The very best trade show games are those that are different and persistent. You need ideas for games that will help your business stand out and get noticed at a convention. Some of the best marketers know how powerful games can be at expos.
Jonah Berger, in his study of what makes something likely to be shared acknowledges “gamification” as a known catalyst for word of mouth marketing.
In a very real sense, most of us are hardwired to notice games and are excited to participate or watch- and more importantly, share their experience with others. Also, notice the keyword, “excited” in that last sentence. You are attending a trade show to get people’s attention and get them excited about buying your products or services.
This is why incorporating game ideas for trade shows could be a fantastic way to create some buzz, other than of course your trade show booth. Trade show booth rentals are a great option for this reason- so that you can keep your brand image up to date without the added expense. Custom trade show booth builds can also add the appeal, but a good budget is needed. Now that you understand the strategy behind trade show games, here are a few ideas for your next event. Also you should know, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases- but our goal is to simply give you ideas for the best in trade show game options, and at the end of the day you choose the best game idea for yourself.
The Prize Putt
The prize putt is a great game that doesn’t take too much skill if you buy the right style. Ones that are more luck than skill tend to get a lot more people to play. Give it a shot, this trade show game gets a lot of booth traffic. If done right, it may just get you some leads too.
One of the more unique ideas that we’ve seen is the Matching Contest. This game works by offering stickers to wear on the front of their clothing. These stickers would be printed with a number, symbol, or the like, of which two of every variation of stickers would match. So the contest would require attendees to find their match at the show and come back together to your exhibit to win a prize (say something nice like big screen TV).
Of course with the stickers also showcasing your logo, it’s huge brand visibility play. It’s an opportunity for attendees to ask, “Hey, what’s that sticker you have that everyone is wearing?”
Can people see others associating themselves with your product or service? If you get enough people to play the game, you extend the visibility of your brand to various parts of the show.
Social Media – Twitter Prize Draw
Companies are taking a tactical look at using Social Media channels for trade shows and why not mix it into your gaming strategy?
One customer of ours used a large flat screen to show all the latest Tweets with specific hashtags on Twitter. Next, they had attendees tweet at them using that hashtag (#companyxcontest), selecting 1 lucky user every hour the show floor was open to collect a prize.
The company would then tweet back notifying the attendee of the win. #Score.
As some know, all tweets that include your specified hashtag gets its own folder in Twitter, where all of those tweets can be viewed in one place. This way, you can measure you marketing efforts quantitatively.
There are a few people who may be at a conference because their boss told them to go and they are just looking for a fun time. They might not be the best people to do business with but they could help you attract people to your exhibit.
What better way to attract visitors than to have some attendees having fun at your booth? More social gaming consoles like Nintendo’s Wii can create a buzz for attendees walking the trade show floor.
Choose a fun game that will be universally appreciated by both genders, and keep track of the high score of that game. If someone beats the high score offer a prize and update the score.
Again, the more social the game the better. The more people that can play at one time- the more buzz you will generate.
The Prize Wheel
Some companies integrate a prize wheel into their display area. Does this work? Yes, a prize wheel works because it is eye-catching and well known. Another reason that a prize wheel works is people think, “Hey, free stuff.”
Free stuff is always a good reason to stop at a booth. The prize wheel could serve as the simplest and effective icebreakers all the event game ideas.
Making a game out of getting free stuff should incorporate some competition. If you give the opportunity to win small and big prizes, it turns into a competition. Not only are you getting something free, but you want to try and win big.
Prospects can spin the wheel if they give you a business card. You can then give them promotional giveaways or even coupons. If you use this trade show game idea, make sure it is accessible. A friendly staff member should stand in front of it and invite people to participate.
Far more people will participate if someone asks them to spin the wheel. It’s common nature to be on the edge of wanting to participate in a game, and sometimes you just need that extra push.
Role Doubles, Get a Prize
Prize games are the best, as long as it’s a great prize. Rolling doubles is an easy concept and quick. People would be interested in this because it won’t waste a lot of time, but it’s a great conversation starter and you can grab their contact info in the process. Make sure you offer a great prize, like an Echo Dot, a Fire Stick, or a Tile Key Finder.
This is one of the more common ideas used at trade shows, although it can be very effective. It gives people the opportunity to show off their knowledge in front of their colleagues.
If you first focus on giving that person a moment of glory, they usually then give you the courtesy of some attention to what you and your company provide.
Placing the convention attendees’ interests first can always open the conversation up in a way that’s less aggressive. If they answer a tough question correct, and then get rewarded with a prize… you may have just made their day. That is then associated with your brand.
Get give us your information, get a prize. We’ve all seen this before. Using idea is as simple as getting trade show attendees to drop their business cards into a fishbowl and then draw prizes. This approach may be simple but it can also be highly effective for getting attendee information!
If the event is filled to the brim with your target audience, your goal should be to get as many attendee information as possible. This trade show game strategy could be the one for you.
Another game idea is to have a container with a certain number of objects, like candy or marbles. The person who comes closest to guessing the amount gets a prize or a discount.
Like other games, it can serve as an ice-breaker that can foster communication between your representatives and trade show attendees. It’s a great way to get their information as well so that you can contact them if they won at the end of the show.
This is yet another example of a simple and effective way to get information from your target audience.
Ah, yes of course! Plinko is a classic game that always brings a nostalgic fun to the trade show floor. Have someone fill out a contact form for a chance to win a prize. Make the prizes something fun- but useful.
Bean Bag Toss Games
This is something that people are familiar with and would have an easy time stepping up to give it a shot. The best games for any expo are ones that people actually play. Give it a whirl!
Games Don’t Make or Break Success
Using one or a combination of these ideas will help you gather information in a way that’s fun for the visitor. However, the success of the game is not all up to the game itself.
Games attract people who walk right past your booth. You cannot do this without a good first impression.
As always, make sure your booth is naturally eye-catching and has a great design to get the attention of attendees that are far away from your booth. Your game is not the first impression someone has of your brand- your display and your brand imagery is what catches their eye and attracts them to your booth.
We see a lot of exhibitors believe their game choice was the problem when in reality their booth was not a good representation of their brand, which in turn affects their booth traffic.
Remember the most important thing you can do at a trade show attracts visitors, meet people, collect their information, and cultivate a positive relationship. Good luck with your game choice and always remember to cater the marketing strategy to your audience. Create a goal that can be measured (ex: number of booth visitors to the number of visitors who’s information was gathered) to determine your game’s success.