Presenting your products and services at trade shows is an excellent way to gain traction in your industry, engage with your audience in person, generate leads and increase your sales.
That is only possible if your audience, one- comes to your booth and two- spends enough time, giving your booth staff the opportunity to interact with them and promote your products or services. But how do you make an impact when attendees move past exhibition booths without as much as a glare?
Trade Show Games To Your Rescue
You need a trade show activity that encourages attendees to come to your booth and engage with you. Trade show gamification is one of the best audience engagement ideas at trade shows to increase your Trade Show ROI.
Interactive games can be one of the best ways to convert a passive trade show attendee into an active participant. The game-playing experience enables people to be more physically and mentally present at an exhibition.
Trade Show Game Examples
When choosing a trade show game, exhibitors are spoilt with countless choices. Some popular game examples include-
- Custom Trade Show Trivia
- Spin the Wheel or Wheel of Fortune
- Scavenger Hunt
- AR and VR Games
- Photo Contest
While the list is endless, should you select any random game for your trade show booth?
No. Choosing the right game is essential to ensure you stand out from the crowd and draw engagement at your booth.
But it isn't just about selecting the right game. You can optimize your trade show activity by following some proven trade show strategies.
If done correctly, trade show gamification can-
- Create a buzz at your booths,
- Increase footfalls to your booth,
- Increase audience engagement,
- And Increase your conversion rate.
7 Best Trade Show Gamification Strategies
Let's look at 7 trade show game elements that will ensure you increase participation, enhance conversation, and strengthen your ROI.
1- Put Your Game Front and Center
Probably the most important strategy in this list is location; location, location, location. You're competing against numerous other booths with the same goal. Bringing attention to your booth means putting your attraction front and center.
Trade show attendees want an engaging activity to stay stimulated during the length of the live event. You don't want to be in a position of robbing yourself and attendees of a mutually beneficial experience by hiding your attraction away in the corner of your booth.
With this, also keep in mind how the game compliments your booth and the overall theme at the event. There are many to choose from, along with factors like budgeting, graphics, etc. This can especially become challenging if you're going for a smaller 10x10 trade show booth. But the right planning can help you make the most of your booth while deploying your game.
[READ: 10x10 Trade Show Booth Ideas]
2- Incentivize Attendees with Prizes and Giveaways
According to psychologists, winning at something produces dopamine or the pleasure hormone. Winning something tangible triggers this dopamine hit in the reward part of the brain. Since attendees have limited time on the show floor, incentives like prizes reward players for their time. It also is more likely for them to remember your booth, thus helping your organic marketing by word of mouth.
The great feeling when you compete with others and see your name at the top of the leaderboard is like no other. Want to take it one step further? Personal branding on your prizes and giveaways better helps attendees remember you after the show.
3- Incorporate Social Elements
According to a study by Richard Bartle, there are different types of game players, categorized into four simple categories- the Achiever, the Explorer, the Socializer, or the Killer. Though most people display some traits in more than one category, it's worth understanding how to attract these players.
Focus on the Socializers- we know that one big reason people go to trade shows in the first place is to socialize. These attendees don't just want to play the game. Instead, they want to experience fun playing the game by interacting with others at the booth. Socializers believe in collaboration and teamwork to achieve goals. Any game you bring to your booth should allow attendees and players to interact with others and allow you to engage.
For instance, custom trivia quizzes built around your industry, brand, and products can help increase engagement among visitors.
4- Brand Your Trade Show Game
How your attendees perceive your business comes back to each activity, you do in your booth. The trade show game should be an extension of your brand personality and story. Features such as colors, images, font, and logos should match your brand identity. This will boost memorability and brand impact.
Brandable gamification activities like custom trade show trivia can follow your branding guidelines to ensure it matches and aligns with your brand story. Moreover, you can build questions around your products, services, and brands to make the activity more fruitful and engaging.
5- Make it Easy (Enough) To Understand and Win
Sure, games are fun, but they're even better when you have the possibility of winning! The best trade show games have simple and clear rules to play and win.
Due to the exciting yet faced-paced nature of live events, attendees don't want to take the time to read lengthy instructional manuals to play the games. A sure way to help your game get attention is to model it after a popular game that attendees are familiar with. Ideas for these games can include:
- Trivia Games
- Wheel of Fortune
- “Buzzfeed Style” Polled Games
But making the game too easy can work against you as well. People want to be challenged but just enough that they see a possibility to win without investing too much time learning the game. For instance, while spinning the wheel may be a great activity, it can also be too easy to play and may not challenge the attendees enough. Trivia challenges, on the other hand, can be customized based on the difficulty level to suit your audience type.
6- Market Your Trade Show Activity
While you may be marketing your event, don’t ignore the trade show activity itself. Marketing your trade show activity does two things.
- It markets your event
- It informs the attendees of what they can expect
Think about how digital marketing can help you promote your live event and the trade show game. Activities like posting on social media or emailing about the trade show activity can create excitement about the event. Moreover, attendees are more likely to remember to come to your booth if they know about the activity deployed.
While your booth should be an extension of your brand, utilizing marketing tools during the event will give you an edge over competitors at the trade show. Plus, there are many ways to engage your audience through social outlets.
7- Make Your Space Meaningful
As we all know, trade show booths can be expensive. Everything from lights, stands, advertisements, and entertainment adds up, and you don't want all that money (and planning) to go to waste. You should use booth space so that attendees are not competing with space. It's hard to have a good time playing a trade show game when you are cramped and uncomfortable. Don't give your booth visitors a reason to duck out of your booth space before they have even tried to get to know your brand.
Setting up a game that allows players to be comfortable is key. Some examples of how to achieve this are:
- Set game stands at a height that isn't awkward
- (If you can) Give extra space around your game for you to be able to have a presence and communicate with attendees
- Put signage that advertises your game in aisle spaces to help the flow of people walking to your booth
- Use live leaderboard screens that can be seen from a distance
How a Custom Trade Show Trivia Can Help?
A custom trade show trivia game, playable on iPads installed in the front of your booth with winners being displayed on the large leaderboard screens, can help you get more foot traffic to your booth and increase audience engagement. Take a look at how our custom quizzes can help you achieve your event objectives.
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