As a small business owner, you will find yourself attending trade show events and conferences to expand business visibility and gain new leads. The right set of tools can assist you to make the most out of such events and be more efficient.
Perhaps the most portable and productive tool for trade shows lies in your pocket – your smartphone. However, to make the most out of your device at the event, you will need to install useful applications. Here are some types of trade show apps you can take advantage of:
1. Scanning apps
Scanning apps will reduce the amount of papers, brochures and business cards you need to carry at trade shows. For example, CardMunch will allow you to scan business cards with your smartphone and present detailed information about your contacts from their LinkedIn profiles. The recently updated version of this app has a new section that enables quick access to recently scanned cards.
Such apps can also convert your smartphone into a QR code reader. For example, by installing an app that deals with QR codes, you would be able to access barcodes on the products displayed at the show. Some exhibits also rely on the codes to access and verify visitor details to grant them access, so you would save time as you don’t have to wait in a queue for manual verification.
2. Productivity apps
Small business owners essentially like to stay productive at all times, so productivity apps will ensure that you are able to make the most out of your time. An app like Doodle will allow you to schedule meetings with clients at the booth, and save you from cluttered email threads. You can also use the app to offer several time slots spread out over a couple of days depending on your and the client’s availability.
Another app that can be handy is Workflowy. It allows you to break down large ideas into smaller ones to present, making it easy for the audience to grasp what you try to explain. You can create sub-lists and divide them further. An app like this can be useful if you have to present a keynote at the show.
3. Transaction card apps
Such apps will be most useful when your aim is to sell business products and services at the trade show. You can use Credit Card Terminal, a secure app that allows you to accept payments in any location and ensure that you don’t miss out on potential revenue. Apart from accepting credit cards, you can also capture signatures and sales tax. It works with all major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Some offerings like ShopKeep POS not only allow you to make quick sales, but also let you track inventory, change permission levels, save customer information and send marketing-related emails. Furthermore, most transaction card apps can be synced with the cloud, so you can access the data from anywhere.
4. Translation apps
Translation apps will play a key role if you are attending an event in a country like China. An app like Google Translate will take care of the translation problems, and it also speaks out the translated words.
For reading and translating text from documents, SpeakText will be more appropriate than Google Translate, as it translates highlighted sentences and can also read the selected text sentence by sentence.
What tools do you keep for trade shows? Feel free to leave comments.