We all know what competitive environments trade shows are. Businesses competing for contracts, for prestige and, most immediately, attention.
Well considered use of lighting, sound, technology and product displays are all ways of getting that attention. And something else to add to the list is gamification.
You’ve probably heard of the term and maybe seen examples of it on some exhibition stands. But what is the technical definition of gamification and what are the benefits of incorporating it into your show presence?
There is not a single definition of gamification, but it is broadly: applying gaming mechanics to non-gaming environments to help complete difficult tasks.
This is open enough to include digital or analogue games. So virtual reality, augmented reality and traditional video games are all in play, as are more physical challenges. As long as it’s fun!
Gamification is a great example of experiential marketing, where you are creating a way for people to experience your brand rather than just see it.
Gamification comes with many benefits as you try to win attention at an exhibition – and ultimately win business. But let’s start with fun. The days at exhibitions are long, and if your stand or pavilion offers something with the fun of a game it can offer a welcome respite to hard working delegates. Just be sure not to attract people solely for this reason. While a good game can generate buzz, you ultimately need the right people coming to your stand – people that you wish to do business with.
For this reason, we’d advise that your game holds relevance to your product or service. And when it does so, you give yourself a head start in informing delegates about what you offer or the problems you solve. Gamification of this sort becomes “infotainment” to use another buzzword. And it is an extra win for you because you are delivering part of your sales message with it.
Positive association is a major benefit too. Setting up an activity in which people can score points and achieve goals gives them a dopamine hit: one that they will come to associate with your brand.
By engaging people with gamification, you create a natural environment for data collection. It may start with contact details to notify someone of a high score or competition win. But you can then move this on to send further product information or arrange a call – GDPR compliantly of course.
Above all, your game should be a conversation starter. And one that gets the conversation started on the right footing. Liking (as a result of being given a pleasant experience) and reciprocation (you’ve created something fun for me, so I want to do something positive for you) are two psychological techniques of persuasion. And good gamification should achieve both.
One very high-profile gamification example was created by T-Mobile. They created a real-life version of the Angry Birds game in Barcelona to drive handset sales. Using a smartphone as a controller, participants could catapult giant birds across a square to defeat their evil green pig nemeses. A brass band was on hand to provide the trademark music. And critically, the activities and buzz they created were professionally filmed and edited. Placed on YouTube it has racked up more than 19 million views, providing lasting brand value.
If you want to explore how you can use a gamification strategy in your exhibition calendar, talk to our experts. From design proposals to sourcing tech partners and final delivery we can help you win at gamification.