Trade show apps are cost-effective, eco-friendly means of instantly communicating with and reaching out to consumers. Apps are customizable and vary in terms of cost and functionality. They can be used for everything ranging from data collection to lead generation. Apps help trade shows stay relevant and keep in touch with consumers.
Getting Connected: There’s an App…
With the rise of mobile phones as the dominant connectivity device for people, it’s no surprise that dedicated apps on our phone are becoming more popular in business and personal circles. From apps for fitness and artistic endeavors, to apps for generating sales leads and business conversions, these tiny tech tools are connecting us daily with services, products and companies. A couple of screen icons tapped and an amazing trove of information is at one’s fingertips.
Apple’s App Store recorded a record-breaking $10 billion in 2013 sales. That annual figure includes huge numbers of about 3 billion-plus downloads and over $1 billion in sales for December 2013 alone, according to Apple. Other sources report that new app businesses have created at least 500,000 U.S. jobs and are expected to grow to a $46 billion marketplace (from today’s $25 billion) by 2016.
The “apps for tradeshows” industry is growing fast. There are companies making tradeshow apps and even this year’s Winter Olympics has its own app, which is expected to cover nearly 100 medal events and stream over 1,000 hours of coverage. For tradeshow vendors, apps are literally golden tickets to having direct, immediate, and constant access to customers.
Benefits Beyond Access
Access is just one obvious benefit of using apps to promote your trade show. Then again, there are other avenues of access opened by social media. First, apps can be used on any technological device. Most people use apps on their tablets and smartphones. Trade show apps are flexible enough to help a lot of users, but targeted to one platform, so it retains a sense of relevancy for end users.
Second, apps have multiple applications and benefits. A few are:
- Trade show maps: Apps have maps of trade show floors for vendors and customers to navigate and coordinate those gigantic spaces. This in turn facilitates more meaningful connections with targeted locations.
- Updated info: People can get up-to-the-minute information via an app, whether it is a last-minute speaker line-up change or a promotional activity that requires action. Having the trade show can be an advantage over a social media update, which may not be seen by everyone.
- Better connections: Apps help promote better connections between customers and vendors. Some apps allow exhibitors to have their brochures directly uploaded and stored on the app, which means: (1) customers can get to the brochure with ease, with (2) no waste to the environment and (3) no extra paperwork to misplace.
- Good lead generation: Apps can provide instant, easy, affordable lead generation that is readily accessible, along with storing business contact information from new trade show contacts.
- Track schedules: People can track their schedules using the app. Large trade shows with conferences and other activities can be difficult to navigate leaving vendors and consumers checking their itineraries for when and where they should be.
- Apps beat paper waste: Cut down on waste by using an app to get organized in terms of communication, marketing, and making connections.
- Customized apps: Some apps let users build the app from the ground up; others allow for features to be added.
There are plenty of great apps specifically designed for users to augment and tailor to their own specific industries. Here are a few: (Check to see if these apps run on iOS or Android platforms, or both.)
- Intellisale: This easy-to-use, customizable Lead Generation App gets permission from possible leads to allow for automatic e-mail campaigns.
- QuickTapSurvey: Here’s an app that builds customer profiles. It’s perfect for market research, immediate customer feedback, capturing leads, and collecting face-to-face and kiosk data.
- iLeads:, iLeads offers financial service product lead prospecting to help exhibitors identify the best prospective clients.
- Event Board Mobile: Feedback is critical to the future of trade show success; so this app focuses on feedback and surveys.
- AppBaker: This app is perfect for a smaller or DIY trade show. AppBaker is free to try and lets users build their own app from the ground up, test it, and then launch it.
- A2z: Data is synced seamlessly between an event’s website and the customer’s mobile device thanks to this app.
There are endless opportunities and benefits in using apps to promote, support and build business at trade shows. By using an app, trade shows can guarantee interactive and engaging customer experiences along with instant, comprehensive feedback and lead generation.
Northwest Creative Imaging, LLC (NWCI) is an experienced company dedicated to bringing customers high-quality trade show materials to customers on any budget. NWCI also prides itself on comprehensive customer service by providing assistance, guidance, and support from start to finish. NWCI has extensive experience in both trade shows and manufacturing and understands the necessity to stay on top of current trends like having an app or using social media. NWCI knows all the “tricks of the trade” show, and they don’t mind sharing them.