3 Interesting Trade Show Games That Will Engage Consumers

Games are an outlet for children growing up. Kids receive age appropriate games as they develop, however, this phenomenon doesn’t end in childhood. People play games because they experience emotions closely related to the main factors of happiness (such as health, relationships, simple pleasures and achieving a sense of control of your well-being). For over 2 millennia adults have been playing sports such as the Olympics in Greece or mind challenging logistic games in kings courts, gentlemen’s clubs and casinos. As the years passed society evolved, as did the games. Today there are still the Olympic games, gentlemen’s clubs and casinos, yet the range of games has multiplied due to the Internet and apps on phones, tablets, computers, etc. Games are as essential for adults as they are for children.

The reason for this, Dr. Steven Reiss says, is that we have 16 human basic motivators and their objects of desire. For example, order is a motivator that has organization as its object of desire. Therefore in a game like Candy Crush people feel the need to take the mess that is given to them and organize it. So when we play our player motivations are linked to our human general motivators. The 4 most dominant motivations in any game are: Achievement, immersion, competition and cooperation. These motivations make people feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. It drives them to do better and try harder in the game, fulfilling many of the human general motivators that result in making them happy.

Now you are staffing a trade show booth for your company and need to attract visitors. So how can one take these basic psychology principles and really get people to engage in what a company is selling and make them remember YOU instead of the other competitors. One way to achieve this, is to trigger one or all of those basic human motivators: Achievement, immersion, competition and cooperation. Here are 3 games that can help sales teams achieve this goal.

1.  Wheel of fortune.
This may seem old fashioned but it works well as history has shown. People will always want to win free merchandise. This game creates a feeling of achievement by winning every time while at the same time; even if it’s a bargain item and they only win a pen. By doing this they see the types of products you have and they then take it home to show all of their friends and family, which leads to free advertising. Make sure the trade show prices you do give away, feature your company logo and a way to contact you. Cooperation is nurtured by giving contact information as “payment” to play. Visitors participate for “free”, you receive a contact to follow up with. It’s a win-win situation.

2. Twitter / Instagram Screen.
Install a large projector in the trade show booth that’s connected to a computer. The ideal location is visible to passerby’s. Have signs telling people to post a “selfie” or a picture from the event with a hashtag that is related to your company. Once they do, their picture will be projected on the screen for others at the show to see. In order to win and increase participation, offer a reward for the person with the most posts or likes/retweets. This triggers the competition, immersion and cooperation motivators. This is a great way to promote your company, create a buzz, include and involve passerby’s as well as create connections through social media. The company should follow all participants and thank them for participating. 

3. Memory games.
Puzzles, Trivia, or other digital games are great for digital immersion. Visitors and passerby’s often are attracted to touch screens and games. Why not combine the two? Have up to five touch screen stations where visitors can participate in games like Trade Show Trivia, Company Trivia, Company Logo Puzzles, even Simon says. The overall high score winner followed by second and third best will receive swag from your company as a thanks for participating. Ideally everyone receives a small price item for participating, like a pen or a sticker with the company logo. This triggers immersion, cooperation (think groups of people helping each other), competition and in the end for some at least, achievement. As always, in order to play a simple email address, and full name will do. 

Psychology plays an important part in marketing, from color choices to object placement. Keep in mind how the consumer thinks, what attracts them to your product and exhibit as well as what motivates them to buy.

The goal is to attract future clients while forming lasting relationships. These relationships may start small but can lead to bigger successes long term. Sometimes the smallest bait lands the biggest fish.

About the author

Aliza is a communication designer and content crafter with an international background at the Marketing Zen Group. She writes about Yoga, Design, Trade Show Marketing and Small Business Advice. When she's not writing or designing, Aliza enjoys traveling, and extreme sports.

She also has a knack for learning languages and loves dancing. Connect with her on Behance and twitter @lizazil214


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