The first quarter of every year is trade show season. This is a time when small businesses are given the opportunity to kick off the new year by demonstrating new products and services, as well as networking with potential partners and clients.
Expos are also a great way to do competitor analysis and keep updated on any emerging industry trends; however, it can be quite costly to participate in one especially if you find yourself unprepared. The great thing about being a business in this highly-digitized era is that you can now use technology to your advantage.
Today, you have the ability to be a more organized and adept trade show participant by equipping your team with the right digital tools.
Read on and discover amazing trade show apps you can use for a successful pre, during, and post-trade exhibition experience.
Trade Show Apps for Logistics
Whether it is to organize your agenda on location or to make sure you have everything listed down on a quick checklist before you go, here are a few incredibly useful trade show apps for your logistics requirements:
For Organizing Travel Plans
"To bring calm to the chaos" is something the Tripit app promises to its users.
Preparing for a trade show can leave you trying to handle a lot of things that it is quite normal to overlook even something as crucial as your flight. Tripit is a travel organizer app created back in 2006 and was designed to "keep all your travel plans in one place and access your itineraries anytime, on any device."
With this app, you will receive real-time alerts for anything related to your flight- be it delays, cancellations, and other changes. You can also use the app to find alternate flights and get your preferred seats since it notifies you as well once there's an availability.
With over 315 million members, TripAdvisor is the largest travel site in the world and was one of the first companies to heavily rely on user-generated content. But that is exactly what makes this app great.
You can read about real travelers as they write honest, no-holds barred reviews on their hotel stays and restaurant dining experiences. With this app, you can choose to spend a few days before the trade show to try and learn more about the locals who are most likely the market you can expect to attend the expo.
Besides reviews, TripAdvisor also provides hotel and restaurant recommendations, and allows for accommodation bookings.
For Organizing Notes
Evernote has been available since 2008 and has only gotten better throughout time. This app was designed for taking, organizing, saving, and archiving notes.
The great thing about this app is that it is so flexible that it functions more than just a trade show app. Notes can be in traditional text, a web page or web page excerpt, an image, a voice memo, or even a digitally-handwritten note.
Every note you will create can be stacked, tagged, categorized, edited, annotated, shared, searched, and exported in what is called a “notebook.” The app has a paid version and free version which of course, comes with a significant number of limitations.
OneNote is an app from tech giant Microsoft and is part of its Office family. This makes it a perfect trade show app because chances are you will not find it difficult to use even as a first-timer.
Since One Note is a member of Office, you can use it together with Outlook email and even embed an Excel table if the need arises. Notes can also be created in a collaborative space so you and your team members can view and edit it simultaneously.
Just like Evernote, you can also create digital handwritten notes and drawings and make your documents as creative as you want with OneNote.
Trade Show Apps for Finance
Budget management is a crucial cog in determining the success of your trade show marketing venture. Since participating in trade show events come with a lot of expenses, it only makes sense for you to turn to technology to better track and monitor your allocated marketing budget. To help you out, here are two trade show apps designed specifically for this purpose:
Founded in 2008, Expensify has been a favorite expense tracker application for both personal and company use. In fact, the app has been featured in various publications like The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, and Forbes.
Expensify is a web and mobile application that provides its users the ability to manage their expenditures and any financial transactions. Using this as a trade show app will also allow you to upload and generate receipts from any sales done online.
Approval, creation, and exporting of reports can also be done through Expensify, making it a highly efficient tool from the beginning until the end of the trade show.
Concur is another app you might find useful for trade show marketing. It is a travel and expense management application designed mainly for corporate use.
With Concur, you can you can automate and simplify expense reporting, scan and upload receipts, submit, track, review, and approve expense records even on mobile.
Besides its budget management feature, this app also has Concur Travel which can also assist you when booking flights, accommodations, and cars- quite handy for when trade shows are held out of town.
Trade Show Apps for Sales
Okay, so you are already in the trade show event and you need all the help you can get at this very crucial part of the process. Remember, expos can be quite a handful even to the most experienced sales executive.
To keep most of your energies focused on the actual trade show event, here are three trade show apps you can utilize for capturing your market’s attention, capturing orders, and capturing payments.
If you are in the retail industry then time is of the essence especially if you are in a landscape as competitive as a trade show event. With Brandboom, you have the ability to generate line sheets and interactive presentations in as quick as a few minutes, right on your iPad.
Not only that, but with the app, your potential buyers can place orders directly online and you can send out invoices and collect credit card payments right then and there as well.
Shorten the purchasing process and get a higher chance of making that sale!
Square is an amazing, innovate app that could be useful for trade show events because it will allow you to accept credit card payments anywhere.
It features a small magstripe credit card reader which then transmits the information on the app for the payment to be processed. It is compatible on both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.
With Square, you can easily accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express cards without worrying about surprise or monthly fees. This trade show app charges only 2.75% per swipe, tap, or dip, and the same rate applies for all major credit cards. Deposits will be reflected in as soon as one to two business days.
Trade Show Apps for Leads Generation
Now that you have the crowd going in your booth, the next step is to make sure the conversations you have with potential buyer actually become quantifiable leads. Remember, trade shows are not particularly hot for making sales but it is a gold mine for capturing new sales leads.
With these trade show apps, we are sure you would not let opportunity slip your way:
For Collecting Contacts
We may already be in the digital age but business card still does a mighty fine job. This is especially true for trade show events.
However, with a lot of people coming and going in your booth, it may be difficult to keep track of all the physical cards so if you want something that is not as fragile as the fishbowl method, you can download the CamCard app.
With CamCard, you can easily organize and store all business cards by taking photos of it on your smartphone. Don’t get us wrong, though, the app doesn’t just function as a photo/ scanner, you can also edit the data, add custom fields, and put important notes.
This trade show app specializes in lead-capture solutions. With Leadapture, you can capture and qualify any leads you get from the trade show event and efficiently accelerate those through the sales pipeline.
The great thing about this trade show app is that it also offers real-time data measurement and can distribute your collaterals digitally. It also works with or without internet connection and can used on a PC, tablet, or smartphone.
You can find Leadature on the App Store, Google Play, and the Microsoft Windows Store.
For Booking Appointments and Taking Surveys
Pathable, unlike majority of the apps stated on this list (that have other main purposes than being used on a trade show), is an actual app designed for trade show events.
One of its many shining features is that it allows attendees and exhibitors to build an agreed private meeting schedule. This makes it easier for you, the exhibitor, to keep track of all the potential networks and clients you will have to follow through after the event.
Need more advice on how to reach work on your leads after the trade show event? You can read all about it here in this article we wrote about trade show marketing a few weeks back.
Available on both iOS and Android, QuickTapSurvey is quite a popular trade show app for its ability to conduct quick surveys. Whether it is to gather booth visitor feedback, qualify leads, or collect contact information from potential clients, this trade show apps is the way to go.
With QuickTapSurvey, you do not even have to worry about internet connection because this app can be used offline. For execution, you have the option to just hand out the iPad to the attendees of the trade show or if you have the budget, create a kiosk where they can go and use the app.
Now that you are armed with the right trade show apps, we are sure that you are at least one step ahead of the curve!
If you want more tips for a successful trade show marketing experience, feel free to read this.
What are you waiting for? Get the team together and strategize how you are going to stand out on next year’s trade show events!