Few, if any, people go to industry events without a mobile device. Most use them freely throughout the event—to take down business information, live-tweet, check email, and more. Why not capitalize on the time your audience spends staring at their screens? Get in front of some eyeballs with a mobile app. Make it accessible to everyone on both ios and Android, provide valuable information about your exhibit, and help attendees navigate the event hall. You’ll transform the trade show into a more enjoyable and more productive experience for your target audience.
1. Pre-Event Build-Up
Your trade show app can start working before the event even begins! Use it to share information about your exhibit, and offer some sneak peaks into what you’ll be presenting. Whet their appetite with quick snippets of information such as:
- Your exhibit location
- The staff who will be at the exhibit
- A few images of your booth
2. Exposure and Marketing
Exhibitors have a wide range of options for marketing. Signage is useful at the event, and printed marketing materials have their place too. The problem is, email blasts, websites, and online advertising often lose their sparkle once the trade show begins. Even brochures can get overlooked, unless there’s a need to find a particular location or information.
A mobile app that accompanies your prospects throughout the show—helping them locate your exhibit, book appointments with a meeting scheduler, and sending message reminders of those meetings—may become your most popular marketing effort. It benefits both your company and your attendees.
3. Lead Generation and Networking
Trade shows are hands-down some of the best places to network because the people you meet are there to network too! Attendees pay a registration fee and may travel long distances to arrive at an event. They’re looking to get good value for the time and money they spend.
Industry professionals attend these events for multiple reasons, but for many, networking is one of the most important. A significant proportion of attendees are likely to be interested in tools and techniques that help them make new contacts.
If you make your trade show app their networking hub, you’ll be doing them a favor. Think: A lightweight, purpose-built piece of software that helps attendees and exhibitors quickly jot down who they spoke to and that person’s business potential. Your app could even send timely push notifications at the end of the day to note who they’ve spoken to, so they don’t forget. At the close of the trade show, a reminder to follow up with their prospects will cement your company as one that’s looking out for their best interests.
4. Social Media Integration to Boost Marketing and Engagement
Integrating popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter into a mobile event app has a synergistic effect that makes the app itself more effective. It can also help boost your company’s social media profile, both during the event and in the long-term.
One way to get the ball rolling is to designate two or three hashtags that app users can add to their tweets and posts. The details can be distributed simply by making the hashtags part of the app’s start-up screen or tutorial. You can use the hashtags to engage your audience, while attendees can use them to communicate with one another.
For exhibitors and attendees alike, this offers benefits that paper programs can’t match. Most important is the chance to interact with people in real-time. You can offer up-to-the-minute information about what’s going on at your booth, letting people know when demonstrations and other important events are happening. And you can track interest in your brand and your exhibit by tracking how many people are using your hashtag.
A well-designed app with several functions will bring great returns, but it requires a chunk of development on the front end. Why not recoup part of the investment by monetizing the app? If sponsor messages are placed thoughtfully, they’ll enhance the app experience rather than detract from it.
For instance, if your app includes push notifications for demonstrations and other show events, add one or two paid notifications for each day of the event. Space them out—one in the morning, one in the afternoon—so that they’re less obtrusive. Choose sponsored notifications that alert attendees to experiences or giveaways they’ll find genuinely valuable.
6. Future Value – Extending the Relationship Past the Event
Most attendees are likely to remove a trade show app once an event is over, but for one reason or another, a good chunk will keep it. Use that opportunity to continue to provide valuable information from time to time, like:
- New product launches
- Coupons or discounts
- Press releases
- News about upcoming trade show appearances
Moderation is key. Reach out too often, and people will ignore the messages or delete your app.
With a well-thought-out trade show app, there’s even the possibility of analyzing data after the event is over. By tracking how attendees use the app and other key app analytics, you can expand or refine various features, and make it even better for next time!
Want to learn more about how an app for trade shows could help you earn business at the tap of your prospects’ fingers? Reach out to ProExhibits, and a trade show expert will provide insight into how to work a trade show mobile app into an effective marketing campaign.