Every year, millions of people visit trade shows across the United States. Whether it’s a tech expo or comic book convention, the average trade show visitor spends 5.5 hours at one of these events. It’s your job to convert these visitors into bonafide customers. Manual methods just won’t cut it. The most successful trade exhibits all incorporate the latest technology.
With so many trade shows out there, however, competition is fierce. You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of customers and clients and advertise your product or service. Plus, you need a way to capture all-important customer data, manage your finances, and communicate with the rest of your team. Thankfully, the latest tech can help you achieve your trade show objectives. The apps on this list will improve productivity, save you time and money, and optimize sales with a swipe of a finger.
One of the best trade show apps, Evernote lets you compile your trade show thoughts, theories, and strategies in one place. This way, you can access the information you need without breaking a sweat. You can use Evernote before, after, and during your trade show. Jot down instructions for your promo staff on the big day, for example, or make notes about prospects that you want to contact after the event.
Evernote is free to use, but you can take out a paid plan for extra features, such as document scanning and note-syncing, if you want to optimize your notes.
iCapture is a trade show badge scanner. Basically, you can use your mobile device to scan documents and badges at live events, even if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi. This app provides you with lots of advantages, as well as the ability to quickly capture information without lots of equipment. This way, you can secure leads and network more efficiently. Alternatively, you can scan trade show badges to crank up your security credentials and remain GDPR-compliant. You can sync data with your customer relationship management software, too.
iCapture offers annual pricing plans that range between $10-25 for small businesses, which is cheaper than lead scanners.
Happy or Not
You might think that your trade show went well, but what do people really think? Happy or Not lets you track customer feedback before, during, and after your live event, and you can use this information to finetune your future sales campaigns.
Happy or Not lets you measure customer feedback via survey on a mobile device, so you can quickly capture data at your next event in real-time.
“No need for long surveys, no waiting for results. Everything you need to measure and improve your customers’ experience will be right at your fingertips —and theirs too,” says Happy or Not.
Social media is an important part of your trade show marketing strategy. Instead of posting content to all of your social media profiles, Buffer does the hard work for you. You can schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Use this app to raise awareness about your event and encourage more click-through to your official website.
You can also track your social media campaigns with the latest analytics, which provide you with insights into your trade show visitors. Buffer is a free app, but the standard plan ($10 per month) offers much more features.
At trade shows, you only have a limited amount of time to capture data from visitors — names, addresses, email addresses, etc. Gather Capture simplifies the entire process.
With this app, create fully branded, customizable forms for data capture at any type of live event via a mobile device and send personalized post-capture emails to increase sales. You can even capture data offline if there’s no Wi-Fi at your venue.
Gather’s Pro plan, the most popular, costs around $3,000 per year.
Trade shows can be expensive. You will need to reserve a space at your venue, buy the right equipment, hire sales staff, and advertise your event. With so many outgoings, you need to track your expenses.
Expensify lets you do just that. This app lets you monitor your finances, scan receipts, and track expenses quickly, so you can budget more effectively and save money in the process.
At your trade show, you might need to contact a member of your team who is not on the site. Viber is a VoIP platform, like Skype, that lets you communicate with people from around the world using your mobile device.
Available on iOS and Android devices, Viber lets you make HD-quality audio and video calls, so you can stay in touch with the people who matter the most. The main benefit of using Viber is that it’s free to call landlines in the US.
Imagine the scene: You’ve secured a new client at your trade show and need to take a deposit. The problem is, you don’t have a card reader and your new client isn’t carrying any cash. Using an app like Square will provide you with a quick solution.
This payment platform lets you collect digital payments on your mobile device. You’ll need to purchase the Square Point of Sale contactless chip reader (around $50), but this could provide you with a return on your investment as you’ll be able to accept NFC payments and EMV chip cards.
How much does it cost? You pay 1.75 percent of each transaction that takes place via Square.
This is another way to measure customer sentiment before, during, and after your big event. SurveyMonkey is a survey tool that lets you track your customers’ thoughts and behaviors, so you can optimize your marketing and sales strategies in the future.
SurveyMonkey is really easy to use, and you can send out personalized emails at various touchpoints during the trade show lifecycle. This way, you can find out what trade show visitors really think about your products and services!
You probably have hundreds of tasks that you need to complete before your next trade show. Whether it’s booking a space at a venue or creating promo items, you will have a checklist of things to do before the big day. Remembering all of these tasks, however, can be a challenge.
Todoist is a task manager app that lets you compile to-do lists, so you can keep track of all the important things. Used by some of the world’s biggest brands, Todoist is free to use and bursts to the brim with features. Never forget an important task again!
These are just 10 mobile apps that will optimize your next trade show experience. Download these applications onto your smartphone or tablet and measure customer feedback, capture data, improve productivity, and move prospects through your sales and marketing funnels.