We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential, while others help us to improve this website and your experience.

External media

Gamification of events: Turning ordinary gatherings into interactive playgrounds

virtually created playground in bright colors by Battle Royal Studiosvirtually created playground in bright colors by Battle Royal Studios
virtually created playground in bright colors by Battle Royal Studiosvirtually created playground in bright colors by Battle Royal Studios

The art of play: Gamify your events for dynamic, participatory experiences that redefine interaction!

The art of play: Gamify your events for dynamic, participatory experiences that redefine interaction!

by Jonathan Buckles
30. November 2023

Challenging the status quo in event planning

Convincing clients to gamify their event can be a difficult task, especially for brands scared it might not suit their messaging, or be too playful or seem childish or immature. Some believe it's unsuitable for serious topics, while many sadly just don't trust their guests will participate and are worried interactions could fall flat.

However, as someone who has worked on some truly impactful and bespoke events and attended even more, I found that even the most premium brands and serious subjects can be enhanced by the element of surprise and giving guests a sense of control.

Meeting the demand for personalised experiences

For years now attendees are expecting more and more influence in entertainment, maybe spurred on by the two-way communication enabled by social media, they are no longer moved to just see a branded event backed by catering and some traditional show elements. The demand for near constant and personalised gratification has raised the bar, challenging creatives to design experiences that go beyond the conventional. Gamification can turn ordinary events into extraordinary memorable interactive playgrounds.

Creating an immersive experience for a diverse audience

Designing gamified events is like orchestrating a symphony that resonates with a diverse audience on a spectrum that includes first-time attendees and seasoned participants. Understanding the varying levels of interaction is crucial to ensure everyone feels engaged throughout the event. And with most guests not being forwarded what lies ahead, the introduction of self-actualisation in events needs to be handled well.

Avoiding pitfalls in event gamification

The worse pitfall of gamification in events I have witnessed came when a hard-to-grasp or overly exerting user journey was forced too quickly on the guests. Bombarding the guests with rules and tools for their night ahead can put many on the backfoot and reduce instead of increase engagement.

To win over client during conception, and participates on the night, injecting gamification needs to be taken in baby-steps. Starting from registration and through each ongoing interaction needs to be crafted to match, and hopefully expand, their comfort level. And the investment in briefing all the staff to not break the momentum can really help the guests to get into the swing of the event and keep their suspension of disbelief intact.

Secret Cinema’s Casino Royale

While attending Secret Cinema’s Casino Royale, a beautifully complex immersive theatre show (which has the huge bonus of all the audience arriving with a very clear understanding of the event) our group had gotten a bit off track, and we ended up asking a normal security guard protecting the perimeter if he knew where our task should have taken us. Amazingly, he refused to help us until we realised, he was also keeping in character: We had to bribe him some play money we had received earlier to get him to give us advice. Simple, but our suspension of disbelief was reinstated, and we managed to dive back in.


Not all events would suit or need this level of immersion. But the more the whole environment can be maintained by keeping up the immersion, then the overall effect, and the guests’ willingness to get caught up in the moment will increase. Simple acts like gamifying elements of catering can change the pedestrian act of ordering a drink into a group activity, but we also make sure that those who are not yet ready to actively participate still feel accepted and enthralled. We always keep in mind that not every guest wants to be so active, but this level of gamification and choice gives everyone the chance to choose their level of engagement.

Delivering the message through various activation levels

To engage with diverse attendees, it's essential to deliver the brand message through different activation levels. Not everyone wants to play a major role, but knowing others of your peers have stepped-up creates a communal reward. When a headline performer bursts onto the stage, everyone is thrilled, but when the crowd feels they have somehow influenced this arrival they feel much more connected to the event.

For years, audiences have screamed out for encores. This might be the simplest version of the crowd action and reward, and we all know it works. If we are raising the interaction to growing tasks over the course of the night, those who want to play a bigger role have the opportunity, while those who choose to be bystanders do not feel excluded. We leave opportunities for anyone to step up to the next level of interaction if that would enhance their personal experience.


Using technology to create memorable experiences

BRS created an interactive exhibition for a government taxation and importation agency in the Middle East. Not a topic that might scream “fun”. NTC tags were embedded in prop packages carried by guests. Each one triggered unique video content on surrounding screens, surprising the guests as the packages were scanned and some reacting as if the package contained contraband, triggering sniffer dogs to burst into action while also triggering important facts and key aims of the agency. Even a seemingly serious topic became a thrilling experience, delivering the message of import security in a hands-on and share worthy installation.

Drawing inspiration from gamification in immersive theatre

Just as immersive theatre captivates audiences; we have infused that power of self-exploration into events. We took a Fortune 500 company’s launch of a ground-breaking and industry-changing product and created a free-roaming event designed to explain the company's motivation for a huge pivot in purpose while also introducing the new product. But we did it in a fun way!

We broke the unsuspecting audience into small manageable groups to brief them that the night was going to be not quite what they expected. We divided the audience into three opposing teams and got our dozens of actors to try to get them to change alliances and tip the narrative of the event in their group’s favour. The aim was to get them open to the experience of change, the willingness to understand why innovation is needed and why the strength to be flexible deserves a reward.

All without ever directly mentioning the product or client, instead infusing every step of the narrative with the company's core pillars and the belief in a better future. The results were astonishing. Over 90% of 2000+ guests embraced the shift in the company’s paradigm by trading up to the new product, proving that gamification can change minds and attitudes.

Staying true to brand and client needs

While playfulness is at the core, staying aligned with the client's branding and messaging is crucial. Each gamified element must be linked to reinforce the brand's principles or highlight specific products/values. It's a delicate dance between fun and meeting the client's objectives.

Gamification as a catalyst for memorable events

Gamification is the secret sauce that transforms ordinary gatherings into extraordinary interactive playgrounds. Tales of tax agencies and tech giants embracing the playful side prove that even the most serious topics can benefit from a dash of excitement. Gamification allows each guest to forge their own unique experience, allowing them to choose their level of engagement, and the result will touch them more deeply and honestly than any one-size-fits-all experience ever can.


The goal is to create versatile events that cater to the varied expectations of each guest. These events are spaces where the adventurous can fully immerse themselves, engaging with performers, experimenting with technology, and delving into the intricacies of a complex story. Meanwhile, those who prefer a more observational role can enjoy the event without feeling left out.

Check out our latest project, where we put this to work! 

Stay in Touch

Sign-up to the Battle Royal Studios newsletter to keep up to date with our latest news, jobs and VIP invites.

Battle Royal GmbH
Glogauer Strasse 17
10999 Berlin

With representation in
London • Dubai • Riyadh • Sydney