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Operate Your Exhibit Like Apple Operates Its Stores

Exhibit Like an Apple StoreWhat would you think if you were to purchase something in a shop and the following occurs?:

You aren't sure how to identify the product you want, so you spend several minutes verbally describing it to the salesperson assisting you. After locating the product, she hands it to you and directs you to a cashier. You wait in line to pay, hand the cashier your credit card, which he swipes in order to obtain authorization. He prints a receipt and you are on your way. Total time: 5 minutes.

Nothing exceptional about that, is there?

Next you drop in at an Apple store. Using your iPhone, you show the salesperson a photo of the item you want. She retrieves it, scans the barcode on the box containing the item, swipes your credit card using her iPhone and hands you a printed receipt (after offering you the option of emailing your receipt). Elapsed time: 90 seconds.

Exceptional? Yes indeed. Satisfying for both the exhibitor and the exhibit visitor? Quite likely.

Question: What if trade show sales lead retrieval (processing) was that quick and easy? Well, it is.if the "transaction" is conducted using an iPhone or other mobile device.

If you've visited an Apple store, you are aware that most transactions can be completed by any one of the staff members roaming the floor. Similarly, exhibit staff can collect leads throughout a trade show venue, not just at their exhibit, not just on the show floor, but anywhere where interactions are taking place among the event's participants.

Dedicated lead retrieval terminals lack the same flexibility. Business cards? Sure, they are highly portable, but when business cards are exchanged, that is just the beginning of the transaction. Business cards contain contact information, but no demographics. The contact information must be entered into a database.

Notes? Yes, you can attempt to write notes on the back of a business card (if the card is not laminated; if it is not printed on both sides), but space is limited, the notes also have to be entered into your database, the notes may not be legible, cards get lost, etc., etc. With an iPhone or similar device you don't even have to key in your notes. Voice-to-text capability lets you enter notes verbally. The audio notes are automatically converted to text.

Operate your exhibit like Apple operates its stores.


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