Trade shows have been around for centuries. Starting from ancient Greece, where salespeople shouted their best offers in the middle of the agora all the way up to modern exhibitions and fairs. Some things have changed, and some have not. You still need to attract attention to yourself and fight for customer interest with others.
So, how do you differentiate yourself from everyone else in the 21st century? The answer is simple: by applying (digital) gamification.
Engaging with your exhibition booth visitors is only one benefit gamification has to offer. Using digital games brings in the factor of fast data analysis. This is the new dominating trend in the trade show industry. But how can you maximize the results that this opportunity has to offer?
But what does gamification mean for your company? Why has it become a leading trend in the event technology world? You see different kinds of physical games in every other exhibition booth. Starting from the wheel of fortune and basic surveys to full-on VR games and many others. But how can you be different from others? How could you make your booth interactive even when there are no salespeople present all the time?
Gamification at exhibition booths
Since gamification uses game concepts such as competitiveness, point system, leaderboard, and prizes and raffles, it is highly addicting and motivating for the participants. By applying it to promote your products or services, you will be able to engage trade show or conference visitors on a whole new level. By using gamification you will be improving your sales generation and brand loyalty at the same time.
Fun fact – one of our TOP10 players over the past years has played a single campaign game over 4000 times, even though there was no prize to be won. So it is clearly one of the most intuitive, enjoyable ways to keep your attendees engaged. A friendly competition aspect encourages them to explore, meet with exhibitors and sponsors, attend sessions and network with fellow attendees. Being memorable and wowing your audience with interactive content will help you establish a lasting relationship with minimal effort.
A recent example from sTARTUp Day expo and conference
During any given trade show, it’s super important to be able to engage with people. More often than not, they will just have a glance at your booth and move on. This is where gamification comes in!
In August we partnered up with sTARTUp Day to help companies stand out in the StartupDay conference through unique solutions. It became clear that interactive elements in the booths always worked better as they were great conversation starters and allowed for more reasons to come visit a respective booth.
All of those companies were very keen on using gamification, as it demonstrates that they are dynamic and innovative, thinking outside of the old boring “give me your business card”. After all, would we all like to be that way?
sTARTUpday is a very startup-minded expo. This means that every booth has to be highly interactive and engaging in order not to disappear into the gray mist of clones. It was awesome to see just how creative our customers got with the game design: some had a huge screen, styled as a phone. Others connected a tablet to a screen to allow those who passed by to observe the person playing on the tablet. Every company that used Adact at the conference, collected 2-5x more unique leads than they would’ve usually expected!
Adact’s own game was a simple “pick between 2 logos” but came with a subtle context: it demonstrated how you can make giving feedback much more engaging than just scoring a bunch of options on a 5-point scale. It was great to see how people, after seeing the results of the game, started thinking and imagining different ways, in which gamification can be injected into their work.
How different companies implemented gamification to their conference booth
Checkout.com - Financial industry
Checkout.com was looking for a fun and interactive way to engage with sTARTUpday attendees. They decided to use Wordle for its thought provoking and challenging nature.
Deciding on the visitor’s feedback, people loved the game! Checkout themself wasn’t expecting for the game to be so popular.
In addition to offering people to play the game, they used printed QR codes to get even more people playing the game.
Astro Baltics - IT Industry
Astro Baltics was looking for something fun and eye-catching in their booth to collect emails for further hiring purposes and engage with event attendees.
They chose a game called hoops, which was a big hit among the attendees! The visitors took the game as a nice little break from their workday and of course, there were people who were there just to win prizes.
Players said that the game was addicting, a fun element to these days filled with important information and intense socializing and a cool place to come back to from time to time.
They had a brilliant idea on how to maximise this interactive game. They turned the big (touch)screen vertically and added a frame to the screen that resembled a smartphone. That way it looked like you were using a giant mobile app. It looked awesome and it definitely got people to check it out more than it would have with just a regular screen. And of course the prizes were shown on the front page, so they just had to come and try.
FoundMe - Startup News portal
FoundMe’s built their booth a little different. They built two separate games for two different days. Both games were very popular! I guess this is the magic of their Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!
The feedback from the players was very positive. Players were coming from to their booth just because of their game and books which they could win if they spin the wheel.
What was special about FoundMe, is that they didn’t have their salespeople present at all times. Even despite that they managed to collect 2-3x leads than usually.
Mooncascade - IT industry
Mooncascade was also looking for a fun way to engage with event attendees. To achieve their goal, they went for a fun game called Flappy Bird.
In addition to amazing prizes, Mooncascade showed the whole gameplay on one big screen. This attracted many people walking past to interact with their people. What a fun way to start a conversation!
Players and Mooncascade themself said, that the game was very popular. Many people played it several times and for a long period of time just to improve their score. People were always checking in whether someone has topped their score or not and also brought their friends to play the game.
Grünfin - Financial industry
Grünfin had a quite small exhibition booth. This is where the benefit of (digital) games comes very handy.
They created a simple trivia to educate people about investing into green thinking companies. The game was very engaging and made people really think about their investment choices. Some players were even shocked because of some answers.
Grünfin used this trivia as a tool to make the whole experience not so intrusive. Visitors could answer questions on the laptop which allowed their team members to carry on a conversation based on their answers.