Although the iPad was meant to occupy the device category between the mobile phone and the laptop computer, its mobility and utility has enamored users so much that analysts predict tablets will replace laptops in the next 3 years. They are already responsible for significantly reducing the sales of netbooks. Because of their widespread adoption, iPads and similar devices will also influence the design and adoption rates of mobile apps for trade shows and conferences. Here’s how:
- Detailed floor plans—with a larger screen, developers can enlarge the detail of trade show floor plans making them more readable and effectively creating more and better digital sponsorship opportunities.
- Videos—the ability to view archived and live streaming content comfortably on tablets will prompt developers to build more spaces for viewing video into the apps including, session and speaker videos, video abstracts, product overviews and even virtual booths.
- Lead retrieval and survey collection—Because of the iPad’s ability to move quickly and seamlessly from one screen to the next, it has become the perfect tool for data collection and lead qualification. This functionality will induce developers to enhance the data collection capabilities of mobile apps for exhibitors.
- Sales automation— Because exhibitors are using iPads to demonstrate products in the booth, showcase product videos and send electronic literature to customers, mobile app developers will enhance the ability for attendees to self-select information from exhibitors before and after their visit to the booth.
- Social media—Smartphones and laptops make it easy to share show content, however, the photo and video capture capabilities of the iPad make it easier to collect show content. App developers will capitalize on this functionality by embedding “social media tools” in the apps to make it easier to collect, edit, and share images.
iPads will inevitability increase the adoption rates of mobile apps at trade shows and conferences. Users will download the apps more often to justify the purchase of the device and the simple utility of being able to access content on a larger screen will boost usage. Mobile app developers will continue to create applications with the tablet in mind giving users more reasons to choose iPads over laptops.