Tradeshow Marketing

The Science of Trivia Gamification at Trade Shows

Discover the science behind gamification and how it can enhance your live events. Harness the power of gamification for greater audience engagement.

Due to cell phones and tablet devices, playing games electronically has now become a way of life. Collectively, the planet is now spending more than 3 billion hours a week gaming. A pastime that formally had been mainly limited to younger adults and teens has now become the norm for the majority of society. In fact, 61% of surveyed CEOs, CFOs, and other senior executives say they take daily game breaks at work.

How does this relate to the B2B world though? Well it's obvious people love games, and we respond well to them. It is no wonder that many brands have evaluated how this enjoyable pastime can benefit their business goals. What many exhibitors don’t realize is that gamification is much more about psychology than presenting fancy tech at live events. While video games can invoke positive and negative emotions, one thing is incredibly clear and that is, they drive behavior. 

This is a powerful tool for event markers because invoking certain responses, reactions and emotions around their content helps guarantee a sustainable event, as well as engage audiences in more meaningful ways. 

It is equally important to know the difference between including game-based learning in an exhibition booth, and transforming the booth into a video game at live events. Integrating game mechanics into live events, such as leaderboards, rules, and rewards, you are tapping into the magic that makes video games an amazingly addictive and useful phenomenon. 

We broke down these mechanics, the difference and utilization of gamification, game based learning and eLearning in our blog here. 

So again, why is the psychology of gamification so crucial to understanding when wanting to use it to your marketing advantage? 

Let's get into it! 

Digital trivia games are especially popular because people enjoy the thrill of providing correct answers to questions about lesser-known facts. Creating a unique experience for attendees through gamification is now an essential component for successful events. 

John Kounios, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of the doctoral program in Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences at Drexel University in Pennsylvania explained this: “You get a rush or a neuro-reward signal or a dopamine burst from winning. Whenever you’re challenged with a trivia question and you happen to know it, you get a rush”.

 By providing an interactive booth game, like a personalized trivia game, you are not only adding an extra level of engagement but also subconsciously creating positive feelings regarding your brand due to the dopamine rush your attendees get when playing your game. 

Trivia gamification also appeals to the competitive nature of humans. People like to challenge each other and their own knowledge to see what they know. Competition is scientifically proven to increase intellect. Brain scientists have discovered that acting to improve via competing alters brain waves that bolster our performance and our intellectual capabilities. And once again that increase in knowledge releases the “happy” brain chemical dopamine.

Leaderboards and prize incentives are a perfect example of this. 

  • There is effective magic in leaderboards, as they inspire healthy competition in us. Put a leaderboard up with player scores at a live event and it gets attendees talking. There is a collective buzz around your booth and the anticipation of winning. This then gets attendees circling back to your booth to further engage, as they inquire about a winner; hoping it is indeed themselves who will take the lead.
  • This engagement with your digital game inspires inquiry about your brand. It allows the exhibitor to bond better with attendees. 
  • Making prizes a component of a booth experience will induce further incentive for attendees to come back to your booth. Earning points and badges for engaging with booths and marketers, performing on quizzes, engaging on social media are all ways to get attendees excited about playing and winning. 

Trivia is also proven to improve the brain’s memory. It is one of the best exercises for your cognition, which is defined as the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension. 

This is another important point to understand when thinking about how to up your presence at live events, as marrying the benefits of trivia and digital games is what makes a top tier trade show booth. 

By focusing the bulk of your marketing into a digital trivia game, attendees will retain both crucial and interesting facts about your brand. The better a person’s cognition, the quicker they will be able to learn new concepts and remember them. This benefits rewards the exhibitor with: 

  • Higher brand recall
  • Greater leads 
  • Organic marketing by word of mouth after the event 
  • Stronger engagement 
  • Bragging rights for a highly successful trade show presentation 

To put it in simpler terms, trivia games are fun and engaging. Because of brain chemicals, we remember the things that were fun and made us happy. These mechanics also improve cognition, which is helpful in retaining leads. By providing an experiential marketing solution at your booth, like trivia games, you are not only helping people have some fun but you are also helping them remember your brand in a positive light.

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