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Before you start gamifying your meeting

Sure, there are many (including me) who think gamifying education, including that offered at meetings, is a great way to motivate people to learn. But if you think using a rewards-based marketing strategy to build loyalty to your conference or event, read this post first: Your Customers Won't Take a Bullet for You. Not only does Kathy Sierra dissect loyalty programs beautifully to get to the beating heart of what really motivates us, she reminds me of just how much I have missed her writing. Just one point to ponder before you head over and read the whole thing:

"In fact, when you “incent” me to “engage” with your site, deep in my heart I understand now that I have sold out. By giving me bribes/incentives, no matter how much you call them “rewards”, you have communicated to some part of me that if I had to be incented to buy/act/engage/whatever, it must have lacked value on its own."

Uh huh. Especially now, you can't buy loyalty to your program, or even a one-time buy-in, unless, as she says, what you're providing will "have upgraded my personal skills, knowledge, and capabilities. They have made my life better. They have made ME better." Isn't that exactly why you're holding that conference to begin with?

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