The Future of Event Marketing: Tablet PCs

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The Future of Event Marketing: Tablet PCs

The Internet has completely changed our lives. New technologies geared towards connecting people and businesses all around the world through the Internet are being created every single day. Each day we are coming closer and closer to closing the gap between the real world and the digital world. The profession that we focus on here at InstantShift.com, website designers and website developers was not around 15 years ago. 15 years later and things are shifting once again. New technologies like tablet PCs are allowing us to bring people into our digital lives when we are together in the same physical location. Tablets like iPad are opening up so many new opportunities for people to engage others with digital content real-time at events, such as tradeshows, in stores, at museums, sports stadiums, etc.

It used to be that when website designers and website developers attended tradeshows that they would hand out business cards and hope that tradeshow attendees would take the time to view their website when they got home or back to the office. Now all that has changed. Instead of hoping potential customers check out your website once they get back in front of their computer you can show them your website, samples of other websites you built, or really anything you want on the Internet right at your booth. Using tablets at your tradeshow booth to demo your website to prospective customers can greatly enhance your potential to convert a tradeshow attendee into your next customer. In this article we are going to explore how to display your website on a tablet during events, discuss the benefits of doing so, and provide you with a few tips for displaying your website on a tablet at events.

How to Use Tablets to Display Your Website at a Tradeshow

Using tablets like iPad at events such as tradeshows to show off your website is a killer marketing strategy. When it comes to tradeshows, or really any live events whereby there are a lot of other vendors there, it’s important to separate yourself from those competitors. People who attend tradeshows want to be engaged. They want to be entertained. And they also want to learn something. If you decide to implement this marketing strategy the most important thing to do is plan. If you have followed my articles here on InstantShift.com then you know I’m a Planner. I always say, with anything that you do, spend two-thirds of your time planning what you will do and how you will do it, then spend one-third of your time executing. If you take time to plan you will dramatically increase your chance for success.

  1. Set goals: You want to start the planning process by determining your goals for the event. Once you understand what you’re trying to achieve you can then figure out your strategy for achieving those goals. A few example goals might be, collect 100 email addresses through my website sign-up page or show the website to 50 different people during the tradeshow.
  2. Come up with your strategy: After you have defined your goals it’s now time to figure out how you will achieve those goals. That’s where your strategy comes in. If your goal is to collect 100 email addresses, then perhaps your strategy might be to run a contest during the tradeshow. For everyone who provides you with their email address you will enter them into the contest for their chance to win a prize at the end of the event.
  3. It’s all about the details: Now that you know what your goals are and you have come up with your strategy it’s time to think through all of the details. During this phase of the planning process I like to ask myself a bunch of questions.

    • How will I attract people to the booth?
    • Is there WiFi at the tradeshow or do I need a 3G iPad?
    • How will I explain the contest?
    • What prizes will I give away? Will there be more than one?
    • What do I want people to do/see on the website in order for a chance to get entered into the contest?
    • How many iPads will I need?

    By asking yourself these questions you will start to flush out the details of your marketing tactic.

  4. Implement: Once you have all of the details worked out, it’s time to implement. Get everything that you will need for the tradeshow together and head out to your event!

When you are at the tradeshow you will want to get there early to set up, but also to ensure that you get your iPads connected to the Internet. You want to load your website to the page that you want tradeshow attendees to see. You want to get your team prepped. Explain to them what information on your website that they should show booth traffic. Explain that once they have communicated the appropriate information and answered any questions people have that they can then navigate to the sign-up form on the website to collect email addresses. You will also want to have a plan for making sure everyone who provides an email address gets entered into the contest. Whether that means that you have to have another iPad open to the administrative section of your website so that you can see a list of all of the new email addresses collected OR that you write down the person’s name and contact information on a piece of paper after she fills out the online form. Whatever your plan is, make sure the people helping at the booth know the plan. Really it’s as easy as that. Once you’re set up it’s all about attracting people to your booth and I guarantee you that you get MUCH MORE BOOTH TRAFFIC just from the sheer fact that people are drawn to iPads.

Benefits of Using Tablets at Events to Show Off Your Website

Using tablets like iPads at your events can be extremely beneficial. Tablets are such an amazing tool. Tablets are really an untapped resource when it comes to using them for marketing purposes. Tablets have been used by people and businesses as productivity tools, but finally, people are starting use iPads as a marketing tool.

  • Tablets, especially iPads will actually attract more people to your booth. People are drawn to iPads. They want to touch them and interact with them. You should even consider setting up an iPad Kiosk at your booth and allow event attendees interact with the iPad themselves. Then you will really see just how many people visit your booth just because they want to interact with the iPad.
  • People will stay longer at your booth if you have iPads available than they normally would. Again, people like interacting with iPads, so much so that they will spend a lot of time engaging with you if you use iPads at your booth.
  • You get to show off your website or websites that you have built for other customers. Getting back to what we talked about earlier, it used to be that you hoped people who visit your website AFTER the event. Now you can show your work to potential customers DURING the event.
  • Collect contact information from booth attendees. Using tablets at your events allow you a convenient way of collecting contact information from event attendees. If you have a sign-up form on your website you can use that OR you can invest in an iPad app that collects email addresses like OnSpot Social.

These are just a few of the many benefits that you will receive if you decide to implement this marketing strategy at your next event.

Tips for Displaying Your Website at a Tradeshow

In this section we will review a few tips for successfully using tablets for displaying your website at events. That said, as mentioned earlier, if you take time to plan out your strategy and you use a little creativity, it’s really easy to be successful with this. The technology is available so why not leverage it to make your next event your most successful event ever. Here are a few tips for doing just that:

  • Employ personable people to work your event. Tablets will help you draw people in, but once they are there you need to have people who like interacting with others in order to get booth attendees to stay, get engaged, and leave with the idea that you might be the person they hire for their next website development project.
  • Test the technology before the event. This is critical. Again, as mentioned above, make sure you find out if there is WiFi at the event. Even better than that, go to the location of the event beforehand to test the signal strength. Technology is great, but it can work against you if you don’t take time to test.
  • Have a backup plan. Again, technology is great when it’s working for you (which 99% of the time it is). That said, that 1% of the time when technology fails you it is imperative that you have a backup plan.
  • Find a fun way to show off your website during the event. Using tablets at your event is great. Showing off your website is great. Find a way to go above and beyond. Get your creative juices flowing and find a fun way to engage event attendees. You should strive to be remembered by attendees. Find a way to make that happen!

If you follow the tips above, and also take time to plan out this marketing strategy, then I know you will have success. Again, the technology is there for you. Take advantage of it!

Will You Use a Tablet to Display Your Website at the Next Tradeshow You Attend?

Now that you have a better idea of how to use tablets at events for marketing purposes, what it takes to make this strategy successful, and some tips for doing so, will you use a tablet to display your website during the next event or tradeshow that you attend? Perhaps you have already used tablets at events to show off your website. How did it go? Did you get more booth traffic than you normally do at your events? Please take some time to share your experience with our readers by leaving a comment below. For those of you who are pumped about this idea and will use tablets at your next event, please feel free to ask any questions that you have in the comments section. I will do my best to answer them and hopefully other community members who have experience with this sort of thing will do so as well.

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2 Comments

  1. We are doing this since 2 years with iPad 1 and iPad 2. Works flawless with a local webserver + router to connect all iPads with the website, as the internet connection at trade shows is never really stable and fast enough for all clients.
    We also have all our catalogues as pdf available on the iPad, which is also a huge improvement.

  2. Great article! Tablets are awesome because they exemplify the mobile viewing experience in action. Potential customers can discover, hands-on, how convenient and exciting mobile Internet can be. They can then envision how their own business marketing plan could look and feel on a mobile platform. .

    We’ll definitely be bringing tablets to trade shows and project meetings in the future!

    Cheers,
    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

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