3 Rules for Gamifying Your Next Trade Show

Boston Scientific trade show game

By Philip Chila


Gamifying your booth can significantly increase engagement at your next trade show. Here's how to create games that support your overall message.

You want to stand out. You want people to remember your brand, your sales message, your value. The trick — especially at trade shows, where you’re competing for attention with hundreds of other exhibitors — is to deliver an unforgettable experience.

That’s where games come in. People love games. They play to our competitive nature and help build camaraderie. That’s why gamifying your booth can draw lots of attention from curious visitors — potential buyers who will be happy to spend time engaging with your brand.

That is, if you do games right.

I’ve seen a number of companies that incorporated games into their booths, but did so in a way that probably didn’t help them reach their sales goals. The games were flashy and exciting, which is great, but didn’t do much to support the sales message. In other words, while cool the games I saw probably didn’t deliver much value for attendees or for the exhibitors.

For games to deliver ROI they have to be used strategically. That means following three rules:

1 Make your message powerful

The whole purpose of exhibiting at a show is to promote your brand and sell your products. If your game is so captivating that everyone remembers it but not your message — or even your name — what’s the point? Keep your ultimate goal in mind when developing your game.

2 Match your game to your demographics

Whether your audience is say senior manufacturing executives who may not be super comfortable with video games or millennial marketing pros who grew up with a game controller in one hand, make sure your game’s UX design is appropriate for and tailored to your audience.

3 Use the show as a hook

Make your game relevant to not only your audience but the show itself. This will help you get more value from your investment, as well as reach a wider audience.

We follow these rules when developing games for our clients. For example, here’s something we did recently for Boston Scientific. They were exhibiting at a medical show and wanted a way to engage seasoned physicians and tout the benefits of their latest offering.

The audience was primarily senior-level doctors and the content was very technical so while the UX had to be visually interesting and the game easy to play, it required a softer touch than if we were creating a game for medical students who grew up in front of a screen.

Image removed.Embedded Video (Responsive).

Early reports are that everyone loved the game. Attendees were engaged. The client was thrilled. We’re happy.

Engagement drives success at trade shows so use games to get people interacting with your brand. You’ll fire up your audience and generate buzz about your products. And that’s why you’re there in the first place, right?

Thinking of gamifying your booth or event? Let’s talk. Reach me at info@viewpointtouch.com

Philip Chila

Director of ViewPoint Interactive Solutions

A passionate brand champion with a penchant for expensive bourbon and an aversion to marketing hype, he’s committed to helping businesses connect with their customers in compelling and meaningful ways.