How Human Emotions Make Interactive Trade Show Games Work

digital trade show games are fun and exciting

While we are proud of how strong the technology is behind our interactive trade show games, we fully understand that it isn’t the tech alone that makes them so successful.  What makes our games and contests really gather a crowd, and keep people engaged, is how well our games play on peoples’ very human emotions.

I’ve witnessed how people, individually or in groups, react when they play our games and contests.  I’ve seen players in the thrall of these 6 emotions again and again:

1. Excitement

Attendees get jazzed when they play our games.  It reminds me of a Las Vegas craps table when the dice are hot.  Groups of friends shout, dance around, and cheer as they really get into the games and contests.  This is especially true when they are playing our Virtual Prize Wheel, and they win a big prize.

2. Curiosity

There are certain industries where learning is valued and encouraged.  Members of those industries are more likely to join a book club than go to a night club. And they love to play our Challenge Bar Trivia game, to see what the questions are, and to learn while they play.  You can see the look of concentration on their faces.

Learning with digital trade show games and contests

3. Greed

While some players enjoy the thrill of the hunt, many are focused on the prizes they can win.  They are motivated by the chance to win the iPad, the wireless speaker, the drone, or whatever else the host trade show exhibitor offers up as the major prize.  The smaller, secondary prizes motivate greed, too.

Prize winner of a trade show game

4. Joy

Players don’t need to be in jumping up and down to enjoy themselves.  Playing the games is fun enough.  It’s a pleasant experience to interact with our smooth, beautiful screens, and to test their knowledge and compete for prizes.

Fun digital games for trade shows and events

5. Pride

We really see peoples’ pride emerge when our digital Leaderboard is there.  You can see the pride in the faces of the people who have the highest scores on our trivia games, or who are the most prolific and shared social media mavens whose efforts show up on our Social Media Walls. They are so proud they will return to the booth to show their friends how high they ranked on the Leaderboard.

Proud leader on the digital game leaderboard at an event

6. Envy

When attendees see that other people have scored better than them on a game, that triggers envy two ways: First, they want to be ranked higher than the other people who currently sit atop the Leaderboard, and second, they want to rank higher so they can win the big prize offered by the exhibitor.  So, they grab a tablet and start playing.  Sometimes, again and again.

People love to play games and enter contests.  While our interactive technology makes games and contests better looking, easier to set up, and better at gathering leads, it’s still human emotions that make them so successful at drawing a crowd and creating a more successful event.


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.