iPads at Trade Shows: The New ROI Enhancer

April 14, 2011 at 10:29 am 4 comments

The Apple iPad has revolutionized exhibitor participation in trade shows. Its portability, size, and functionality make it the perfect device for sharing information and communicating on the exhibition floor. Here are some specific uses for iPads that enhance the opportunities for exhibiting companies:

Product demos: Booth staffers can demonstrate products, share video, refer to specification sheets, and show photos using the iPad. They can address issues, solve problems, answer specific questions, access pricing information, and work collaboratively with customers and prospects on site.

Lead retrieval: A number of lead retrieval companies have extended their platforms to mobile devices such as the iPad allowing booth personnel to perform a variety of tasks: scan attendee badges, complete surveys, and move quickly through the qualifying process.

Surveys: The iPad is a perfect tool for collecting data and qualifying attendees on the trade show floor. It converts every face-to-face engagement during the event into an opportunity to learn more about customer needs and obtain contact information for post-show follow-up.

Electronic literature: Using the iPad, exhibitors can send product information, pricing, even proposals to customers via email from the show floor.

Social Marketing: Exhibitors can upload photos in real-time to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter or the company blog to keep their social media channels updated and attract visitors to the booth.

Reporting: Booth staffers can use iPads to view reports, analyze dashboards with real-time data, and forward information to the home office on the number of leads captured or amount of literature emailed to prospects. Leads can be processed immediately instead of post-show.

Remote Control: Some exhibitors use iPads to control external media devices (much like a remote control for your television) such as kiosks and video screens. Based on the needs of the attendee, exhibitors can select the content—product demo, streaming video, Skype transmission, Twitter feed—and the specific screen (inside the booth) on which to display it.

More companies are taking advantage of the iPad’s user-friendly interface, compact size, and powerful applications to enhance business processes and increase their return on investment in trade shows. How are you using iPads at your events?

Entry filed under: Mobile, Tradeshows. Tags: , , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Smash Hit Displays  |  April 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    You made tons of great points about the ever-so-popular iPads. Everyone is intrigued in the sleek, portable device and is the perfect addition to trade show booths. As you mentioned, using them as lead retrieval systems have become the norm. It makes sense since you have the ability to relay all of your leads’ information to your marketing or sales team while you are still at the event. Looking forward to seeing other uses for these high-tech devices.

  • 2. Jenni_B2BM  |  May 27, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Great piece Roger, it is amazing how the iPad seems to be findings its way into all aspects of our lives and now our businesses!

    The company I work for, Marketpoint, uses iPads for a whole range of these activities at tradeshows including lead retrieval. We’ve found them to be a fantastic tool that avoids the reams of paper and business cards that traditionally accompany tradeshow data capture. The live reporting aspect is also particularly sought after, potentially shaving a lot of valuable time off the sales cycle. It can allow you to monitor progress as the show proceeds and to integrate the data with your CRM so you can chase up ‘hot’ leads before your competitors get a look in.

  • […] Roger Lewis at Alliance Tech looks at many ways iPads can be used, including (but not limited to): product demos, lead retrieval,  surveys, electronic marketing and social media. Check his post here. […]

  • 4. melmwhite  |  June 2, 2011 at 10:45 am

    The iPad just makes sense in so many tradeshow applications. Our distributors have encouraged us to develop holders since they are getting requests. We’ve just started, but I thought I’d pass along three examples, including a flush-mount option for almost any freestanding pedestal with a laminate top.



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About Roger

As a 15 year veteran event analyst, Roger Lewis is a leader and visionary in the area of event measurement. He is an expert on utilizing technology, such as radio frequency identification (RFID), to measure and understand marketing performance metrics. As executive vice president of Alliance Tech, Roger has been instrumental in positioning the organization as the number one provider of event business intelligence metrics for Fortune 500 companies. More about Roger

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