developing new in-house strategies which employ gamification. 

These learning materials aren’t just recorded sessions either, they’re people too - thought leaders at the top of their ‘gamification game’ that can enhance your knowledge and add value to your practice. 

When you consider the cost of training content, this also means you are delivering a level of ROI following the conference. You can use the materials to relay your learnings back to the team and deliver some gamification training in-house - it’s a win win.

5. Inspiration: confidence boost and motivation to innovate

It's possible you are working within an organisation that needs to modernise and adapt to the demands of the 21st century, it's no mean feat gaining the support of a boss that is stuck in their ways - this is your moment to shine and take the lead. 

Demonstrating the initiative to take responsibility for the representation of your business or organisation at a conference automatically positions you as an innovator.  By attending a conference you will be well placed to develop your interpersonal skills whilst boosting your credibility in the workplace. Conferences are about showing up literally in your work, by showing up you are presenting yourself as accountable, credible and invested. This type of commitment ensures that you recognised as active in the industry. 

Persuade the boss and get booking…

Berlin here we come!

With gamification conferences taking place across the globe there’s never been more opportunity to attend, get involved and immerse yourself in a concrete learning experience.  To help you get the boss on board, we’ve also created a convenient slideshare presentation you can use, have a scroll through now or download it as a PowerPoint document here. 

And if all of that isn’t convincing enough? Beyond getting your own ticket, you could focus on the importance of training and development for your own professional and personal growth and reiterate that attending a conference allows your boss to tick off CPD on your personnel file and gives you the opportunity to flourish. Boom, have it. 

Now that you have everything you need to unlock the budget, you can find out what to expect at our upcoming gamification conference Gamification Europe in December or just get in touch if you need some more help convincing the boss!

About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

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