Does it work for B2B conferences and Trade Shows?


Does it work for B2B conferences and Trade Shows?
Gamification as a service is very heavily promoted to event organisers, especially by the organisations selling the systems.

Does it work? Initially developed as a concept used in teaching and learning where the objective is to keep people engaged and motivated to study / pay attention. Gamification has been shown to help create a sense of fulfilment especially in group environments such as classrooms and smaller corporate seminars. One of the reasons it works is because it provides constant and immediate feedback from involvement. It really came into its own with the growth of self paced on-line learning where it is notoriously difficult to keep people’s attention.

For B2B events like conferences and trade shows it was picked up during the Pandemic as an for virtual events such as conferences because it was easy to implement and added something to the experience for the viewer. Especially for virtual conferences in what is effectively a learning environment. Ideas like leader boards for who asked the most questions, who was the faster to respond to an on-line poll, whose questions were most popular because they got the most votes from other delegates to be answered by the speakers were all effective in keeping on-line conference attendees attention.

But does it increase the ROI of those exhibiting at or sponsoring a trade show or exhibition especially at a physical event? Scavenger hunts are often mentioned where attendees have to prove they visited a stand by scanning a QR code.

In the right environment and with the right audience gamification has been shown to work. At consumer based exhibitions and experimental events there has been great success. But would you take the time and effort to walk around a B2B exhibition hall looking for QR codes to scan while being pestered by salespeople just for the chance to win a T-shirt? Where is the real reward to the attendee?

Where is the evidence that it actually increases exhibitor ROI by getting more engaged people on to the stand. Engaged is the key word here because if all we are doing is collecting email addresses then we don’t know if these people are really prospects. Yes it increases our mailing list but to what effect if they are the wrong sort of people?