Gamification at trade fairs as an interactive visitor magnet

Symbol für erfolgreiche Gamification auf Messen

Do you know it? Interested glances, a polite “I’m just looking” and the person has already disappeared from the stand. How can you effectively attract and maintain the attention and enthusiasm of visitors at trade fairs so that they actually become customers in the end? The answer is very easy: gamification. The visitor magnet among the interaction elements not only lures our inner child, but also challenges the intelligence, skill and/or team skills of the participants. A guarantee that no one will walk past your stand so easily again.

What forms of gamification there are at trade fairs and how they can be realised in no time at all, you can now read in the second part of our series on trade fair interaction.

The magic of gamification for trade fair stand visitors

There is a lot going on at the fairground – a real crowd has formed around one particular stand and the mood is clearly exuberant. What happened? Either there is an extraordinary live act or the exhibiting company has recognised the value of gamification and successfully implemented it. Ideally, this leads to a domino effect in which the great interest of many people only attracts more visitors and arouses their curiosity.What gamification means is the playful preparation of the trade fair visit. It enables a low-threshold contact with your brand or the easy creation of a consultation situation, as the first priority is fun, which acts like an icebreaker. This can look very different: Table football, photo boxes, raffles or games of skill.

Classic games create enthusiasm - also in gamification at trade fairs.

For a successful trade fair presentation, it makes sense to give the games a context to the company or the products or services exhibited. However, you should not make the mistake of prioritising your brand message over the fun factor. The interaction elements should first and foremost attract people – this then ideally results in an advisory meeting where you can communicate your messages. But if the games are too promotional and not entertaining enough, the recipe will not work.

Success factors for gamification methods are, for example:

  • Transparent results
  • Ongoing status updates of the players
  • Visible rankings
  • Optional quests (e.g. puzzles, skill tasks)
  • Opportunities for teamwork
  • Meaningful objective (e.g. prizes, rankings)

By the way, the positive aspects of gamification for the trade fair presence are not only applied to the live audience. The playful approach is also an excellent way to achieve more interaction and a longer dwell time at hybrid exhibition stands or for virtual visitors.

Playful ideas and hybrid models increase interaction through gamification.

Successful examples of gamification at trade fairs

To sharpen the image of the gamification concept even more, we illustrate here two concrete examples that show how implementation can look at the trade fair stand.

  1. Creating added value via app:

We don’t need to question the fact that the majority of today’s trade fair audience has their own smartphone. But we have a few answers to the question of how this device can be used for gamification. By means of a specially designed app, participants can be motivated in an entertaining way to make contacts, explore all the details of the exhibition stand or collect points by means of quizzes.

For example, the MICE Club already published such an app in 2017 to include the gamification aspect. The success spoke for itself: A full 75% of the visitors to the event used the app offered, which proves how attractively well-designed gamification works on the audience.For example, the MICE Club already published such an app in 2017 to include the gamification aspect.

2. Fun factor scavenger hunt:

A competition is a great way to generate leads. The playful approach of a scavenger hunt on the exhibition grounds demands a little more from participants than simply filling out a form, but at the same time spurs ambition and provides initial information about your brand quite incidentally.

A great example of this did not take place in the context of the fair, but it can easily be applied to it. To mark Ikea’s 75th anniversary, the group released a mixed reality game for its Swiss branches, where information has to be gathered and puzzles solved in the showrooms. Using gamification and first-class storytelling, the group demonstrates how a visit to an exhibition space can be sweetened.

Playing together is an important aspect of social exchange - gamification at trade fairs makes sales advice more pleasant and inviting.

Conclusion: A little fun is a must

It doesn’t always have to be dry subject matter or a tough sales pitch. Gamification at trade fairs is a way to make the trade fair experience light-hearted and yet intense for visitors, while at the same time standing out from the mass of exhibitors. Other benefits of using gamification on the exhibition stand include

  • More interaction at the exhibition stands
  • longer stay
  • easy conversation starter
  • Fast/uncomplicated generation of leads
  • Emotionalisation of the visitors

Do you still have questions or would you like individual advice for your trade fair stand? Contact us right away and we’ll take care of taking your next trade fair appearance to the next level with ease.