A smartphone app often makes the checklist of being trade-show ready, but you can easily get confused when it comes to choosing two to three apps for the event. This is because there are so many apps available – some complete spin-offs, some original, others somewhere between the two.
So how do you decide on the appropriate apps? How do you select the ones that actually increase your productivity?
Answer: By considering the features commonly required at trade shows.
The Ideal Trade show Apps should Offer:
1. QR Code
QR code is basically a link that will allow anyone who visits the booth to engage with your brand/company. According to eMarketer, 1 in 5 US respondents have scanned a QR code. An app that offers this functionality can also help you to register visitors for the next trade show.
Other benefits of using a QR code based app include quick customer feedback, transformation of visitors into email subscribers, more traffic to the business website, social media discovery by visitors and increased exposure through exchange of data.
2. ROI Measurement
There is nothing worse than dropping a couple grand on a trade show only to come home with a few random business cards and no real plan to convert them.
Measuring trade show ROI is important in analyzing company performance at the event. An app that allows for this kind of measurement will also provide a detailed insight on the interactions that took place at the booth, as well as the number of visitors who converted and are likely to remain in touch.
Apart from using the app to measure results of a trade show you’ve already attended, you can also use it to plan ahead for the next trade show. It will help you in determining the expected visitors, the number of chairs required at the booth, the cost of the set up (and souvenirs) and the conversion goal.
3. Real-time Collaboration
A visitor has asked you a technical question and you don’t know the answer. You say to the visitor that you’ll call up the technical department for his/her query, but there’s a problem – no one’s going to give you that much time (unless you’re the only one offering the item of interest).
To prevent panic and increase the chances of impressing the visitor, aim for an app that allows ‘real-time collaboration’ with your team members. This will allow you to answer any queries received at the booth. According to a blog post made by Google, faster collaboration dramatically improves productivity and ROI.
4. Business Card Scan
While you can still exchange paper based business cards at most trade shows, it is important that you keep an app that has the ability to scan business cards. There are two reasons why such an app should be present on your phone.
First of all, it can be used to present your company as ‘socially and environmentally responsible’. Secondly, business card scanning apps give out details such as LinkedIn and other social media profiles that may not be listed on the visitor card itself.
5. Cloud Backup
All the data, details and metrics gathered at the trade show can be in vain if your smartphone or SD card malfunctions later. It is therefore important that you keep an app that allows you to back up everything to the cloud.
A backup app can also be accessed by other team members so it will also come in handy for quick visitor demographic and preference analysis.
Installing these apps will only be half battle won: you need to execute and leverage them at the event to maximize the investment made in the trade show.
What features do you consider necessary in a trade show app? Feel free to leave comments.