Trade shows are not intended to be static affairs where the attendees passively consume the spectacle provided by the exhibiting companies. Instead, they are most effective and most enjoyable by all of those involved when they feature interactive and engaging exhibit design which is aimed at creating an experience, more than just an understanding. It has been proven, time and again, that providing a more visceral experience for those involved will result in the experience being more memorable.
And, when you are exhibiting at your next trade show, that is exactly what you want. You want your trade show exhibit to be memorable. So, to make it memorable you need to make it engaging. And to make it engaging it is best to make it interactive. There’s no better way to do this than with applying the concept of gamification and integrating it into the exhibit design of your next trade show exhibit.
Gamification is the idea that you can make just about anything more engaging and more enjoyable by turning it into a game. It started out with the application of video gaming concepts to marketing. Apps like PunchTab were used to give users points when they shared stories on social networks, or commented on an article. Now, the concept continues to gain popularity and gamification has been integrated into such things as to-do lists in order to encourage people to get more done.
This concept is right at home at a trade show. As far as an engaging experience goes, there is a distinction between spectacle (such as using performers or ‘booth babes’ to attract throngs of gawking attendees) and interactive exhibit design, which could include using kiosks that allow attendees to inject parts of their own experiences and understandings into your company’s brand narrative. While it can be tricky to get this type of thing right, when it is done well there is no better way to engage an attendee and get them to identify with your brand or company. In fact, the argument can be made that the most successful marketing and branding campaigns have succeeded based solely on that merit. They have been the most successful at getting consumers to self-identify with their branding.
Gamification can really help to build more engaging exhibit design. It is something that takes design beyond aesthetics and into a deeper level of interactivity and connection. Expect to see some of the most memorable trade show exhibits utilize this type of concept in the near future.