Augmented Reality Gamification: The Trade Show Slam Dunk


Year after year, our clients look for new ways to drive traffic to their trade show booths and to increase engagement with their products and services at these events.

When Nekoosa Coated Products came to us this year looking for a way to demonstrate and promote its Synaps OM product at the annual Dscoop conference held in Washington, D.C., we knew we wanted to do something interactive. The core objective for Nekoosa was to attract Dscoop attendees (HP Graphic Arts business and technical professionals) to their booth so that they could experience the Synaps OM first hand. This engagement would allow them to touch and feel the product and evaluate its use as a medium for HP equipment. 

Nekoosa knew they wanted to focus on the product’s versatility in foodservice and restaurant applications like table tents, placemats, and menus. With restaurants and sports bars in mind, we developed the concept of Hoops Madness – a tie-in to the impeccably timed NCAA March Madness tournament.

The Concept

Imagine you meet up with family and friends at your local sports bar to watch the game, but the first half is slow going and your kids are getting bored. Enter Hoops Madness. Scan the table tent at your table and launch an interactive, multi-player basketball shootout game on your mobile device. Track your scores and watch the leaderboard at the front of the restaurant to see how you and your friends stack up against your fellow patrons. The game provides entertainment for your party and even allows you to interact with others in the restaurant.

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The Gameplay

We developed Hoops Madness and used it as the centerpiece of the Nekoosa Dscoop booth. We used a table tent printed on the Synaps OM sheet to launch an augmented reality experience that brought the game to life on attendees’ mobile devices. Up to four players could participate at once. Choosing from one of three challenge types determined the environment in which the game was set. “Practice” transported the user to an outdoor park setting, “Prep” placed them in a school gymnasium, and “Going Pro” set the stage in an NBA-style arena. 

Attendees revisited the booth for a second and even third time just to check to see if their best score was still standing. 

Each player took shots from one of three hot spots around the basketball court’s key. A power meter showed players where the “sweet spot” was for their shot. Hold the spot for too long, and you’ve put too much power behind the shot. Too little power… air ball. Just right, and swish! Each basket counted for three points and each player had 45 seconds per game in which to earn the most points. Throughout the day the top scores (the “Sweet Sixteen”) were updated in real time on a leaderboard in the booth. Attendees revisited the booth for a second and even third time just to check to see if their best score was still standing. 

The Results

The overall success of this campaign could be measured by the amount of buzz the game created and traffic to the booth that buzz generated. It could also be measured by the sheer amount of time visitors stayed in the booth, engaged with the Synaps OM product and talking to Nekoosa representatives. Ninety-six visitors played Hoops Madness for a total of 338 total games.

This campaign successfully blended augmented reality and gamification, creating memorable and meaningful engagements  the trade show slam dunk.  

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