May 9, 2017

Using Games at Trade Shows


Over my 20+ years of attending a myriad of trade show events - I am always a bit amazed at how many vendors will bring the old, tried and true "Spin The Wheel" game to hook people into their booths. This bare bones game approach, if done correctly, can be an excellent conversation starter and lead generator. But why stop there? Training games at trade show and live events can be a perfect vehicle in delivering important content in bite-sized chunks of information that sticks.

By inviting your attendees to "Play a Game" - you've immediately created some buzz and excitement around your brand and whatever message you’re trying to convey. Meanwhile - peripheral booth traffic will want to watch and see what all of the excitement is about.

The key is to keep your game simple and short. You only need an activity of 3-5 questions to make an impact and start a conversation. Add a bit of music and sound effects (if possible) at the beginning to spark interest.


Here are a few other quick tips to keep in mind for public game applications.

  • STAY ON MESSAGE. Use the game to preview information the prospect may not know about your topic and THEN quiz them on what they just learned.

  • MIX IT UP. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many attendees will request to play another game - so you’ll want multiple games to keep a variety flowing.

  • KEEP PRIZES SIMPLE. A small give-away is all you need to keep them engaged. The last thing you want is to make the “prize” the focal point of your game experience.

  • AWARD EVERYONE. Regardless of winning or losing, you’ll want to show your appreciation for each participant and make sure they leave your booth on a good note.

  • GET THEIR STORY. Let the game act as a backdrop as a conversation starter. Don’t feel you have to play question after question without interacting with the group.

Nothing is more pleasing (and irritating to the competition) to see a large group of people gathered around your exhibit space waiting to play your game while receiving YOUR message.

Have fun with your next event using a game!