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Two Days at Dreamforce 2012: Gamification Drops in on San Francisco

two days at dreamforce 2012: gamification drops in on san franciscoThey filled the streets, the taxis, the shuttle buses, the Salesforce-branded bike wagons. One guy sported a “No Software” logo painted on his head. The credo of Benioff bellowed from walls, signs, and monitors. Yes, I’m talking about Dreamforce 2012, which has drawn 90,000 people to the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Hoopla.net has been there in full force, demonstrating our applications at booth #1521. But our presence at the show extends beyond just our booth.

Here’s what we’ve been watching over the first two days of the conference. Day one kicked off with throngs of attendees exploring their new home for the week, parading into the conference hall, lounging in beanbag chairs dotting aisles, or sprawling out in the plazas between buildings to enjoy the blue skies and the cloud.

While Dreamforce 2012 is larger than ever before, I was more interested in the growing focus on game mechanics. As Will Giammona of salesforce.com noted, “Last year at Dreamforce, no one knew what gamification was. This year we have 20 sessions all about it.” Will spoke at the Enterprise Gamification Kickoff session along with JP Rangaswami.

JP illustrated the potential of game mechanics in motivating workers. If someone designed a game around your job, Rangaswami asked, how many people would play it? The key to motivating employees, he said, is changing a job from a “have-to” to a “want-to” through different iterations and feedback loops that show companies how to help employees perform their best.

Another speaker I couldn’t miss was Tony Small of Zillow, who presented to a full room about Zillow’s use of Hoopla.net software to motivate its employees. Tony spoke about how Zillow’s gamification program extends beyond sales to customer support, account servicing, and recruiting, promoting success in every division. Earlier in the day, I lassoed Tony to find out more about Zillow’s gamification program, and then managed to follow up after his presentation as well. We’ll share those interviews with Tony on the blog, so check back soon.

Zillow’s session was just the first of five presentations from Hoopla.net customers that illustrate the real-world benefits of game mechanics. On day two, ON24 spoke about how it used Hoopla.net to drive a 200 percent increase in call activity across their corporate sales team, a 50 percent increase in meetings with targeted prospects, and a 100 percent increase in pipeline, while raising employee morale.

Three more sessions are on the horizon:

  • Service Cloud: How ShoreTel Leverages Gamification to Fuel Growth (Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)    ShoreTel, a leading provider of cloud-based business phone solutions, has implemented Hoopla.net software to recognize and reward successful employees. This session will cover gamification strategies to foster teamwork and healthy competition in your organization.
  • Sales Cloud: Gamify to Grow—How New Relic Inspires Its Sales Force (Thursday, 2:00-2:30 p.m.)    New Relic, the largest SaaS application performance provider, has integrated Hoopla.net and other applications with Sales Cloud to create a high-performance sales culture. Find out how gamification and social enterprise have fueled that transformation.
  • How Informatica Used Gamification to Drive their Reps to Another Level (Friday, 10:30-11:30 a.m.)    Informatica, the leader in data integration, has used the Hoopla.net leaderboards to energize and motivate its sales team. Find out how Informatica increased visibility, built a stronger team, and increased the use of Salesforce.

Check back here for more recaps of the show. For our Dreamforce 2012 play-by-play, like us on Facebook and follow @HooplaSoftware on Twitter.