New Tradeshow Tool: How Apple’s iPad is Being Used by Exhibitors
Apple’s iPad tablet computing device has taken the corporate world by storm, selling over 13 million units in its first year.
Courtesy of AppleIts popularity has lead to a slew of competing tablets (over 30) that hit the market in 2010. A study conducted by the Gartner Group found that by 2013, 80 percent of business would support a workforce using tablets.
So this poses the question: what kind of role will the iPad play in the tradeshow world? The answer might possibly be many roles. Let’s take a closer look at how iPads being deployed on show floors as exhibitors’ newest secret weapon.
Personal demos. In order to make sure the maximum number of people can view product demonstrations at trade shows, exhibitors have traditionally used large-screen monitors mounted high on their booth’s walls. iPads enable sales folks to bring their marketing message to attendees and potential prospects in a much more personal, face-to-face way. This makes it much easier to assess their response and answer questions immediately.
Portability. This deserves stating, though it might seem obvious. Unlike laptops, iPads are extremely portable. Pick it up, rest it in your lap, pass it around, or throw it in your bag. Because most people exhibiting or attending tradeshows are traveling, the iPad becomes the perfect tradeshow companion. If your booth is crowded and loud—a good problem to have—sales people can simply walk with attendees to a quieter area to give demos.
Interactivity. The iPad’s touch screen makes it very easy to interact with, enabling tradeshow attendees to actually participate in demos. By being involved in hands- on demos, attendees’ attention won’t waver. In addition, sales people can email marketing material, presentations, or quotes, etc. directly to the prospect’s email back at work immediately, before they even leave the booth. This can lead to significant reduction in printed materials, cutting costs.
Create a hands-on kiosk. Put an iPad on a stand and it instantly becomes a demo kiosk for attendees to walk through demos, read marketing materials, or view promotional videos at their leisure. Keep sales people close to answer any follow-up questions or invite them to hear more detailed information.
Improve lead retrieval. Check out iLeads, the first lead retrieval app for iPads on the market. This software enables exhibitors to capture and qualify tradeshow leads easily from anywhere. Users simply use the touch screen display to enter badge numbers and leads are immediately uploaded to a secure website for easy retrieval and lead management. Works on the iPhone as well. Check it out http://www.bartizan.com/index.php?id=62 for more information.
Tight integration with CRM systems. Once vital lead contact information has been captured, that data can be quickly and easily integrated with your company’s customer relationship management (CRM) system for lead management. Though not all CRM systems currently support the iPad, you can bet vendors are working furiously on efforts to provide future support.
Long battery life. Unlike many laptops, the iPad boasts superior battery life, up to 10 hours, so it can go all day for demos and lead retrieval and then still be able to be used for your electronic post-show collateral fulfillment.
If you can’t buy them, rent them. Many exhibition companies are offering on-site iPad rentals if you want to try before you buy. Upside is, if you need technical assistance, many of these companies offer on-site support as well.
How will you incorporate the iPad into your tradeshow this year?