iPads at Trade Shows: The New ROI Enhancer

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?