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by Gillian
on April 26, 2016

Once upon a time, you could show up at a trade show with a stack of business cards, a pile of brochures, and your best sales reps and make it a worthwhile week.

But things have changed.

Where you were once competing with the other booths around you and maybe a few workshops, now you are in direct competition with the entire internet. That’s because every person at every trade show is walking around with all your competitors -- even the ones that aren’t at the show -- in their pocket.

If you are not leveraging mobile technology as part of your trade show strategy, you are making things a lot harder for yourself.

Keep reading for a few different ways that you can maximize your mobile presence and give yourself the boost you want.

Responsive Design

Trade shows are certainly not the only reason that you should be utilizing responsive design for your company website. As of 2015, Google reports that more users search on mobile devices than desktop computers, meaning that you want your site to look great on both platforms. Responsive design lets you design your site so that it is optimized and professional no matter what size screen is viewing it.

At trade shows, the mobile optimization of your website is even more important. People are going to make lists of the booths they want to see and may do their research on their smartphones. If they can’t discern your value proposition and how your company addresses their core challenges because your website doesn’t work on their phone, they probably are not going to make your booth a priority.

Keep Your Booth Connected

Most trade show floors will have wifi access available to show attendees. However, with the number of people and booths tapping into the same signal, it can be easy for this connection to get bogged down. If possible, equip your booth with your own wireless hotspot to ensure that your presentation materials remain accessible, and people that want to connect with you can get online. As a bonus, your internet connection can be a draw to someone who otherwise might not stop by your booth but wants to get online.

Mobile-Friendly Giveaways

Being aware of the prevalence of smartphones is one thing -- but taking advantage of it is another. Giving away brochures is a surefire way to find your company’s information in the nearest trash can. Even if a brochure makes it back to a prospect’s hotel room, the chances of it making it to the office are pretty slim. Instead, use the fact that everyone is carrying a smartphone to let prospects easily access and store critical company information. QR codes work well for this since visitors to your trade show booth can easily scan the code and be taken directly to the information you want them to see. Use a QR code to send a prospect to a landing page and you’re dropping them directly into your funnel. If you like, you can connect that landing page to a trade show giveaway or raffle, to collect the most leads.

The explosion of mobile technology has made trade shows look and feel different. If you’re not on top of it, you’re going to be left behind.

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