Customer Engagement Amplified 

Gamification is exciting because it can drive attendee traffic, capture leads and secure important research data on your product or service and be fun all at the same time.  According to Jane McGonigal, Game Designer and author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system and voluntary participation.

  • The Goal provides players with a sense of purpose
  • The Rules unleash creativity and foster strategic thinking
  • The Feedback promises the goal is achievable and provides motivation
  • The Voluntary Participation is the freedom to enter or leave the game

By definition:
The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique and tradeshows to encourage engagement with a product or service.

Is Gamification Simply a Tradeshow Attraction?

Gamification should be tied to your product or service making it more of an experience. Too often we bring games to the show floor with no meaning or relevance So, if you are looking for something to help encourage attendee/exhibitor engagement, provide some knowledge while instilling some fun. 

“CEIR’s recent research on attendee engagement has uncovered that games that educate attendees about an exhibitor’s products enjoy high attendee use, though this research also finds that too few exhibitors are using this highly effective attendee engagement tactic,” said Cathy Breden, CEIR CEO. Research evaluates:

  • Why games motivate trade show attendees to play them
  • Games that work best in a booth
  • How to tailor the game experience for exhibitor success
  • Advice specific to digital games
  • Two case studies on games used and exhibitor outcomes

You can download “How Exhibitors Can Use Games and Contests to Drive Greater Trade Show Success.”

Play. Recall. Reinforce.

Make your game memorable and easy to engage. Make sure your message is clear and supports your product and service. Know your demographics when creating a game. Ask yourself if your attendees are comfortable using iPads or other forms of electronics, or are they more hands on and tactile?

Your game should have an easy recall regarding the message and provide you with the desired information you are seeking. Games can capture more than just a contact name and email address. A strategic game can also provide an exhibitor with product trends and feedback on existing products.

Above all, set goals and have a game plan for your game! The game should always reinforce the brand. Tie the game back to your products and service. Integrate the game colors and themes into your booth design. Create a specific area and educate your staff on all the rules. Reinforce the game through social media and pre-show activities.

Make sure the game provides an incentive for the gamer and a benefit to the exhibitor. The prize or “Win” for the gamer should be both relevant to your brand, the industry and of course useful or entertaining to the gamer. The exhibitor wins by growing business through intelligent data collecting.

Remember, according to CEIR’s most recent research, games that educate and provide fun have traction as an exhibit booth engagement tactic. They are also a great way to capture attendee demographics that generate invaluable lead qualification profiles. The best part is that attendees are keying in this data, all in exchange for playing a game and a chance to win a valuable prize. It is that simple to add gamification to your trade show strategy.


Ray oversees the delivery and execution of Star’s value added client marketing and creative services. He has over twenty years of experience in sales, marketing, and event planning. You can reach him at