Driving traffic and brand recognition with a new kind of engagement

Posted on Sep 9, 2016 in Custom Display, Design, Events, News, Show Services
Driving traffic and brand recognition with a new kind of engagement

When Derek Schmitt from the Nichols team recently attended HCEA 2016, the annual meeting for the Healthcare Convention and Exhibitors Association, he was looking forward to learning a great deal of useful information. But we had no idea how many amazing insights he would bring back from the gamification session!

Gamification is a concept that has been popping up everywhere in the last few years. In its most basic form, it has to do with applying game structures and design to non-game-based activities to engage and motivate people. For example, challenging your friends to see who can get more steps during the week is a simple gamification of exercise.


The session, called “Let’s Play: Build Traffic and Generate Brand Affinity with Gamification” was led by Trent Oliver, CEO of Blue Telescope, and Patrick Snee, Executive Creative Director of Blue Telescope. They started by mentioning the many ways we may be participating in gamification without even realizing it. If you’ve ever spent more time or completed more tasks on a website, such as LinkedIn, to try to earn badges or increase your completion stats, that’s gamification. And if you have spent that time, you know how effective it can be.

The goals of a game are to fulfill desires. The desire to be good at something. The desire to be in control. The desire to connect with others. And in fulfilling these desires for participants, you can also gain recognition for your brand.

Oliver and Snee suggested three main reasons to use games in exhibits and events:

  1. Engagement & Emotion – This creates brand affinity and a positive memory with your brand. It makes your brand feel fun. Games provide permission for people to let go and eliminate social awkwardness.
  2. Education & Training – You’d like to increase attendees’ understanding of your products. It has been shown that games boost memory because the person playing has been put in control of his or her own learning. It also helps those with all different learning styles retain the information and content.
  3. Entertainment & Motivation – As we mentioned in our top ten trends post on attendee engagement games increase foot traffic and booth interaction by breaking the ice with an invitation to participate in the game. Oliver and Snee also suggested that, if you’re able, you could provide giveaways and “swag” that are associated with your brand and the game being played.

There are many new gaming technologies that can be integrated into your booth including mobile devices, Virtual Reality, touch screens, and more. No matter the technology you use to do it, the goal is to build a game that reflects your brand identity, addresses your audience, accomplishes your goals (engagement, education, entertainment) and fits the scale of your booth.

Oliver and Snee also pointed out many ways the data generated by these activities can help you, by:

  • Providing insight into attendee interests
  • Gauging their understanding of your products and services
  • Gauging their perception of your brand

As you can see, gamification is a very interesting concept, and there are many ways it could drive traffic and meet the goals of your booth.

Nichols offers a full range of services for trade show exhibit development, from our in-house design department, to helping with installation and setup, to making sure you are ready every step of the way. Talk to a Nichols rep today to find out how we can help you engage attendees by adding gamification elements into your booth!

With you, every step of the way!

Team Nichols