Why You Need iPads (Tablets???) at Your Next Event
Do you want to put on a consumer event that leaves your attendees saying “WOW”? Do you want to improve efficiency, make the event more useful, gather more data on your consumers, and interact with your customers at a higher level?
Did you know you can accomplish all of this simply by incorporating iPad usage into your event flow? Read on to learn how to do it with this guide of quick pro tips!
How iPads Can Benefit Your Next Event
There are many smart ways iPads can benefit your next event — and give you critical information that will boost your business. Read on to get our top benefits.
Improved Data Collection
When you use an iPad to interact with your customers (or potential customers) at an event, you essentially are replacing the tried-and-true clipboard to collect information. Out with the paper forms for life! Instead of having your customer fill out a paper form for anything from a product sale to event registration, you will be making it easier and quicker for your customer to record information simply by going digital with an iPad.
In addition, there are many data applications that you can load onto your iPads that will make data collection and crunching easier and more seamless. For example, there are apps that feature forms, surveys, payment platforms, and automated messaging. Whatever your specific needs may be for data collection, you can get it easily and store it quickly on an iPad.
If you’re running a trade show in which you want to sell specific products, having an iPad station set up for quick point of sales is a no-brainer. All the consumer has to do is swipe his or her card on the credit card swiper that attaches easily to the iPad and complete the transaction.
There are several apps that help facilitate these point of sales transactions including PayPal and an app called Formitize. Payment apps often have the ability to calculate sales tax and to itemize expenses (such as parts, labor, etc.). Then, after the transaction, the consumer can receive a digital receipt to his or her phone or email nearly in real-time. All of this can be accomplished with an iPad and corresponding payment app.
Tips for Using iPads Effectively at Your Next Event
Keep mind that while incorporating iPads into your event is a great idea and will be good for business, it takes time and planning to pull it off effectively. That’s why you should plan ahead and keep these quick tips in mind for how to use iPads at your event.
The Best Way to Set Up iPads at Your Event
Unless you know everything about iPads and you have all of the security gear required to stabilize and secure them, it really pays off to hire a company that oversees pre-vent setup.
They can be in charge of outfitting the iPads with everything they need — from a branded welcome screen, to event registration platforms, to payment apps. They can test them and make sure they are working properly on-site with the event space’s bandwidth for Internet. They can deliver the iPad stations, secure them, mount them, and lock them with passwords so that there is an extra level of security.
At the end of the day, this saves you time and money and will buy you lots of professional kudos. Because we all know we’ve been to events in which the doors are open, guests have arrived and the event hosts are still scrambling around trying to hook things up.
The bottom line is: Make it seamless by hiring a pre-event team that can make sure your iPads are ready to go!
Make the Directions Clear
For people who are not sued to using iPads, it can be confusing to suddenly be forced to interact with them for registration, filling out forms, and viewing interactive displays. Try to make this process easier by either having employees on hand to walk the consumer through the process of using the iPad — or have very clear directions by setting up posters and cheat sheets wherever the iPads are setup.
In addition, you might use an app that walks the user through the process of using the iPad by giving on-screen hints for the next step to take. This makes the process quicker and easier for the user — and it helps the user feel less frustration. For example, no one wants to be waiting in a long line to register for an event and get a name tag. So as the person approaches the registration table, tell them what to expect:
- You’ll see your name on the screen. If that is use, tap “Okay.”
- Next you’re going to see a payment option. Select how you would like to pay and swipe your card.
- Finally, if you would like a receipt, please confirm your email address on the screen.
With that, you’re done — and your user now has seamlessly registered on your event iPad! You can use these tips in many other event scenarios simply by becoming useful to the user, having extra employees on hand to walk the user through the iPad experience and/or having on-screen clues for how to complete the next steps.
Pay Attention to Room Set-Up
There are many ways to set up iPads throughout your event space for maximum usage, but you’ll need to start with the actual space and the aim of your event.
Are you trying to facilitate sales? Do you want attendees to learn about your products and services? Are you hoping to register attendees quickly? Do you want to collect information from them?
Answering all of these questions will help to drive how you set up your iPad stations. For example, let’s say you are running a trade show in which you are selling vacuum cleaners. You are inviting industry leaders and sales consultants to learn about the product. There will be 300 people in attendance and you need to get them through the door quickly.
At the front of the room, as attendees come into the space, you want to set up iPad stations for registration. There are apps that can connect to your iPad that also print name tags after the registration is complete. You can collect attendee data in the process and store it for later analyzing.
From there, the attendee walks into the event space and begins walking around to see the different vacuum cleaners on display. At each product station, you can have an iPad set up that walks the attendee through the vacuum cleaner specs and shows the person up-close shots of the vacuum cleaner.
These iPads can be equipped with payment apps as well, so your attendees can purchase the models they need right on site. You also could set up an iPad payment station at the door exit, so that a customer who wants to buy multiple models can do so all at once.
There are many other ways to set up a room for iPad usage, but this gives you a quick vision of one scenario. You also might want to consider having charging stations for the iPads so that you can cycle low-battery ones out for iPads that are powered up. You never miss a sale or an opportunity to engage with an attendee this way.
Also consider, having conference room displays set up so that the iPad synchs with the displays. One person can swipe through the screens to see the product, while others in the group can watch and read the display. Everyone will be learning and engaging at the same time throughout the event.
Don’t Forget About Security
When you have many iPads floating around a large space, it can become easy for one to go missing. Make sure you have extra security in place and that all of your iPads have security monitoring activated so you can locate them if they are taken out of the even space.
You also can outfit each of your iPads with a security enclosure so that they are mounted and cannot be taken out of the room.
Finally, make sure your iPads move to a lock screen when they are not in use so that no one can access the settings or change them when no one is looking.
Check Internet Capabilities Ahead of Time
Tech-heavy events that are relying on Internet bandwidth all at the same time require fast Internet. Make sure you check with the event space ahead of time to ensure its technology can handle the number of iPads that will be online at the same time. You may need to pay extra for the boost — but it will be worth it to ensure users don’t get frustrated and to ensure the event is efficient and productive.
Are You Ready to see iPads at Your Next Event?
Keep this guide with you as you plan your next event and think about how to effectively incorporate iPads into the experience. You’ll find that not only do you collect more data about your event attendees — which can help you better market events to them — but you likely will increase product sales and increase their perception of the experience as a positive one.
There is a mix of business and psychology at work when you expand the reach of technology at your event and make it easier for consumers to participate, interact and buy. Use these pro tips as your checklist to get started!