Planning on using an iPad at your next trade show? 5 tips to follow

I recently attended a trade show and I was not surprised when I saw the increase of technology being used in booth after booth. In addition to both regular and touchscreen monitors, I noticed a strong presence of tips for using ipad at a trade showiPads. They were practically flooding the show floor! I saw them being used as Kiosks and lead capturing devices, and also as a good way for booth staffers to interact with attendees – showing videos and product demos on the iPads or tablet devices.

I was thrilled to see exhibitors up and out of their chairs, interacting with attendees with the help of their iPads and tablets. However, my inner-technology goddess also noticed many “user errors” – exhibitors that had taken the time and effort to bring technology into their booth space, but simply did not know how to use them. What a waste!

If you are traveling to a trade show without your handy, dandy IT guy to help you avoid any trade show technology disasters, follow these 5 tips when using iPads in your trade show booth.

1) Training for EVERYONE! This should be obvious, right? It was amazing to me how many users or trade show booth staff were just totally clueless. Basic training should cover all the basic tasks, including unlocking, volume, opening and using any apps that will be used during the show. Don’t assume everyone knows how to use a smart device – cover your bases by training your booth staffers for success before the trade show.

2) Wi-Fi is not always dependable, especially at large events. I’ve been to a handful of trade shows where the show wi-fi gets bogged down because so many smart phones and internet ready devices are trying to get online. If you are planning on accessing the internet through your iPad on the show floor, get the extra insurance of a WiFi card for each device.

ipad-kiosk-dealer-michigan3) Looping videos? Change your time lock settings! I’ll admit, this has happened to me before. I tried to show my toddler a video on the iPad with the hope I’d get 30 minutes of whine-free me time. No such luck! I forgot to change the time lock on the device, so it kept going into sleep mode. Once the settings were changed, I was home free! (On a side note, what did parents do before iPads?) Don’t let this happen while using an iPad or tablet in your trade show booth, especially if you are using the devices as a way to loop videos and catch the attention of attendees passing by. They won’t stop for a blank screen!

4) Don’t leave home without power! Pack your power cord. A iPad with no juice is the same as no iPad at all!

5) Keep them clean. Would you want to sit down at a table at a restaurant that had food and crumbs and who knows what all over it? No one wants to interact with an iPad at a trade show covered in greasy, grimy fingerprints either. Bring cleaning materials (a lens cloth works wonders!) and clean off the screens at regular intervals, not just at the end of the exhibit hours.

All things considered, these tips are not difficult! If your trade show booth uses any sort of new technology,  these are simple actions that you can implement to make sure you don’t have an “epic fail” moment.

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