Tradeshow Marketing

A Deep Dive Into eLearning, Gamification and Game Based Learning

Identifying these differences are worth knowing to incorporate engagement into your live event booths.

Today, incorporating technology into your trade show presentation is a crucial element. With increasing improvements in technology there is a wider space for industries to interact with their audience as well as managing leads well after the event. At Audiencegage, we recognize the value of harnessing the benefits of technology in the event industry, especially in a post COVID world.

Branding and being captivating to your target audience are two of the most important aspects of garnering attention at live events. When implementing game-based learning or gamification into event booths, exhibitors are significantly impacting the level of recall and retention of their audience and participants.  When the engagement rate increases, the retention rate automatically does too. 

Whereas there is a distinction between gamification and game-based learning, eLearning is the umbrella term in which gamification and game-based learning both reside under. eLearning is a holistic approach that incentivizes all or certain aspects of that journey. In this article, you will learn about the differences between Gamification and Game Based Learning, while also understanding what eLearning is as a separate entity. 

Let's get into it! 


Electronic learning is what eLearning stands for. Based on formalized learning, it essentially is the delivery of learning and training through digital resources such as computers, tablets and even cell phones. Something that has become much more welcomed in a post-COVID world where live events are concerned, but also equally as relevant in various other aspects of learning and interaction. Now that many aspects of human interaction are done through a virtual space, eLearning is beneficial for: 

  • Employee training
  • Education 
  • Live event exhibitor interaction

 When put together effectively, gamification or game-based learning lets eLearning to be more enjoyable for the users. It also allows exhibitors to present their services in a more immersive and accessible way, which results in higher uptake, ongoing participation, and greater brand recall. about taking elements that make games engaging, motivating or educational and incorporating those into the learning experiences you design.

If you're asking yourself what ways you can bring this level of engagement to your next live event exhibit booth, there are a few that would be the most beneficial. 

  • A timed trivia quiz not only eye-catching, but draws the event attendees in better than the traditional invitation to participate in standard surveys. 
  • Gamified quiz that incorporates badges to motivate. When visual rewards such as badges or time boosts are introduced, a simple quiz becomes a game. Paired with a range of questions, you are hitting two birds with one stone; engaging the audience and educating them of your service/products. 
  • Virtual reality gaming. This is a great option for Real Estate, Medical, or Construction industries, as they rely on displaying imagery to demonstrate their services. 

Game-based learning

Game-based learning is active learning, where learners use logical and kinesthetic abilities. In this way, they are involved in the learning process naturally.

If you’re someone who wants to have a significant impact on each aspect of your exhibit booth, a game-based learning approach is a booth activity to garner engagement, booth traffic, brand engagement, and ROI and ROO.

Game based learning is much more targeted than eLearning. It provides 

  •  Risk-free environment for users 
  • Utilizes game mechanics to the exhibitor’ benefit

A risk-free environment means a user’s understanding of the game’s concept corresponds directly to their progress in the game. There is no risk of users failing because the core concept of the game’s information has been learned from the time they begin, to the time they lose in the form of lost powers, lives or reduced scores.

Game mechanics, which are done through leaderboards, badges, points or other incentives, help spark intrinsic motivation on a bigger scale. That’s a huge benefit to exhibitors, especially at larger events. These mechanics also help track the performance and progress of the users. 


Where game based learning designs learning activities that are intrinsically game-like, gamification uses game framework in existing learning activities. The biggest difference between the two is that gamification is not about a game. It works when there is an existing context in which game-like elements are added to, such as explaining existing services provided by a company to a group of curious potential clients. 

To better transfer knowledge, business, exhibitors or educators will process the game elements in a structured way to their audience. The audience is more involved and productive when learning, as talked about above. Biggest pros of gamification are 

  • There is a simple implementation into an exhibition.
  • Can be applied as an extra layer on an existing product.
  • It’s an excellent way to deliver basic or boring information in a more exciting way.
  • It is highly effective in motivating employees as well as stimulating competition within a company, group or organization.

Gamification is absolutely beneficial to a wide range of industries including IT Services, Real Estate, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, Financial Services Technology, and many more, when showing their services and products to large live event attendees. 

Beyond Trade Shows 

Game-based learning and gamification have also proven to be hugely beneficial for businesses integrating it into their employee training in the following ways. 

  • It facilitates effective knowledge transfer so that employees are able to transfer skills and knowledge learned in office to their personal lives. 
  • Organizations increase adoption, retention, and ultimately, revenue when used to train customers and partners.
  • Putting the new knowledge and skills into practice without real-world implications is also a benefit to the employees. It has proven to strengthen employee report as well as show managers how well received the training is.
  • For employers, it offers an affordable, time-efficient way to train employees.

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