6 Ways A Digital Fishbowl Is Better Than A Glass Fishbowl

A glass fishbowl is an icon of old-school trade show exhibiting. But it’s time to retire it — for something better.

Most likely you’ve seen an exhibitor put a glass fishbowl on their booth counter for visitors to toss in their business cards in the hope of winning a prize. Exhibitors draw a card for the winner, and keep all the cards as potential leads.

But, like rotary phones and carbon copies, using glass fishbowls to gather trade show leads leaves you at a severe disadvantage compared to what’s possible with today’s technology.

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How To Cross-Sell Customers At Trade Shows With Our Interactive Trivia Game

Maybe you exhibit at trade shows to boost awareness.  Or maybe your goal is to generate new leads.

But if your B2B company has been around for years, or you have considerable market share, your trade show goal may be all about maintaining and expanding your sales with your existing customers.

And while our Challenge Bar Trivia game can help you boost awareness and generate leads, it’s particularly adept at helping you cross-sell to customers you already have.

Three sad realities about repeat sales

Here are three sad realities about generating repeat sales at trade shows:

10 Awful Trade Show Activities To Avoid

Doing trade shows right requires that you make hundreds of correct decisions and actions over the several months before, during, and after your event. It means choosing trade show activities that will boost your presence and advance your goals.

It also means avoiding certain trade show activities that will ruin all your hard work. These activities are common pitfalls that too many previous exhibitors have fallen into. Do too many of them, and you will waste your marketing investment.  Here are 10 trade show activities to avoid:

Why Technology Exhibitors Use Interactive Trade Show Games

Technology companies love exhibiting at trade shows:

  • If you thought tech companies would only market via the Internet or social media, consider this: The largest show in the country is CES – the Consumer Electronics Show!
  • Tech companies exhibit because tech buyers still want to see tech products and potential vendors face-to-face.
  • According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), Communications and Information Technology is the second-largest sector of shows, with over 1,000 to choose from!
  • Not to mention how many high-tech companies also exhibit at shows in other sectors, as new entrants and disrupters in traditional industries.

We are a good fit with tech exhibitors, whether it’s for a single large show, or as part of their annual show schedule.  While every exhibitor has their own objectives, they often tell us this is their motivation for choosing us:

1. Tech Exhibitors Require A High-Tech Activity To Match Their Brand

Tech exhibitors know they need to host an activity to stand out from their neighboring exhibitors. But, that activity can’t be a glass fishbowl to catch leads, or an old school prize wheel, or any other activity that works without the power on.  They need something tech-driven, to fit with their tech-centric products.  They understand their image will be tarnished if their booth attraction doesn’t match visitor expectations.

Visit SocialPoint at EXHIBITORLIVE 2019 To See Games That Increase Booth Traffic & Engagement

If you are attending EXHIBITORLIVE 2019 in Las Vegas from February 25th to 27th, we’d love to see you there! 

Using our SocialPoint Audience Engagement Platform, we can brand, style and configure over 25 different audience engagement games and activities for mobile phones, tablets or big screens – without doing any programming.

Stop by our booth and: 

  • Play and witness how our interactive trade show games boost booth traffic and attendee engagement
  • Discuss your company brand, target audiences, and exhibiting goals to get recommendations on which of our 25 interactive games and activities fits your needs best
  • See our bold digital screens we can customize to your brand with our software platform faster and for less
  • Discover how our games also capture, convince, qualify, and report your trade show leads
  • Hear success stories of fellow exhibitors, exhibit houses, and marketing agencies

Play To Have Fun, Try Our Games, Win Prizes & Bragging Rights!

Prizes for trade show games at SocialPoint booth 950 at EXHIBITORLIVE 2019

See What’s New!

  • See the vastly expanded capabilities of our Digital Fishbowl, EXHIBITORLIVE’s 2018 Buyers Choice Award Winner, which can now drive many new interactive activities that feed digital content to a flat screen monitor
  • See the newly-released Audience Participation Game, that takes gamification to a whole new level for your sales and customer meetings, plus improves lead capture and measurement from trade show passport tours
  • Meet our growing customer success team 

Visit SocialPoint at EXHIBITORLIVE 2019, Booth #950

Map to SocialPoint booth at EXHIBITORLIVE 2019

Meet Us At The Show!

We would love to demonstrate how we can help you drive more booth traffic, increase attendee engagement, and capture more measurable lead data with our interactive trade show games. Come play for fun, prizes, and chat about how we can help you achieve your trade show goals.

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The 4 Kinds Of Digital Screens You Get With Our Interactive Trade Show Games

What do you get when you choose a SocialPoint interactive trade show game?  More than fits on a single screen!

There are actually 4 kinds of digital screens that come with each of our trade show games.  The 4 kinds of screens not only come in different sizes, but also help you achieve different key trade show goals: Attract attendees, engage and capture leads, and measure your results.

1st Interactive trade show game screen: Big monitors that attract attendees

The big flat screen TV monitors main goal is to attract attendees into your booth. They present intriguing, game-generated content that tells passing attendees that something cool is happening here, and they should check it out. Our games output digital content that display on a large screen of your choice.

These large screens are attendee-facing and therefore are customizable to your brand assets (logo, type fonts, colors, product images, and backgrounds).  Let’s take a look.

With our Challenge Bar Trivia game, the big screen is a constantly-updated leaderboard showing the top 5, 10, or even 20 scoring game players, often with a photo of the big prize, company brand, or the game theme.

big flat screen monitors for interactive trade show games

To attract even more attention, some exhibitors make this big screen even bigger.  For example, iBoss combines 4 flat screens into one larger digital display:

Multiple screen digital interactive trade show game leader board

And Cisco Live made an epic leader board to stand out even more and be an even bigger attraction:

Video wall digital interactive trade show game

With our Virtual Prize Wheel, the big screen can be the prize wheel itself, listing the variety of prizes attendees can win.  This prize wheel also spins when an attendee plays, creating more visual intrigue for passers-by.

TD Williamson Virtual Prize Wheel at PPIM 2018 whole trade show booth

Trade show attendees line up to play Virtual Prize Wheel game

2nd Interactive trade show game screen: iPads or tablet computers that engage & capture

The second kind of screen included with our interactive trade show games is the iPads or tablet computers that game players play on.  These touchscreen tablets engage your booth visitors and capture their lead data.  These screens can also be customized to match your visual brand elements.  Game players can spend from one to many minutes, especially if they return to play trivia repeatedly to get a higher score.  We’ve seen clients use as few as one to as many as 9 of these in one booth at a time.

engage trade show attendees and capture lead info on iPad trade show games

many trivia players at Syngenta booth GIS 2017

iPad trade show games

3rd Interactive trade show game screen: Personal computers to administer and measure

This third kind of screen is not seen by the game players, but it available to you as the game host. It’s the admin screens that you can use to make easy changes to your game set up and to measure your results.  For example, for admin use, you can make on-the-fly changes to trivia questions that players say are too confusing, or change the proportion of times you want a certain Virtual Prize Wheel prize to be awarded.

administer and report trade show games and activities

For downloading leads, measuring and reporting results, you can see in graphic and chart form how well your game performed.  See even more about our included game analytics here.

Lead reporting from interactive trade show games

You don’t even have to be at the show to use these kinds of admin screens – you can login to our web-based platform from your office to see how well the show is going.  And you can download leads at any point during the show, or once the show is over, without having to be in your physical booth.

administer and measure interactive trade show games

4th Interactive trade show game screen: Smartphones for attendee engagement & booth staffing

With the addition of our new Attendee Participation Game, now even the smallest screens can become powerful tools for engaging trade show (and event) attendees.  Attendees can use their smartphones to play individual games, and track their overall progress through a series of potential challenges and prize opportunities.

smart phone app trade show and event games and activities

The smartphone screen is also where booth staffers can access our Lead Manager App, which is a free companion app to our trade show games.  Booth staffers can see all the info captured about your booth’s game players.  They can also add more info to further detail and qualify your trade show leads.  This is a great resource at shows where there is no badge scanner, or when you want to avoid paying for one.


Because they are all interconnected via the Internet, SocialPoint interactive games and activities have evolved into complex digital products that simultaneously interact on 4 kinds of screens.  This sophistication gives you large screens to attract more visitors, touchscreen tablets that engage booth visitors and capture their lead data, computer screens to administer games and report on your results, and smartphone screens that engage attendees and provide powerful lead capture tools to your booth staff.4 kinds of digital screens in SocialPoint trade show games and activities

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and capture leads with our fun interactive trade show games, feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate a serious increase in excitement, crowds, and leads.

7 Reasons To Host Trade Show Promotional Activities

With all the logistics you have to manage for your company’s trade show program, you might feel justified in skipping trade show promotional activities. But that would be like planning a party, and not sending out all the invitations.

Sure, the show organizer will get people to the show floor.  But it’s up to you to get them to your booth space.

Here are 7 reasons why trade show promotional activities are so worth your effort:

1. Trade show promotional activities attract more booth traffic

As attendees wander down the aisles, their eyes are bombarded by structures, images and words from all sides.  What wins in that sensory battle?  Motion and sound – which you can do best with activities.  Activities in your booth catch and hold their attention, and if enticing enough, bring them into your space, leaving your neighboring exhibitors staring at you in envy.

2. Trade show promotional activities attract the right booth traffic

Even better than more traffic is the right booth traffic. You can create activities that appeal especially to your target audience (product demos, time trials, industry trivia games). Then, announce your activity pre-show via email, phone calls, and social media, and with signage and crowd gatherers during the show.

3. Trade show promotional activities help booth staffers start conversations

All your booth staffers need help starting conversations.  The introverts especially need the help, but even the extroverted sales people may feel uncomfortable in the trade show setting that’s so different than their day-to-day environment. A clever activity relieves your booth staffers from having to strain to start conversations for hours on end.

4. Trade show promotional activities build trust

Today’s trade show attendees are better informed.  They’ve already researched on the web to find which companies offer what they are looking for.  So, visit potential vendors at the trade show to gauge credibility. A strong activity in your booth can build trust. Your activities can be designed to overcome objections and prove your empathy for your clients’ main challenges.

5. Trade show promotional activities make attendees remember you

Trade show promotional activities can also boost awareness of your company brand and image among attendees.  Especially activities that are surprising and hook visitors’ emotions. Make your activity photo-worthy so they want to share it on Instagram and their other social media accounts. Even better, give them a giveaway with your logo that is thematically-tied to your promotional activity, to remind them even more of the experience they had in your booth.

6. Trade show promotional activities increase leads and sales

When your trade show promotional activities bring in more of the right attendees into your booth, engage them in better conversations, and have them remember you better after the show – guess what? You’re going to get more leads from the show.  Even better, if it’s your goal, you’ll get more sales.

7. Trade show promotional activities increase trade show ROI

How Healthcare Exhibitors Use Interactive Trade Show Games

Healthcare exhibitors choose to use our interactive trade show games for many of the same reasons as their exhibiting peers in other industries.  But not always.

The most common reason exhibitors use our games is to drive more booth traffic, and in that respect, healthcare exhibitors are similar – our games help fill their booth with attendees.  Those attendees can then become leads and sales, or stronger relationships with influencers:

Edifecs interactive trade show game medical exhibitor

Gather more attendees in your healthcare trade show booth with interactive trade show games

healthcare and medical interactive trade show games get a crowd

While many healthcare exhibitors are concerned about rules limiting the value of gifts and giveaways they can offer, not all healthcare exhibitors limit their gifts. Some healthcare exhibitors are interacting with audiences that fall outside healthcare’s complex, stringent rules, so they can still offer substantial gifts.

These less-regulated shows can be because the audience is not considered providers, or because the event is held in another country, or because it’s a healthcare company’s own sales meeting, or for other reasons.

In these two examples, Amplifon offered headphones as a prize, and Starkey offered a smart phone:

healthcare interactive trade show game in a 10 foot booth

International healthcare trade show game

International medical show attendee wins big prize

Why healthcare trade show attendees play games, even without major prizes

We’ve also seen exhibitors still use our games to boost traffic and interaction, even without offering valuable prizes (to abide by their industry gift rules).

Our Challenge Bar Trivia Game attracts healthcare professionals who want to compete against their peers for top-score bragging rights.  They also want to test themselves on their knowledge.  Because our Challenge Bar Trivia Game includes a Leaderboard that prominently lists highest-scoring game players, competitive healthcare exhibition attendees still strive to win.

prIME Oncology healthcare trade show trivia game with top scorer - tweet

Healthcare exhibition attendees play trivia to learn

Some attendees play trivia in healthcare exhibitors’ booths to learn.  Each exhibitor writes their own trivia questions, which tend to be about a company’s products or services, but can also be about the subject matter of expertise of attendees.

For example, Thermo Fisher Scientific enticed attendees to play their customized trivia game to “raise their neuroscience IQ” (this is a screen shot of the game splash screen players see when they start).

Thermo Fisher Scientific - Learn about neuroscience - game screen

Our client Bio-Rad went even further to encourage booth visitors to compete for recognition instead of prizes of monetary value, by awarding trophies to top-scoring game players:

Thermo Fisher Scientific - Learn about neuroscience - game screen

Healthcare exhibitors, we’re eager to get started

Interactive trade show games are still a popular promotional choice for healthcare exhibitors, even though they are more limited by their industry rules about what they can offer their booth visitors. Games can help healthcare exhibitors get more booth traffic, visitor interaction, and relationship-building.  Healthcare exhibition attendees are still motivated to play games, even in the cases where the exhibitors are limited in the value of the prizes they offer.

If you’d like to see more about how you can drive more booth traffic and get more qualified leads with our interactive trade show games , feel free to contact us with questions or to discuss your event with one of SocialPoint’s Digital Strategists. We’ll help you generate excitement, crowds, and leads.

Best Trade Show Marketing Advice From Exhibit House Experts

Want to know what it takes to create an effective trade show marketing campaign? So do we.

So, this Fall we asked experts at Exhibit Houses to share their opinion on trade show marketing and technology, and they provided many insights and surprises (see the full Exhibit House survey report here).

But they had even more to share.  As part of the survey, they also shared their advice on what exhibitors should do to create effective trade show marketing campaigns.  We’re providing their best advice in this post.

Most of their expert advice focused on the same 4 elements: the exhibitor’s brand, their target audience, planning, and objectives.  With so many other potential ideas to discuss, those four must be important!

Here are their answers.  Note: some survey respondents answered anonymously.

1. Focus on your brand

The most popular topic of advice from Exhibit House survey respondents?  They advise exhibitors to focus on their brand when creating their trade show marketing campaigns:

  • “Take the time to really think about your brand message and purpose. Begin from there.” — John Mitchell, MC2
  • “Whatever it is… it needs to be memorable (and associated with the exhibitor’s brand and drive an action that will drive the exhibitor’s goals.” — David Brull, Kubik
  • “Stay focused on the brand presence that has been created, and if that doesn’t exist, it would in our best interest to guide them toward creating one. Integrate it with other media – social, advertising, etc. Also utilize pre-show campaigns to get in front of your target audience in order to make it a success.” — Gary Donatell, CenterPoint Marketing
  • “Any campaign should strengthen the brand and be consistent with the other marketing they are doing.” — Aaron Reitmeier, Showcraft
  • “Create a brand activation where you engage at least (1) of the attendees (5) senses.” — Erik Streight, Excalibur Exhibits