E•Connections

For exhibit and event professionals  

WOW they have an app for that!

June 25, 2010 By Editor

iPad has applications for trade shows and events.

A note from Jenna: I asked social media consultant Harry Hallman from Octane Corp to share his impressions of the iPad for trade shows and events. Here are some of his thoughts.


I spent many years traipsing around trade show floors, working in booths, and attending and producing presentations, all while lugging a heavy laptop computer in a bulky bag and other electronic devices. So when Apple announced they were launching the iPad, I was eager to try it out. I purchased the iPad just in time for a trip to Los Angeles and only a few weeks after it was introduced.

Every day since I have said to myself “WOW they have an app for that!!!” It is mind blowing how productive and fun this device is. For me the iPad is a game changer. I can do 95% of what I need to do while out of the office, and the iPad is only 1.5 pounds, easy to use, and even looks cool.

I am so thrilled with the iPad I began writing about how it can be used for marketing, sales, general business (www.octanecorp.com/octaneblog). Then it occurred to me that after spending 25 years in the event business prior to getting into social media and Internet marketing, I might have some good ideas for how my old associates in trade shows and events could use the iPad to make their lives easier. So here are some ideas for taking advantage of Apple’s innovation.

General Uses: Here are the basic uses for the iPad. It is available in Wi-Fi only and also in Wi-Fi/3g if you want connectivity everywhere. Many apps overpower the 3G and require Wi-Fi to play well. The device stores and plays video of excellent quality, images, audio, and iBooks (like Kindle) and offers a staggering array of applications for business, productivity, fun, reference and more. With a battery charge of about 10 hours, Web browsing is excellent, but there's one detraction — the iPad like the iPhone does not play Flash.

Display Device: Apple offers a simple VGA connection device ($29) to play Videos, images and presentations made using Apple’s Keynote (a PowerPoint-like program). If you want to display websites you need to use an app such as Web2VGA or 2Screens. This makes it ideal for attaching to Flat screens for display in trade show booths. Please note that you cannot, at this time, play movies and other videos you purchase from iTunes.

One-on-One Meetings: A big part of the trade show business is making one-on-one pitches and presentations. What makes the iPad ideal for this is its size and ease of use. You can use with clients at a restaurant table, at the bar, standing up, sitting by the pool, in a vehicle, on an airplane or just about anywhere else.

Adobe makes an app (Adobe Ideas) that allows you to use your fingers to create drawings, charts and the like and then store or emails them. Another app called BOX lets you store files on their server and access them via the iPad for viewing or emailing. Another app GoodReader will download the files (also from Box) and store them on the iPad. That way if a connection is not available you can still show the files. You can also email from GoodReader.

Seminars: As I mentioned, you can attach the iPad to a VGA device such as a video projector. Using Keynote you can make your large screen presentation to the group. Keynote will also let you add video so you can mix your still images with moving images. There is even a timer app (Christian Fries Timer) that tells you when your time is up if you are a speaker. You can also use the iPad to play walk in and out music.

If you are attending a seminar you can use the recorder app to record the speech for later listening. You can use the note app to type ideas, or create notebooks using your fingers to write with using an app called Penultimate. After the presentation you can find a quite place and use Dragon Dictation app to turn your spoken word into typed words.

You can also connect on twitter, Facebook or Linkedin and share with the world, in real time, what the speaker has to offer or even poke a little fun at it!

Data Collection: Once again, the size of the iPad makes it an ideal data collection device. If you have people on the trade show floor, they can get people to sign up for seminars, sales appointments or email lists. You can use the web browser to conduct surveys or use one of several survey apps.

Signage: You can buy a stand or make one and create simple small moving signage with stills or videos.

Whatever you want to do “they have an app for that.” Please post your questions.

Harry Hallman
CEO Octane Interactive
hhallman@octanecorp
www.octanecorp.com
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