Standing out is one of the biggest challenges companies face on the trade show floor. The instant trade show managers decide to buy or rent a booth, designing the space to appropriately represent the brand and creating messaging that resonates with target audiences are top priority. But an enticing exhibit isn’t the only way to attract event attendees. That’s where gamification comes in.
Gamification, or the application of game playing to encourage socializing and learning, is a great way to attract prospects. Gone are the days of “drop your business card in a fishbowl to win a prize.” Although guests don’t mind handing over their card, this simple act of dropping your business card in a bowl is not engaging, doesn’t leave a lasting impression and won’t make your exhibit stand out.
Most people enjoy watching or participating in something active. If your game is exciting, attendees will talk about their experience with others on the show floor which creates a buzz about what is happening in your exhibit, prompting others to visit you. Here are six creative game ideas to consider for the exhibit at your next event.
1. Finding Your Match with Stickers (Partner Up)
Remember the traditional matching game with cards you played as a child? The objective was simple – turn over two cards to find pairs. If the cards do not match, memorize their location before you turn them back over to easily locate them on your next turn. The player with the most matching sets at the end of the game wins. Here is how to bring this game to life at your trade show.
Hand out stickers with icons for attendees to wear on their clothing so other participants can begin looking for their matching icon as they walk around the exhibit floor. Don’t forget to include your logo for additional brand awareness! Sticker-wearers will automatically be thinking about your brand as they scan for the icon, also encouraging other trade show attendees to ask the purpose of the stickers—creating a buzz. Once they hear a great prize is involved, they’ll head straight to your exhibit, find their matching partner and the two of them will return to your booth to claim their prize.
Not only are you discreetly promoting your brand, but you’re also encouraging guests to network which is why they are there to begin with, right? After all is said and done, all parties involved are winners: brand awareness for you, active engagement in your booth and networking opportunities for participants.
2. Social Media Scavenger Hunt
Everyone is on social media, so why not leverage that audience for engagement? On your social media platform of choice, spread the word about your company’s unique scavenger hunt. The first person to complete it wins a prize, which could be something tangible, like a TV, or a complimentary service offered by your company. So how do you create such an adventure? Send out clues and riddles to encourage guests to roam the venue. Ask attendees to provide answers on their own social platforms. In turn, your company will gain digital traction, plus your marketing department will get great user-generated content to post later.
3. Use a Leaderboard
Who doesn’t love seeing their name in lights? If you want a game requiring people to rank in a competition to win a prize, consider incorporating a large, visual leaderboard. It may seem simple, but using such a display to show contestants’ status will catch the attention of a variety of passing guests. They’ll get curious about how they can have their name up there, and will want to participate.
4. Golf—UnFOREgettable Trade Show
You’ve heard it before – some of the best deals are closed on the golf course, so why not bring the widely loved sport into your booth environment? When you incorporate golf activities, your exhibit will be “the place to be” at the show.
A golfing game is perfect for attendees of all skill sets: newbies can play for fun, while experienced golfers can practice their putt and swing. Some golf games you might consider are virtual golf simulators, a putting green and a kickback putt set. Or you can consider morphing golf with another popular game, such as putting onto a large Plinko-like game where the ball will land in a random slot to determine the winning prize.
5. Twitter Trivia
No room in the budget for purchasing a physical or virtual reality game? No problem. The good news is that Twitter is free and your attendees are likely already using it. So how can you utilize Twitter? Before the show, create industry-specific questions to test your audience. These questions should be specific to your company, as you want followers to learn more about your capabilities and what you have to offer.
Make sure participants are aware of the following before they play:
- They have to follow your account
- They need to use the unique hashtag you’ve created to play
- How winners will be notified
- When and where they can collect their prize if they win
6. Photo Booth Fun (Strike A Pose)
From weddings to corporate parties, photo booths are trending at events because they serve as a fun souvenir for guests. This is a simple, cost-effective engagement activity to have at your booth, and can be paired with your DIY photo booth props made with glue and popsicle sticks. Don’t have a great printer? Take your digital files to a local print shop to print them on high-quality paper. For your backdrop, work with your exhibit house to create a design that complements your exhibit, or include a specific marketing message to increase brand awareness.
Trade show games are a great way to attract and engage attendees, but it is your exhibit design and experience that will keep them there. For more information on buying or renting your next trade show exhibit, contact Exhibitus today!