How to harness gamification for exhibition success

Gamification, says Neil Coombes, is a relatively new feature of exhibitions. Like anything new, gamification is still developing and new and exciting strategies are always being created. But, why is this?

Introducing gamification to an exhibition has a range of effects and influences on delegates at an exhibition. One of these main effects is driving information.

You may struggle to engage delegates with your exhibition stand and its material. However, introducing a gamification feature, such as online quizzes, draws the attention of delegates and therefore enhances their retention of your key messages.

Receiving feedback from delegates is a key feature of measuring the successfulness and return on objectives of an exhibition - often in the form of a post-exhibition survey. However, why should delegates feel obliged to complete a post-exhibition survey? This is where gamification can help. By using a quiz or voting system to gather feedback with a reward at the end, you’ll find a significant increase in responses leading to more accurate feedback.

Gamification also provides a unique opportunity for delegates to experience a sense of achievement. We have used competitions, such as an adventure hunt with a leader board to give delegates the opportunity to compete against each other. The effect of this achievement means delegates are likely to be more receptive of the key messages of your exhibition. 




Despite all of the positive influence gamification can have on an exhibition, it is important that it should be partnered with a well-planned exhibition which has clear objectives. Gamification itself should be a component of your stand - not the main focus. Instead, the focus should be on the key information you want to deliver to delegates.

An example of UKSV's use of gamification was for a technology company at a London venue in 2018 where we used iBeacon technology to create digital stamp cards. Each delegate that visited the client's stand and heard their pitch could tap their phone on an iBeacon touch point to digitally stamp their card. Once nine stamps were collected, delegates were entered for a prize draw. This provided an incentive to obtain key information and engage with the stand.    

Once such information and your objectives are built into your exhibition, you can then start planning how gamification can be used to effectively deliver this information, boost engagement from delegates and ensure that every member of the audience leaves with a firm grasp of the key takeaways.

It is equally important to ensure that, if you are going to utilise gamification, it is built in from the start of the planning stage and not just added at the end. This helps to enhance the effectiveness of game-playing features in delivering key information.


Neil Coombes is a Senior Account Manager at event and communications specialists UKSV. For more information on the company, visit: