The networking experience path
To continue with the traditional creation of a gamified experience, we next come to the experience path or player journey. The most recognisable phrasing for each stage that the player goes through are the Discovery stage, Onboarding, Scaffolding and Mastery stage.
With our gamification of networking, these stages will likely take this shape:
Discovery: Introduce yourself
- Individuals: Hi, I’m Albert, nice to meet you…
- Groups: Hi, do you mind if I join you for a bit? (then introduce yourself when/if prompted by other members of the group).
Onboarding: Determining the value
Listen to the topic’s being discussed. Talk with the other members. Then see if there is value in the choice you made and see if you are able to add any value to the discussion.
Scaffolding: Adding value
If the individual or group you have engaged with do have value, then add your own value to the conversation, providing your own unique point of view. For individuals, ask questions like: what do you do, how did you get into this business, why do you still enjoy doing it? etc.
If possible, try to ask things like: What do you hope to get out of the event or who do you hope to meet at the event? And if nothing else, just have a chat and drop in a few topical points of discussion; news events, impressions of a speaker, previous event experiences, share hobbies and interests until you find a connection.
Mastery: Proving Your value
This is the hardest part, as you’ll be talking about yourself at this point – hopefully you’ve found a connection and can see how you can add your own value as a master of the subject to the individual(s).
People usually ask about you after a while, if they are polite. When you are asked, remember to be impressive, but not arrogant. If your aim is to get more business, then the best possible statement you can make is saying/describing what you leave your clients with, i.e.: as a gamifier you leave your clients with more engaged customers (which means a greater ROI and naturally leads to an increase in revenue).
It’s up to you how much information you give but be careful not to overwhelm your conversation partner. Refined, short and sweet answers are always good to aim for. And if they are interested, they’ll ask you to elaborate. If possible, add a story and bit of humour in there, people like to be entertained and laugh after all.
Additional stage: Thanking everyone and bowing out gracefully & politely
This may be equally tough as the Mastery stage, as you and they will likely want to continue working the room. Therefore you will need to end your part in the conversation as politely as possible and continue onwards. The simplest and best way to end the conversation, once you feel you have gotten everything out of it that you want, is to ask them for their Business Card. And ask if they would like to perhaps continue the conversation over a drink at a later date and explore a collaboration (only say this if you think it’d be worthwhile), then ask if they would like your business card. This is important for two reasons, one, always ask, never simply give it, and two because they now have a way to contact you. After this, simply say that you enjoyed the conversation and wish them a pleasant evening – and exit stage right as it were.
An alternative ending before wishing them a pleasant evening is to insert the option that if you meet anyone they would like to meet as well, then you will introduce them to you. This scores you points and makes it clear that your interactions have ended as well.