Smartphones are ubiquitous. In fact, 91 percent of U.S. adults have a mobile phone. From waking us up in the morning to managing our schedule and even self-diagnosing a dreadful disease from a slight cough (thanks WebMD!), smartphones are our constant companions in everyday life. They can also be one of your best tools at a trade show.
In addition to the obvious uses such as updating your company’s Twitter feed or making calls, here are eight additional ways you can utilize your smartphone at your next event or tradeshow.
- Background checks
Met a new prospect at the tradeshow? Google him/her to gather relevant information you can include in your follow-up conversations.
- “I didn’t do it”
Keep your phone on hand when you open packages with products or equipment for your tradeshow. If something is damaged or missing, it will be much easier to make your case if you have a photo to prove your point.
- Extra piece?
We’ve all done it. Assembled something and stepped back to admire our work, only to realize we have an extra piece, or something isn’t quite right. With smaller displays that you need to set up and breakdown more than once, try taking photos of the process. Even minor things, such as which cable goes where, will be much easier to recall if you have photos to spark your memory. With larger exhibits, take photos of the crates before you unpack them so you’ll know how to return everything into the crate when you dismantle.
- Stalk the competition
Taking photos at tradeshows is not just for Facebook or Twitter. Make the most out of having your competition all in one location, by snapping photos of things you like or might want to try at your next event. It will be much easier to communicate your likes and dislikes with your team when you have a photo as a reference. However, be sure to confirm the photography policy with the show prior to taking any snaps. Some exhibitions prohibit photography outright.
- Where was I?
Photos can be great visual reminders, but their geotagging capabilities are useful as well. Geotagging, which essentially tags your photo with the geographic location of where it was taken, can help you remember a booth you want to visit later or even help locate your car in the parking lot after the event.
- Nice to meet you
Business cards are easy to hand out and just as easy to lose. Use your smartphone to take a photo of business cards that you receive. Lead retrieval apps such as iLead offer you a way to easily capture this information and import it into your phone contacts list. Plus this way, you’ll neverhave to go back to your office and input the information manually.
- Lights, Camera, Action!
Most smartphones have HD video capabilities, putting you in the director’s chair. Let’s say you meet up with a customer that’s extremely passionate about your company or brand. Strike while the iron is hot and ask him or her if they would be willing to offer a video testimonial. Then find an appropriate location, click record and let them talk.
- Get Listed
Most show organizers have apps specific to each show that often includes features such as a list of exhibitors, floor plan locator and a meet up feature. If you in charge of getting your company listed in the directory, be sure to include all your company’s social media sites.
About Peggy Swords
Peggy Swords is the founder and president of Excalibur Exhibits, a $10 million Houston-based exhibit manufacturing and production corporation. Excalibur Exhibits designs, builds, delivers, assembles and disassembles as many as 300 exhibits per year. Swords was named as a finalist for NAWBO Houston 2003 Woman Business Owner of the Year and 2005 Enterprising Woman of the Year Finalist. Additionally, Excalibur Exhibits is a five time member of the Inc 5000, a three time member of the LSU100 and a two time member of the Houston Fast 100, a list of fastest growing privately held companies.