Using Mobile Devices for Gaming at Events

Ellen Dudley left her biomedical engineering job in 2009 to design and organize events that would spark connections between people. Now, as co-founder of CrowdScanner, she experiments with technology to stimulate discussions between people in gatherings. She has a lot to say about harnessing the power of mobile devices at events and will share her insights at an Event Camp Europe session entitled “Hands On Mobile Gaming.”

I recently asked Ellen a few questions about her session and about using mobile devices for gaming at events.

JENISE: How are mobile devices and games being used at events to drive connections between attendees?

ELLEN: They should be used to address the challenges that attendees and sponsors face in connecting and communicating with the right people. Mobile games are at a really early stage, but we’ve seen from building PeopleHunt that it is possible to use them to spark amazing connections between attendees.

JENISE: Are event professional aware of this? It seems that we are just now learning that smartphones can add to a conference experience rather than being a distraction to attendees.

ELLEN: I think a lot of event professionals are accustomed to the old model of paying a lot for custom built hardware such as programmable badges, polling devices, NFC tags etc, which makes technical solutions unaffordable to most. Soon these solutions will be completely replaced by the software and hardware on smartphones, which makes solutions more accessible, more affordable, and more environmentally friendly.

JENISE: During your ECTC session I noticed that two of my online friends, one from Switzerland and one from Oklahoma, USA met and began to collaborate on a game. Is that a common occurrence? What are the circumstances that allow such connections to take place?

ELLEN: That was pretty cool! I’m still waiting for the blog post on that one to see what happened but we’re really excited about creating different types of interactions. The first version of our mobile game, PeopleHunt, was using BUMP where players had to physically bump their phone to find out if their guess was correct. We had challenges relying on their platform, so we decided to rebuild it. We wanted the interaction to remain synchronous, so that there is a real time conversation happening, but we decided that it didn’t have to be in the same physical place to qualify as a conversation. We are going to experiment more with this using Skype between us and the Pods at EventCampEU which should be really fun!

JENISE: What do you hope people will take away from your session?

ELLEN: I hope people will have fun, meet new people, and have cool conversations, as well as see the power of what’s possible with mobile games, and feel comfortable using them in their own events.


Posted on September 5, 2011, in European event planners, event gamification and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hey Ellen, looking forward to meet you in london in few days, and yes…will def need to find some time to write a blog post about the ectc11 gaming experiencing through twitter!

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