6 ways a mobile strategy amps up ROI at trade shows

Multiple strategies exist to use mobile devices, applications and other technology to interact with trade show attendees. Are you ready to up your game? Use of sophisticated mobile devices continues to grow, and including a mobile strategy in your trade show marketing plan is a must today.

6 Ways a Mobile Strategy Amps Up ROI at Trade Shows

For adults 18 years of age and above, smartphone use has grown from 35 percent in May 2011 to 55 percent in January 2014, while tablet use has grown from 8 percent to 42 percent during the same period, according to Pew Research Center.

What does this mean for trade show exhibitors? Today you have more sophisticated tools and technology available to interact with prospects and gather intelligence than in years past.

Why not make the most of mobile and use it strategically to boost your trade show ROI? Following are some of the most popular uses of mobile devices, technology and applications that trade show marketers can integrate into their marketing plans now.

1. Gather leads with a business card scanning app. Odds are you’ll have a traditional card scanner available at your booth. But why not collect MORE leads during lunch, breakout sessions or offsite events? Card scanning apps are simple to use, and most are able to pull contact information into your address book with ease. Check out reviews, features and options for CardMunch, SamCard, WorldCard and more in the App Store or at Google Play.*

2. Use a mobile credit card reader to process sales. If your business sells items directly from your trade show booth, these handy mobile credit card readers make processing payments on your smartphone or tablet a breeze. Not all services are alike, though. Before you sign up, compare providers first. Inquire about transaction and other fees associated with the service, features available, device compatibility and security features. Using multiple tablets with card readers at your booth can help ensure guests won’t tire of waiting in line, which means less risk of lost revenue.

3. Engage with trade show attendees on-the-go with social media. As we mentioned in our recent post about using Twitter at trade shows, social media is a great engagement tool. Easily accessible on mobile devices, social apps allow exhibitors to share information, photos and videos at or away from the trade show booth. Your booth staff can also interact with attendees via hashtags, contests, polls, questions about the show and more. Multiple studies reinforce the importance of attendee engagement in driving sales. Social media can help you boost engagement.

4. Integrate QR codes into graphics and marketing pieces to drive traffic to digital properties. If you haven’t incorporated QR (quick response) codes into your promotional materials yet, 14 percent of trade show attendees wish you would, according to a Center for Exhibition Industry Research report.2 QR codes are inexpensive to generate and can be used on posters, ads in exhibition programs, flyers, postcards, brochures and more. They provide a direct line from a mobile device to your website, social media site or landing page which can help move an attendee from a prospect to a customer.

5. Take advantage of advertising opportunities available through exhibition event apps. More exhibition managers are developing mobile event apps to help enhance the attendee experience at trade shows. Depending on the show, some exhibition managers are selling ads and sponsorships within the apps along with offering inclusion in exhibitor listings. You can keep your organization front and center through the app, which aids brand recognition and can drive traffic to your booth.

6. Develop a game or event app of your own to engage with trade show attendees. This mobile strategy can be expensive and isn’t for everyone. If your budget allows and you can make an event app or mobile game scalable, so it can be adapted for future events, this approach may make sense for your organization. When done right, apps and games can boost engagement and brand recognition. Mobile applications can also provide data about app users in real time and offer powerful insight during and after a show.

We Can Help You Take Advantage of Mobile

New devices, software and technology surface every day. At The Trade Group we’re keeping an eye on mobile trends and how our clients can use mobile and other trade show marketing strategies to their advantage. Contact a representative from The Trade Group to discuss your options today.

And if you’ve had a great experience using mobile at trades shows, we’d love to hear about it. Please share your story in the comment box below.

* Apps and websites listed are for information only. No endorsement is implied.

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