Weekly Insights: Incorporating Playification in Your Exhibit

You’ve heard of gamification – the idea of including elements such as leader boards and challenges to engage attendees. But now there’s a new concept emerging: playification.

Think about it – when you were a child, part of your school day included playing, right? And it actually became part of your learning experience. So why then as adults do we think it’s wrong to have fun and play as part of our work day?

Play elements that don’t necessarily revolve around competition can include working together to solve puzzles, do physical activities, or just plain having fun. It creates a feeling of connection and accomplishment, even when there’s no actual winner involved.

For example, Toyota gave their cars “personality” and had people hugging (and kissing) the vehicles on display!

Research shows that adding elements of play reduces stress, boosts creativity, and improves the feeling of belonging. Just look at how popular adult coloring books have become in recent years! And think about how many adults get excited at the idea of visiting a theme park (even though they may pretend it’s a trip for their kids).

So what playful elements might you include in your booth? Think about some of your favorite activities when you were a child, then find ways to create adult-pleasing versions of them. Host a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with a costume character, or construct a life-size maze with surprises along the way. Or on the flip side, you could miniaturize things (think Alice in Wonderland). You could even create a summer camp-themed exhibit with stations for arts and crafts, physical activities, and more.

Once you begin to look at the world from a childlike point of view, you may find opportunities for playification all around! Please share your ideas and examples in the comments below.


  1. Andrew June 30, 2019
    • Marlys Arnold July 1, 2019
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