Athletico Physical Therapy Scores Big with SocialPoint’s Event Games at APTA Conference


At Athletico Physical Therapy, newly-graduated physical therapists treat patients with orthopedic and other issues that require physical therapy. To find those new grads, Athletico and its new partner company, Pivot, need a strong recruitment program. Formerly of Pivot, and now Athletico’s Assistant Manager of Clinical Advancement, Trish Herford develops a continuing education group for physical therapists to help them improve their clinical excellence. Athletico provides courses, training, mentorships, and leadership opportunities to support therapists’ budding careers.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) — the largest physical therapy conference — is teeming with physical therapy professionals. While there, attendees have access to many continuing education courses, opportunities for innovation and collaboration between companies, as well as product testing and integration.

So, Athletico/Pivot hosted a recruitment booth at the 2023 CSM in San Diego. It’s where 14,000 physical therapists, physical therapy students, and vendors go to sell products or services to a physical therapy group. The 4,000 students who attended could access many continuing education courses and opportunities for innovation and collaboration between different companies. 

Athletico needed something special to compete for attention among all of the business and education opportunities and the draw of San Diego’s attractions. After using SocialPoint’s games for Pivot Physical Therapy’s booth at the 2022 APTA CSM, Trish was impressed and chose them again for the 2023 APTA CSM.


From trivia to photo challenges: How Athletico engaged attendees

Many attendees lingered at the conference because the rainy weather made outside activities soggy. So, attendees found fun playing trivia and winning prizes at the Athletico Booth.

Athletico hosted self-paced trivia for all-day play. While the system has 15 questions, players were given 10. Since the questions were randomized, players couldn’t share questions and answers. 

Athletico also hosted a photo hunt challenge with a different prompt for each day. “One day was taking a picture by the bay, another day it was taking a picture by the APTA sign, and the last day was taking a picture with people at our booth,” Trish said. “That was exciting and helpful for social media and marketing.”

Because the photos were saved to a SocialPoint photobank, Athletico could download them and share the photos with a hashtag on social media.

Live trivia: The game-changer that boosted Athletico’s success

The photo challenge was popular, but SocialPoint’s Live Trivia was Athletico’s most successful activation. Each day, they hosted a morning and afternoon session where they used the 10 questions of the day. “The live trivia definitely brought a lot of attention and people to our booth,” Trish said. Each live trivia game had 30 to 50 players who were excited by the possibility of winning prizes, like Apple AirTags, on the spot. 

“I don’t know if word got out — or if there just happened to be a lot of people by our booth — but we pulled those people in when the trivia was about to start,” Trish said. “So, that piece made our experience at the conference really exceptional.”

Trish spoke highly of SocialPoint’s live trivia game, describing the excitement of watching attendees compete for prizes and the fun of experiencing the emotions of a large group of people.

“When people’s energy and attention were at the booth, I was doing the back end, changing the screen and making sure that everything was working while another person asked the questions. I enjoyed watching reactions at the end of the questions,” Trish said.

After the answers are in, the answers and each player’s percentage of correct questions flash onto the screen. 

“It was interesting to watch the responses when we had a question that no one really got. They were saying, ‘Oh, I should have known that’. Or watching the responses when everyone got the question right,” Trish said. “It was great to experience that emotion with a large group of people.”

Trish described the shifting of spots on the leaderboard screen was as action-packed. “Some people really battled it out for that first spot. We’d say, ‘Who’s John?’ Then, John raises his hand and said, ‘That’s me!’” 

Then, Trish and the Athletico reps would build the suspense. “We’d say, ‘Okay, you have two questions left. Can you keep it?’, which was entertaining and exciting.”

Prizes and excitement: Games helped Athletico with recruiting

Athletico also gave away daily prizes — such as a Roomba, AirPods, and an espresso machine — to the top winners on the leaderboard. Trish mentioned that the prizes were a significant draw for attendees, and the ability to win them upped the ante. 

AirTags proved a clever choice because they’re useful and portable. They didn’t take much room in attendees’ luggage for their travels home. The large daily prizes were shipped to the winners, so they didn’t have to haul them home.

The Aftermath: Games boosted Athletico’s brand recognition 

Besides collecting a ton of photo challenge photos to use for marketing on social media, Trish explained the registration information collected on the app will help them send recruitment emails to encourage folks who visited the booth to apply to open positions at Athletico. Trish said, “I was able to share information with the team that made it possible to email those 250 players.” 

The dream team: SocialPoint’s customer service was next level

“Working with SocialPoint was pretty straightforward,” Trish said. “We had four planning meetings where they explained what happens between each meeting.” Then Athletico was paired with Jeannie Power, SocialPoint’s Customer Success Leader.

 “She was super helpful because I was anxious on my end,” Trish said. “Jeannie was very supportive and communicative.”

Even though the SocialPoint team prepared her, Trish had no idea what was going to happen on conference day. But once Trish started working the booth, she felt at ease, and running the games was simple.

The SocialPoint team ensured that Trish had the support she needed to run a successful booth. “We had events in the evening, and the different time zones were challenging to navigate,” Trish said. “But the SocialPoint team was helpful in answering questions — especially early in the morning if I asked them something late the previous night. That set us up for success throughout the weekend.”

Overall, Athletico’s use of SocialPoint’s event games was a success, with a large crowd drawn to their booth and increased brand recognition through the use of social media and the app’s registration information. Trish said, “They helped us have a smooth game experience at the conference.”

Interested in using SocialPoint to draw people to your conference or trade show booth? Request a demo today.

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is a thought leader, researcher, speaker and award winning innovator on event technology. In 2011, BizBash Magazine added Sam to its annual innovators list. Since then, Sam has won awards from Exhibitor Magazine, IBTM World, RSVP MN, International Live Events Association and MPI for innovation in event technology.