Push “Play” on Your Next Meeting With Games

Let’s Talk About How to Gamify Your Next Event.
JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort's 10K Alley

Life is but a game—or at least, it can be if you incorporate play into your meetings from the ground up. Here are a couple of ways to make the gaming life a part of your next event.

Gamify Engagement, Hybrid-Style.

One of the challenges of hybrid meetings is making sure that virtual attendees and in-room attendees both stay engaged with the goal of the meeting. Introducing a gamification element that is rooted in the event’s virtual capacity can bring both sets of attendees together.

While there are plenty of apps and services available for gamifying sessions, your basic platforms probably already enable gaming to a degree. A Zoom poll turns into a game when the prompt is trivia or an icebreaker question; collaborative whiteboards allow participants to, say, solve a challenge together.

Another fun option: social media. Set up a scavenger hunt or photo challenge, and ask attendees to participate using a custom hashtag.

Harbor Social at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Design the Meeting Around a Purpose-Built Game Space.

Bringing games into a space is one thing—but bringing participants into a game space is another. When looking at venues, consider the value-add of venues that have built-in game rooms. They’re an obvious choice for icebreaker events, but imagine what a small group session at an in-house bowling alley could turn into!

A few spots that set a playful example:

  • Harbor Social at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland: Shuffleboard? Check. Air hockey? Check. Duckpin bowling, 10,000-square-foot sports bar, bocce court? Check, check, and check. That’s in addition to 94 event rooms, 101 breakout rooms, and nearly 550,000 square feet of event space. This space was purpose-built for networking after an evaluation of what people missed most about in-person gatherings: being together and networking with others.
  • Rampart Casino at JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa: The on-site team is experienced in coordinating with meeting planners who want to give attendees a taste of the Vegas experience without spending valuable convention time roaming the Strip. A meeting-branded casino night would be a hit—but if that doesn’t fit the tone of your attendees, take advantage of on-site lessons.
  • 10K Alley at JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort: The bowling alley isn’t the only game on tap here—arcade games and mini golf round out the offerings. (And games aren’t the only thing on tap either; the bar hosts more than 50 Florida-brewed craft beers.) With state-of-the-art facilities (virtual reality, anyone?), it’s well-equipped for events.