Avatars, not business cards: our new digital experience for networking

Trade shows are difficult places to grab attention and make business contacts while still being authentic to our values as a company. This is particularly tricky at an event focused on impressing people with unique technologies and devices, where many companies offering a more abstract product or service like ours struggle to capture the hearts and minds (and contact information!) of passers by that, at events like these, have grown accustomed to bite-sized moments of excitement over relationship-building conversations.

We’re here, like everyone else, to talk about ustwo and get potential leads’ contact information for later outreach. We don’t need to hide these goals. Instead, why not tap into Play Thinking – our grounding design ethos that centres the users’ emotional responses along their journey, not just the “job to be done” – to make this an enjoyable experience while fulfilling a business need?

This idea became LeadLandia, an interactive digital project, launched at AWE USA in June 2023, that has the twofold value of getting leads while displaying ustwo’s creativity and playfulness. It’s a digital place populated by “Prospect Pals,” fun characters customised by leads (real people) visiting our booth.


Building LeadLandia

Successful event activations can be reduced to four main components: visible messaging, something for visitors to do, a place for activity to be stored and measured, and a takeaway to remember the experience by. To accomplish these goals, we built three LeadLandia applications, LeadLandia World, LeadLandia Creator, and Prospect Deck, along with a simple backend database that connects each of the applications.


LeadLandia Creator is a web app designed to run on iPads where visitors input their contact information and create a unique Prospect Pal to represent them. They can choose from among six templates of anthropomorphic avatars and customise them with different colours, then watch as their Pal is beamed up and teleported into LeadLandia World.



LeadLandia World is a 3D visualisation of the leads generated at the booth in real time. It runs continuously on a TV in the booth, showing a world filled with ever-increasing numbers of Prospect Pals as more and more leads create their avatars. This demonstrates the purpose of LeadLandia to visitors in a way that invites conversation, and visualises progress and the growth of the Prospect Pals network over the course of the event.



Prospect Deck, another web app designed for mobile browsers, continues the users’ experience after the trade show, while subtly promoting ustwo’s offerings. It’s a digital rolodex of sorts, showing a carousel of digital business cards with every Prospect Pal, sent to each visitor who created an avatar. Ustwo case studies are mixed into the deck at regular intervals as special cards.

Sharing contact information with other Pals via the Prospect Deck is strictly opt-in — visitors who choose not to are given a link to their card only, and are omitted from the deck as a whole. (This gives added value for visitors to participate, as they’re able to access a network of attendees if they choose to share their information in the deck.)


Come to LeadLandia

Feedback at AWE was incredibly positive. Visitors appreciated the application of Play Thinking in the context of a conference. “It was a great tool to segue into how we apply that process to many of our projects at ustwo,” says Paige Garson, NYC Delivery Principal. “People were impressed that we took our playful ethos and applied it to something that’s typically boring and uninspiring like a lead generation tool.”

The ability for participants to create something tangible was also a big draw and standout, especially at a conference where most booths are demoing hardware with defined experiences that don’t allow for personalisation. Multiple attendees noted that the ability to create something reduced their anxiety of approaching a booth full of strangers.

Because of this response, we’ve now integrated LeadLandia as a core pillar of our event strategy, standardising and deploying it for use in internal and external events. We’re bringing it next to TechBBQ in Copenhagen on 13th-14th September 2023, with its own dedicated LeadLandia World space and Prospect Deck. If you’re attending, be sure to come find us!