4 Reasons to Add Gamification to Your Exhibit

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Considering a move to gamify exhibits? Join other organizations turning to this growing trend to capture attendees’ attention. Gamification integrates game mechanics, techniques and experience design into everyday, non-game activities.


  • M2 research predicts the gamification market will reach 2.8 billion in spending by 2016.

  • According to the Pew Research Center, 53% of respondents say gamification will be widespread by 2020.


What Gamification Is—and Isn’t
To be clear, gamification isn’t about spending hours playing a video game. And just because you add points or badges to an activity doesn’t automatically make it more engaging.


Kissmetrics says smart marketers use gamification to increase engagement and influence behavior. “Gamification works by encouraging users to engage in desired behaviors, by showing a path to mastery, and by taking advantage of our human psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.”


Gamify Exhibits to Create Opportunities for Engagement
At trade shows, gamification principles encourage attendees to spend more time at your booth and increase their retention of your message. It can also increase buzz and energize your environment. Here are four reasons why you should add gamification to your trade show exhibit:


1. Have a Good Time
Adults and children alike love playing and watching games. Why? Neuroscientists have discovered gamification “elements can cause feel-good chemical reactions, alter human responses to stimuli—and in certain situations can improve learning, participation and motivation.” When gamification principles are used in your booth, attendees become actively engaged. When attendees are having fun, they’re likely to spend more time with you.


2. Increase Learning Retention
Edgar Dale theorized people generally remember:
10 percent of what they READ
20 percent of what they HEAR
30 percent of what they SEE
50 percent of what they SEE and HEAR
70 percent of what they SAY and WRITE
90 percent of what they DO


Gamify exhibits to give attendees the opportunity to “do." Gamified experiences that simulate or represent real-world scenarios attendees face in their day-to-day work promotes better learning and retention.


3. Promote Friendly Competition
The desire to compete is programmed into our DNA. As Entrepreneur points out, “Gamification’s appeal derives from memories and skills many people have learned from games since childhood. Recognition and a sense of competition are all strong motivators, and gamification works because it taps into all of these.” Leaderboards or recognizing achievements adds a competitive element to your trade show exhibit — and is a surefire way to increase attendee engagement. Do keep it positive. Focusing on participation rather than only high scorers keeps everyone involved.


4. Reward Visitors and Fans
Gamification can help attendees make a stronger connection with your brand. Offer participation rewards to draw in attendees who might not otherwise stop at your booth. Recognize loyal customers and fans for engaging or sharing positive experiences with others.Rewards could be as simple as giving visitors points for completing tasks or visiting demos within your booth. Points can be cashed in for discounts or coupons, or special perks like a one-on-one with a company executives or VIP seating at a company-sponsored event.


When incorporated thoughtfully and simply, gamification is a powerful strategy for engaging and driving booth visitors to share, interact and collaborate.



Posted by Kristy Elisano | Request as a Speaker

Caffeine dependent Jersey girl. Northeast powder hound. Inspired by creative risk takers and underdogs. VP Marketing, Doodle owner and cocreator of my daughter.