Gamification has been around the marketing world for quite some time. Gone are the days of gimmicky games based on Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy, instead games are now created to be relevant and targeted and help deliver defined marketing messages. Marketers are finding that gamifying a brand helps influence behavior in environments like trade shows, mobile events and experiential settings. The benefits of gamification can be numerous and typically include:
Increased Visitor Dwell Time
Visitors stay in your booth longer which gives them more exposure to your messages and products.
When participants return to the exhibit to check scores or claim prizes, they experience your brand and marketing again.
Organic Word-of-Mouth Hype
Participants help your show site efforts by telling other attendees about the fun within your exhibit.
Attendees may feel more comfortable giving out information in order to play or claim prizes, making information gathering more targeted than a simple lead retrieval swipe.
With the support of design and a trained sales staff, the benefits of a gamified solution can dramatically increase your ROI. Of course, the game itself must meet some criteria to be successful. Here are quick tips on how to add gamification to your exhibit:
Make it relevant.
You know your target market and what they are looking for. Choose a gamification strategy that not only makes sense with your product and brand, but one that also speaks to your visitors’ interests and educates them.
Use tech wisely.
Technology like Leap Motion and Kinect are exciting to visitors because they are fresh and topical. Retro technology excites by giving a sense of familiarity and nostalgia that makes attendees comfortable.
Keep it simple.
Easy to play, easy to share, easy to explain and easy for staff to manage. While you want to retain exhibit attendees long enough to make them remember your product, a challenge that takes too long can be off-putting. Attendees only have limited time at trade shows and do have to get some work done.
Generate buzz before and during the show.
Make sure attendees know about the game and prizes so they build excitement and carve out time to come by and participate. Social media posts make it easy for contestants to share and increase your audience.
A great example of how one exhibitor used these concepts to make their gamification relevant was the introduction of the Memphis line of carpets by Interface at NeoCon.
Interface created something unexpected for the launch of their Memphis line of carpet, a more playful energetic line of carpets than what is typically shown in a commercial environment. With a reputation already built on taking things to the next level, the flooring manufacturer went all out with cohesive print ads, magazine, social media efforts, a short film, video vignettes, shopping bags, a custom exhibit, a dedicated microsite and an augmented reality game.
(Game description starts at 1:37)
With a consistent theme and imagery between mediums including the surrounding showroom and its virtually-rendered counterpart, the game was identifiable, relevant, simple and high tech. Interface was able to keep participants interacting longer, created return visits, generated excitement on the show floor about their space and increased ROI by providing an improved lead retrieval procedure.
Gamification can often involve prizes based on accomplishments in the game itself, but even companies with a more limited budget for such a solution can find ways to encourage visitors to interact. Some ideas that have been used in the past to great success include:
– Special client product giveaways
– Tweeting congratulations for all followers to see
– In-booth celebrations at the event
– Donations to charities
Gamification is becoming more and more popular in marketing circles because of its effect on ROI and practical implementation for exhibitors of all sizes. When implemented correctly, this strategy is just as fun for attendees as it is for exhibitors. Explore options with your exhibit builders on how level up your exhibit with gaming elements.