Game on: Gamification in focus Expert OpinionWorld

Nick Tinker, business development manager of CrowdCompass by Cvent, gives his do’s and don’ts for gamification.

Gamification –  the idea of bringing games or gaming interaction is growing in popularity.  Over the last few years, more and more organisers of big shows and exhibitions are making sure this concept is incorporated into the event programme.

The benefits are clear to see – it’s a great way to encourage attendees to visit and spend time with exhibitors, enhances the networking experience as well as giving a buzz and boosting energy levels throughout the event.

Yet, before you dive in, make sure you are doing as much to ensure that any games you are rolling out don’t bomb, or get low pick up.


Use gamification to drive traffic to exhibitor booths:  Customisable scavenger hunt games can create a fun, interactive environment where delegates are rewarded for completing challenges. Organisers can liaise with exhibitors to create personalised challenges for each booth to drive more footfall.

Incentivise your audience to participate: Offer prizes for the most engaged and interactive delegates. For example, the top three players on the Show’s Leaderboard will get a free registration for the next event or even a trip for two to sunny climes.

Drive revenue through gamification sponsorship: Organisers can sell challenges to exhibitors or sponsors to generate more revenue. At one event photo scavenger hunts were used – one exhibitor sponsored a challenge where delegates had to find out the name of a robot they placed at their booth.

Encourage networking between all delegates: Organisers can create specific challenges can to encourage further interaction between delegates, opening up simple ice breakers and incentivise delegates to meet as many people as possible. For example, award 20 points to the delegate who collects the most business cards.

Create additional buzz on social media platforms:  Reward delegates for being socially active and engaged throughout the event. Create a simple easy way for participants to share their game success on social media platforms.

Use photos for future social media and marketing campaigns: Gamification can generate a lot of great content, for example photos can be used for future event marketing.


Expect everyone to take part: It is rare that 100 per cent of your delegates will want to take part in the game.  However, for those that participate, you can be sure that they will get into the spirit of the game. Don’t be disheartened if there is a small uptake, even a small percentage of attendees taking part can drive a lot of content and interaction, along with increased booth traffic.

Force the game onto delegates:  Participants that choose or want to take part will naturally be engaged. Forced fun will never create the level of engagement you long for as an organiser.

Use gamification without any promotion prior to the event:  Get attendees excited about playing the game prior to the Show. Let them know that there will be prizes on offer too.  Look at using all different social media channels to get the word out.

There are so many new technologies out there for organisers to use or recommend to their exhibitors and attendees. Making the right choice is all about understanding your audience and how technology can add value to the experiences you are providing. Whether is the exhibitor experience or the attendee experience – using technology to enhance the positivity of the user journey is an expectation by today’s consumers.

Tom Hall

Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World

Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World