Trade shows: Promote your mobile app—before, during and after the show
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, right? The same concept applies to mobile app adoption. You can build it, promote it and even convince people to download it… but you just can’t make them use it.The problem is certainly not due to a lack of mobile adoption. On the contrary, mobile is expected to surpass desktop usage by year-end. Plus, according to a recent report by Google®, mobile app usage now accounts for 26 percent of all mobile research. That being said, there’s got to be some best practice ideas to boost use of your mobile app at your next event or trade show. We’ve compiled a list of the top four ways to do so.Top four ways to boost your mobile app’s adoption

  1. Promote the app pre-show: As soon as your app is available, start promoting it. Send an email to all registered attendees and highlight the app’s useful features and benefits. Encourage downloads by posing engaging questions or links to helpful information that can be easily answered via the app. Be sure to include app store links so users can easily find and download it.
  2. Encourage download at the show: Catch the people who didn’t download your app pre-show by flagging them down at registration. Post signage that includes both the benefits of the app and download instructions. And make sure once they have it, they use it. Reward people with points for checking in at your booth or performing inquiries. At the end of the show, offer prizes based on tiered point levels. Travel mugs, duffels and iPad® sleeve/padfolio combos all make nice gifts—and, at multiple price points, they are quite affordable. If you experience down time at the booth, send a few representatives out on the floor to promote your app. Arm promoters with phone stands or Adhesive Cell Phone Wallets imprinted with a QR code for easy download.
  3. Go gangbusters with gamification: People love contests and games. You can cash in on this love for all things fun by incorporating aspects of gamification into your mobile app. If you are hosting the trade show, award a prize for any attendee who manages to check in at every single booth. Or, hold a draw where every action performed via the event app counts as a contest entry at an individual booth. A power bank or Bluetooth® speakers make a great prize.
  4. Keep in touch post-show: Avoid the post-show deletions by using your app as a way to keep in touch and share valuable information once the show is over. Perhaps send a message notifying users to stay-tuned for information on upcoming shows, early bird discounts and links to industry-relevant tools and resources. The point is to position your app as a useful means of obtaining information.

Remember, just because you build it doesn’t mean people will download and use it.  A little leading and some promotion can help. Give one or all of these ideas a try at your next show.

Bosomworth, Danyl. “Mobile Marketing Statistics 2014.” Smart Insights. N.p., 24 Mar. 2014. Web. Retrieved 17 July 2014.

Barron, Karra. “4 Ways to Promote your Event App.” Lumi. N.p., 10 Mar. 2014. Web. Retrieved 17 July 2014.

Hawkins, Jen. “7 Tips to Boost Adoption of Your Mobile Event App.” Trade Show News Network. N.p., 24 Nov. 2013. Web. Retrieved 17 July 2014.

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