YNo matter what kind of service or product you sell, trade shows are important for a number of reasons. They help exhibitors grow brand awareness, strengthen relationships with existing customers and gather marketing or sales leads. Trade shows also provide a semi-captive audience for you to introduce a new product or service to. As of 2015, 82% of trade show visitors had the ability to recommend or make final purchasing decisions — and that number is only expected to climb. When that many of the people walking past your booth can make the decision to buy your product then and there, it’s important that your trade show experience goes off without a hitch. Here’s 20 of the best trade show apps for everything from team communication to shift scheduling, marketing, social media, networking, event management and budgeting.
When you think “trade show apps,” WhatsApp probably doesn’t come to mind – but WhatsApp is designed to ensure that your team can stay in contact with each other no matter what happens. WhatsApp has a number of features that help make communication between team members simple and easy:
- Internet messaging. WhatsApp uses your phone’s Wi-Fi or data connection to send messages, so you can communicate even if you don’t have cell service.
- Voice and video rely on the same Wi-Fi or data connection, so you can call or video chat as long as you can get on the Internet.
- With sizes of up to 256 people, you can make group chats that include your whole company if you need to, letting you share messages, photos and videos company-wide.
- The inclusion of desktop application means that you can seamlessly switch from mobile to web by syncing your chats between the two.
Slack brings your team’s workspace to the web. It has searchable archive of all your team’s conversations across the multiple channels they might inhabit to integration with a number of different enterprise and productivity apps, including ZenDesk, Jira, Google Drive, Salesforce and more. Slack gives your team all the tools they need to control their own workflow.
Much like WhatsApp above, Telegram is a messaging service for teams that need to stay in contact no matter what. It has several features that WhatsApp lacks, however, including:
- The ability to encrypt your messages or set them to delete themselves after a set time.
- You can send documents of any kind with Telegram.
- Storage space for all your media on the cloud.
Designed as an all-in-one solution for team communication, Asana works as both a project management application and a communication tool. Members are divided into teams and can assign tasks to each other, up to and including due dates and even due times (ex. This project is due next Thursday at 3:30 PM).
Team members can comment on assigned tasks to update each other on their progress. Asana sends out email updates as due dates near – perfect for those team members who might miss out on urgent projects without the reminder.
When I Work
Designed to help eliminate the hassle of employee scheduling, When I Work has a number of features that help you spend less time scheduling and more time in front of your customers. Features include:
- Mobile productivity. See who’s coming in, fill a shift, or review time sheets, all from your phone.
- The ability to put an employee’s schedule in their pockets – literally. When I Work lets you send your employees a mobile alert when their schedule changes.
When I Work is available for iOS and Android.
If When I Work is for employee scheduling, then 10to8 is the When I Work of customer scheduling. In use by over 30,000 companies in more than ten languages, Not only does 10to8 offer a simple online booking experience, but it also offers a number of other features, as well:
- Customize all your client communications.
- 10to8 works with Slack, Facebook and 500+ other apps, using its API, Zapier or Microsoft Flow.
Localytics’ platform is all about delivering more active app users and better engagement results to their customers. As their site says, “Better data > Better engagement > Better results”. They deliver with a feature-rich app designed to help marketers who are focused on delivering results.
Some of Localytics’ features include:
- Integration with a number of marketing clouds, including Marketo and Salesforce.
- Comprehensive analytics – see how users interact with your app.
- Artificial intelligence that allows you to see users’ churn or convert rate.
Want to know what people are saying about you? Brand24 gives you instant access to online mentions of you, your product and even your competition so that you can grow customer satisfaction and increase sales.
The Brand24 application gives you a mentions feed so you can see what people say about your brand as they say it. You can track discussion volume to see how and why your company’s being talked about. Track and analyze hashtags across Twitter, Instagram and other applications, then integrate with Slack to keep ahead of everything throughout the day.
Looking for a way to experiment with the layout of your company’s website or its associated trade show apps? Look no further than Optimizely, the experimentation platform of choice for dozens of organizations. Experiment, personalize and more. The Optimizely full stack lets your developers get in on the game, too. Dive much deeper than surface-level A/B tests.
Social Media Apps
Planoly is the first app of its kind: it functions as a visual planner for Instagram, allowing you to see how your previously-individual Instagram posts will look together as a grid. This lets you see if your individual posts are supporting the voice of your brand and helping you build a consistent Instagram aesthetic. In addition to these main features, Planoly also provides data and engagement rates for each of your Instagram posts, so you can see which posts are most successful.
Need help coming up with a witty caption for that new Instagram post? Turn to Sprinkles. This trade show app detects the subjects of your photos and suggests appropriate caption ideas. Using Sprinkles’ face detection technology, you can also aphttps://sprinklesapp.com/ly Sprinkles’ Smart Stickers such as masks and filters.
Originally only available on desktop browsers, TweetDeck has come into the mobile age. Accessible from your device’s browser, TweetDeck allows you to write and schedule as many tweets as you need – perfect for the marketer on the go who might have tons of free time at some points and almost no free time at others. TweetDeck collates the whole Twitter experience in one place: see your home feed, notifications, messages, activity and scheduled tweets all in a single window.
The number 1 tip that people pass out when it comes to opportunities is that they’re not posted, they’re found. LetsLunch takes that philosophy and runs with it. It takes your calendar, interests and goals and uses that information to help you build a strong professional network – a must for any trade show marketer.
Everyone’s had that embarrassing moment where they run into someone they’ve met before and struggle to remember their name. With Namerick, that’s a problem of the past. Namerick allows you to record the person‘s name as well as supplemental information like what the person was wearing, where and when you initially met and any other identifiers. You can even browse back through the notes you made in order to better jog your memory.
According to Shapr, their goal is to help users “make the connections [they] didn’t expect.” And that’s exactly what it does. What Tinder did for the hookup scene, Shapr hopes to do for the networking scene.
Using your tagged interests, location and professional experiences, Shapr suggests 10-20 profiles of like-minded professionals each day. Users swipe anonymously and match with each other when the interest is mutual. From there, they can meet offline for everything from product demos to a networking meeting or even a simple business lunch.
Trade Show Apps For Lead Capture And Lead Generation
One of the most-used lead capture tools on the market right now, CamCard is designed to take advantage of the one universal lead that everyone at a trade show carries around in their pockets: business cards. CamCard contains a number of tools and features that make it really valuable as a lead collection and lead capture app, such as:
- The ability to quickly capture and enter business cards in CamCard’s database using your phone’s camera.
- E-cards that you can exchange with new people so you can go paperless that much easier.
- Smart management lets you manage all of your business cards in one place. You can add notes, set reminders, search, tag and share cards.
- Cloud storage, meaning you can access your cards from anywhere.
Much like CamCard, iCapture is a lead capture app that also targets one of the other universal leads that people have at trade shows: badges. ICapture lets you scan trade show badges and import them into a database for later viewing and searching. No badge? No problem!
iCapture also lets you take a picture of a business card, then uses text recognition to ensure that the data is verified as correct – giving you two choices when it comes to collecting leads at a trade show.
Build by Expo Mobile, the same people who built the LeadKey hand-held barcode scanner, LeadPod is a lead retrieval app that’s designed to turn your cell phone or tablet into your own personal lead capture tool.
- All leads are stored in real-time.
- Password protection means that your leads are safe from tampering hands.
- Data, notes, and any action codes can be applied in real time.
- Printers can be rented to print out your LeadPod leads.
Collect leads at your next trade show with Leadature, another lead capture app. Like the other three lead capture tools listed above, Leadature is designed to let you scan trade show badges and snap pictures of business cards no matter where you are.
Once you’ve got your leads captured, you can:
- Measure interaction with one of the included dashboards
- Grab your data and put it into Excel for export
- Directly connect to the leading enterprise sales clouds on the market (Marketo, Salesforce).
I know, Google Drive doesn’t really come to mind when people think “trade show apps,” but it definitely has its place, especially for document capture. There’s actually a whole walkthrough in the Google Drive documentation on how to scan documents with Google Drive. You can even use your Google Drive account with your iPhone – just take photos using the Drive app on the iPhone. While it’s not as polished as Google Drive for Android, it definitely works in a pinch.
So there it is – our list of the top 20 trade show apps for 2018. What’s on your list? Let us know on Facebook & Twitter.