5 Must-Have Mobile Apps For Your Next Trade Show

November 19, 2018

Brandon Stapper

Brandon Stapper is the CEO of Nonstop Signs & Graphics, a San Diego-based printing company. At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into a printing powerhouse. Nonstop Signs & Graphics has made the Forbes Fastest Growing Companies Award four years in a row and services 10,000 clients annually.

Trade shows are a fantastic way to establish yourself in your industry and collect tons of leads. However, the best ways to manage the leads and contacts you collect, as well as the visitor experience can be hard to manage. After all, you only have a small assigned area to effectively pitch yourself, engage your visitors and capture contact information!

Thank goodness for mobile apps. Now, countless apps have been developed to streamline trade show operations seamlessly - and most don’t even depend on wifi. (After all, wifi may be nonexistent or spotty at best in large convention centers.)

Here are five must-have mobile apps to load onto a phone or an iPad when setting up at your next trade show.

The Schedule Management App

The larger your company, the more of a headache it is to schedule transportation, accommodations and shifts at multiple trade shows. If you have an active sales team, a mobile app for team management is a must-have.

The ideal app will have automatic updates and notifications on scheduling, tasks and even accommodation arrangements. Apps like When I Work allow booth staff members to communicate preferences or concerns about scheduling with managers and even request trades.

The Messaging App

Having group messaging platforms so your team can stay in constant contact before, during and after the show is useful. Being able to communicate to the entire team or just select parts of it can help your company navigate unexpected travel delays, problems or necessary pivots for the tradeshow experience.

Apps like Slack, WhatsApp, and GroupMe all offer group messaging options.

The Lead Capture App

Many lead capturing apps have been designed for tradeshows and are easy to mount on an iPad or two and capture emails and even business cards. The apps don’t require WiFi to work either. While you’re talking to customers, you can have them enter their email or contact information for follow-ups.

Apps like Leadature also allow you to scan business cards, send emails to customers and analyze metrics. It helps you move visitors through the sales pipeline quickly and efficiently.

The Product Catalog App

It’s good practice to maximize the limited space at your booth by going digital. Thankfully, you can save table room by uploading your product catalog onto an iPad.

One app that was specifically designed for this is Fatstax. Fatstax is made for iPad and allows salespeople to help tradeshow visitors search the product catalog and share product information. You can upload videos, PDF brochures and more, send emails or even help visitors buy the item then and there. For any company with an expansive product catalog, this is a must-have.

The Visitor Engagement App

Now that you’ve got all your team messaging, scheduling and sales tools out of the way it’s important not to forget about customer engagement. There are many apps you can use on an iPad or even hooked up to a large screen that enables your visitors to get the most interaction in less space.

For example, you can place a large prize wheel on a screen, complete with sound effects for giveaways and discounts. Prize Wheel is a great tool for this. You can also create a custom photo filter through apps like Pixel Snap that allows guests to take selfies and upload them under your branded content.

Fun and creative interactions with guests at trade shows result in those guests being more likely to remember your booth and pursue your services. That’s why it’s important to craft a seamless digital experience at your booth so you can focus your attention on wowing your visitors!

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