iPads and Smart Tablets at Trade Shows: The New Rules of Engagement

Leveraging the latest devices to your benefit

ipad and smart phone uses and trade show and marketing events

The introduction of Smart Tablets and iPad into the trade show and corporate events world did not take long to explode. Even in our daily lives, we see restaurants, car dealerships, retail stores and hospitals all embracing this mobile technology to become more efficient as well as engaging in daily operations. The same excitement for these devices can be seen on the trade show floor and it continues to grow on a daily basis.

The overall portability, size, and endless functionality make these devices a perfect tool for gathering information, communicating efficiently about products and services and creating a post show plan for leads and opportunities. We have outlined some of the best ways to use Smart Tablets or iPads for your next trade show or corporate event:

Lead Generation

There are a number of lead retrieval companies out there and most are now offering an iPad or Smart Tablet applications in addition to traditional card readers and scanners. In addition, independent developers are offering applications and development of mobile programs that can carry the capture of leads on the show floor through to a wide variety of software and CRM programs for effective follow up and tracking of the most valuable asset you can receive on the show floor…your leads.

Product Demonstrations

Booth staffers can be easily trained to use a mobile applications to demonstrate products, share videos, download or show literature and access additional photos or specifications. Using an iPad or Smart Tablet staffers can address and support important issues, solve problems, answer specific questions, review pricing and even pull up proposals to mail directly to customers and prospects in real time.

Surveys and Questionnaires

These devices are perfect tools for gathering data and qualifying attendees on the trade show floor. On most occasions, the iPad or Smart Tablet is viewed as an every day item and almost everyone is familiar with their operations and functions. This is important from an approachability standpoint when trying to extract data from an attendee. These devices convert engagements into opportunities.

Reporting and Measurement

Management and sales teams can use Smart Tablets and iPads to view reports, analyze information, create next steps forward information to others. This is especially handy when a “hot” lead is captured that requires immediate attention after the show. You can also track the basic metrics such as the number of leads captured, amount of literature requested, what products were most popular and how many prospects were contacted directly following the event. This cuts down on the red tape and manual “paper shuffle” usually related to the post show activities.

Electronic Literature

There are many benefits to sending literature electronically directly from the show floor and at the request of your prospects. The first and most obvious is that it creates an instant GREEN initiative for your company. Second, the money saved in printing, shipping and delivering literature to your events can become non-existent. With those savings alone, you can most likely increase your other offerings at a trade show or just be a hero to your financial team by saving them money…and you time.

Remote Controllers

This one is simple…on the show floor, remote controllers are often misplaced or lost even before the show starts. Almost all smart devices have the ability to download applications that serve as universal remote controls for 100’s of devices. The benefit to demo stations, monitors, loop videos, theater shows and other video applications is without measure.

Social Networking

Many exhibitors offer free materials and give-aways to attendees who Tweet or otherwise post booth activities to their own social sites. Using Smart Tablets and iPads offer another opportunity for prospects and attendees to “check-in” or post about your exhibit and products. All these activities happen in real time. The platforms are endless and include such popular sites as Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Pinterest or your own company blog.

More and more exhibitors are taking advantage of the mobile revolution. We live in a century where the best technology is at our fingertips…it makes us ask the question…what’s next?


About Loren Ellis

Loren Ellis - President - For over two decades Loren has been exposed to almost every facet of the event marketing industry. Working from the back end of the business through to the front, his experience and ability to identify strategic opportunities makes him an invaluable resource to any program.

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