Arcane Experience

How do I rate the success of my event? The difficult question of measuring fun…

One of the most important questions we ask ourselves when we design games remains the same: will the game please all? Will it be a success? Which measurement tools for my event?

A creative person, whether: artist, author, designer, a craftsman is always confronted with this question of audience satisfaction.

At Arcane, when creating our games, we’re faced with two tasks: satisfying the players, and satisfying the customers. The difficulty lies in the fact that the former is almost never the latter.

For instance: Mrs. Jones (Head of Human Resources at a large automobile company) gets in contact with us. She wants to create a game that will playfully address various aspects involved in a transformation plan that her co-workers will have to implement over the coming months. That means, we’d need to incorporate the upcoming managerial changes into the game in order to train managers in an original way.

AMAZING PROJECT!

As game creators, we aim to satisfy two groups:

  • Managers- (the game players): we find out about their level of satisfaction through feedback from their in-game experience.
  • Human Resources Management- (the one who buys the project), whose satisfaction is based on: feedback from the gamers, if the messages have been successfully conveyed, and if her collaborators give praise for their innovative approach.

So, the question we’re asking ourselves is this: How exactly do we measure the satisfaction of those two target groups?

To be honest, I haven’t found the perfect answer yet, but I’m thinking about it.

There are two ways of measuring satisfaction in today’s events industry: figures, and enthusiasm. However, they’re not necessarily so easy to put into practice.

In order to accurately measure, we have to ask ourselves what we want to achieve… To increase followers? Increase motivation? Build loyalty? Encourage buying?

Therefore, the event should be thought of as part of an overall strategy, and the game must respond to one (or more) of its objectives.

The most meaningful measurement of success in communication games remains statistics.

In marketing, to measure a campaign, we have on one hand KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), and on the other hand the famous ROI (return on investment). How can we apply these frameworks to the events industry and more precisely to event gaming?

What are the key performance indicators of a game?

  • The level of participation- out of X participants, how many played the game?
  • Commitment – to what extent did the player-participants get involved in the game?

In terms of ROI, how can the client measure the profitability of his gaming event?

Respecting budgets

Did the contractor(s) stay within the allocated budget of your event? It sounds like a small detail, but it’s something we’ve all heard of. It’s important that the event fits within the budget that you are prepared to invest without requiring a budget extension.

Coherent budgeting, with ambition

It’s basically to avoid imagining that you can buy a Porsche Cayenne with the budget for a Renault Clio. Bluntly put… but I think you get the idea. It’s the role of the game creation agency to give all the information to its client so that they can envision a realistic deliverable game that fits within budget.

The re-playability of the game as a tool

Can the use of the initial investment be spread over time? Can the game be used several times for more people and over a longer period of time? Or is it a one-shot game for a small group of players?

Let’s now consider the motivation

This is a much more difficult measure to establish because it’s neither statistical nor quantitative (but just as important as the statistics), dealing only with performance or profitability. It’s the impact that the gaming event has on the target audience, and the way it will have projected the image of the brand.

Enthusiasm

What was the immediate feedback from player-participants after the session? There are measurement tools such as survey kiosks that can be set up at the event venue to collect on-the-spot feedback. At Arcane, this is an integral part of our gaming concept. Knowing whether the players enjoyed the event is not optional. Being able to provide our clients with an accurate report of the excitement experienced by the participants is what we do.

Behavioral changes invoked by the game

Have the behaviors illustrated in the game been transferred into real-life situations? The satisfaction survey responds very well to this point. As previously experienced, conducting a survey before the event and comparing it to a post-event survey, we are able to check the evolution of the behavior/knowledge of the participants. It might even be possible to carry out a measurement after 3 months, 6 months or more. This would allow us to continue analyzing the impact of the event over time.

Improving one’s image/notoriety

Has the image of the establishment organizing the event improved in the eyes of the participants-players, or even in the eyes of non-participants? This question is part of an overall communication/marketing measurement strategy. To do this, we work with several communication agencies, putting our heads together to think about the best way of combining the game with several communication tools to give scope to our clients’ objectives.

In conclusion

In order to measure the effectiveness of an event there are a number of important elements. Be careful not to measure how events go without any real rationale behind it. When it comes to human interaction, you have to take the time to ask yourself precise questions to get accurate answers.