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Your Trade Show Needs a Mobile App

Most of your exhibitors and attendees have smartphones now. You're probably doing them a disservice if you don't offer a mobile app specific to your trade show or event.

This blog has been written a dozen times. Maybe more. A simple Google search will show several iterations explaining why your event needs a mobile app.

So while I’d love to say I have an all-new ground-breaking reason why your event needs a mobile app, I really don’t. If you’ve been holding out this long, I’m not sure another blog post will help you – but I figured I’d give it a shot.

Full disclosure: we offer a mobile app as part of our product line. But this post isn’t about that mobile app. Read on to see what I mean.

According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners. So, yes, most of the people coming to your trade show have a phone capable of downloading a mobile app.

And you can enhance the onsite experience of your attendees and exhibitors by offering them an app specific to your event. First and foremost, it’s handy. Imagine having all your exhibitor, product, education, and show details in the palm of your hand. Or even loading your exhibit hall or session layout into a user-friendly mobile map?

More educated attendees can lead to more efficient attendees, and having all of your show’s information in one place should help make attendees more educated.

Second, you can quickly push notifications out to your mobile app users. An important change just happened and you need to communicate it to everyone? Or maybe you want to remind folks about an important speaker/session/detail? Simply push out a notification to pop up on everyone’s phone.

Third, you can monetize portions of the app in order to create additional revenue streams for your event. And better yet, you can do it without selling your users’ end experience down the river. Mix in just one or two paid-for push notifications a day. These work great when exhibitors have an interesting giveaway or experience in their booth. But don’t overdo it! Your audience will start ignoring messages if you’re pushing something out every half-hour.

You can also add various branding opportunities or the ability for exhibitors to upload pictures and videos of their products. There are usually all sorts of opportunities to monetize your mobile app, and depending on how you bundle and market it, exhibitors don’t have to think you’re nickel-and-diming them.

Finally, attendees are expecting you to have an app. They go to so many other events that have apps, that it’s finally becoming standard practice.

There are more benefits to having a mobile app, sure, but this isn’t a sales pitch; it’s a blog post. If you don’t see value in these options but want to have a more in-depth conversation, find me on Twitter.

trade show mobile app