There are companies that specialize in trade show activities. They make their living off of being creative and inventing new ways of presenting information to people. I have worked with one of these companies in the past and it was very exciting.
One of the first event booths we ever created was a simple kiosk that had a touch-screen computer hooked to it. It was tall enough to allow an average sized person to walk up to it and interact with it as if it were a normal computer. At that time people were used to using a standard mouse as input to the computer. When they saw that they could just use their hand to interact it was pretty amazing.
Nowadays it does not seem that interesting. We live in the age of the iPad where touch devices are an everyday item. The main concept behind finding a great activity at a trade show is to come up with some type of a gimmick that people are interested in seeing where they don’t realize they are learning about someone’s product. For example there was one trade show display where we created a game once where we had a large screen TV mounted to a stand which was hooked up to a game controller. Users would use the game controller to navigate through a virtual blood stream.
The object of the game was to successfully steer the ship through the blood stream without hitting the vessel walls, but navigating into the medication that would be floating by. If the user was able to capture the medicine and avoid the walls, the higher the points they would receive. Eventually the game would become so fast that the user’s turn would be over. While they played the game someone was explaining to them about the medication. They would be trying to get to a certain dosage that was healthy. The winners were those who understood the proper dosage of the medication and were successfully able to get enough. You can see that anyone who played the game came away from the activity with some knowledge of the medication. They had actually been educated while playing a fun game.
Another example is the time when we built a navigation system where someone could navigate a mouse on a computer screen without touching anything. The device had a stand at the bottom which split into a goal post at the top. The person would put their hand into the goal post area of the device and was able to move the mouse wherever their arm moved.
On the screen was a simple game of concentration where they had to match an answer and a question. In playing the game the user was able to learn about certain medications. As they navigated the computer mouse they were slowly learning about the products of the event booth creator. This is probably the best form of education. One where the person is being educated while they don’t have any idea it’s happening.