Why hire games for events?

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Why brands should incorporate play in their events, and why delegates should thank them for it

Industry conferences, virtual tradeshows or internal training days bring benefits, but can be draining experiences. As intellectually stimulating as sessions may be, sitting still for lengthy periods, devoid of interaction, can leave you feeling lethargic. Add to this the fact that you are probably thinking about the flood of emails you’re missing AND the expectation to implement these new ideas you’ve learned when you return to work  - and you could be forgiven for feeling a little stressed.

The breaks between sessions are a great time to stretch your legs (during a physical or virtual event) but unfortunately a quick stroll isn`t enough to give you the real boost of endorphins  you need to get your brain back into optimum learning mode. Endorphins can be simply described as chemicals that interact with the receptors in the brain that trigger positive feelings in the body. A rush of endorphins also helps lower stress levels.  Moreover, countless researchers have discovered that short bursts of game activity stimulates a gene that promotes increased connections between neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning and memory. In other words, a short, sharp burst of interactivity and competitive stimulation is enough to prime the brain for learning.
Inevitably, event delegates relax while they play.

This distraction from work - and having fun - need not be seen as a threat to conference or virtual event outcomes by organisers. To the contrary,‘fun’ has repeatedly been shown in research to release endorphins, dopamine and oxygen which activates receptors in the brain that help promote learning.Several reputable researchers are also quoted in relation to their findings that show that people learn better when they’re feeling strong positive emotions.Encouraging delegates at virtual events and conferences to have a bit of a laugh is the adult equivalent of playtime during school breaks. There is a reason that play is linked to learning from our very early years and the assumption that all work should be serious can be a stressful and debilitating mentality in many workplaces.

It is worth considering the beneficial effectsof escapism in this scenario also. Escapism in its most negative form can beseen as an avoidance of reality or certain problems in life that we rather not face and indeed work can often become the crutch we use to avoid other stressors in life (family, finances etc). Work has provided a convenient excuse for us to chug along in automatic mode, it provides structure and a framework and can easily take over your life if you let it. Positive escapism, however, often comes in the form of sport or games and this allows yourself a few minutes to forget your reality.

Enjoying a few moments of fun during the working day, or during an event, shouldn`t be regarded as a frivolous waste of time.
This isn`t to suggest that we all drop the informative product demos or brand literature that our sales and marketing teams have painstakingly prepared for sharing with delegates. It simply suggests that you should also incorporate something lighthearted and entertaining to your event plan - and regard it as strategic - rather than a pointless waste ofmoney by marketing. Subtle product facts, logos and branding can be incorporated into these games. You could even embed a quick quiz or customer feedback survey to the end of an interactive game, for example.

The overall takeout here is that whether you are vendors exhibiting your products and services with a view to increasing sales, a manager signing off on budget for your staff to attend the conference OR the event organiser itself - please do not fear fun. Embrace these rare moments of play in life and be safe in the knowledge that they serve a multitude of emotional and cognitive benefits.

Contact SportSim to discuss how you can incorporate fun and play in to your next corporate event.

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Engagement with the simulator was huge – everyone wanted a go. I was impressed with how it could fit in to the space and that we could incorporate our brand messaging on the screen. Paul, Foxtel
The simulator was exactly what we needed and worked a real treat! David, Closer Communications
Thank you so much for all of your support at our Kick Start Sales and Property Management Conference. It was fantastic having you there and adds an engaging element to the tradeshow. Amanda, Barry Plant