The question is often asked, “May we use our own iPads for your leads system”? Seems like a logical assumption, since iPads are iPads, right? Well, yes and no.
The answer, of course, is yes, but understanding the risk and trade off is important in making such a decision. Let’s take a look at standard apps offered by lead retrieval companies. Many trade show lead retrieval providers offer apps for iPads, iPhones and Android devices. Each system requires a cellular data connection where you often type in a badge number and you either see the leads immediately or (typically) later that night on the internet.
If you don’t need to always see the attendee’s information at the point of entry and if being able to share the leads with all of your reps is not important, then this is a great system to use. If you know that your cell phone connection is flaky, this is not the way to go. If you are at a heavily attended show, your cell phone may work intermittently; this is due to over subscription of the networks. A local cell tower can only handle so many concurrent calls and everyone else must wait. This traffic jam is also true when trying to connect to the internet via your cell phone or iPad, which means the rented lead retrieval system will not be reliable. You will not know that the attendee badge you scanned during the day was missing critical phone and email information until you log in to view your leads at night.
When you make a decision to use an enterprise solution from NewLeads, the standards are much different in order to meet the requirements: a networked, real-time system that is always connected and never fails. This is no small task in a trade show environment where most booths are broadcasting a wireless network in addition to the 10 or more exhibit hall channels. The wireless network must be enterprise-class, the bluetooth scanners must be rock-solid, and the iPads must be dedicated to their private and secure connection. Let’s say your rep brings his own iPad to the show. What’s on it? Angry Birds? iTunes? Words with Friends? Personal email or Facebook? Home-made collateral and power points? Not only do those programs provide your rep with temptation to goof around but also with the built-in technology to search the internet for app updates. Auto-updates like these create a drag on the system, disrupt local wireless connections and may cause your iPads to drop off the network when you need them for taking leads.
Aside from the connection issues are the content issues. Which collateral would you like your reps to show attendees in the booth? If you prefer to select the best collateral suited for a trade show environment, you can lock that down on our system and prevent “message freelancing”; you can even track collateral viewing habits with our system, send instant emails with collateral links and view open and click rates by each piece of collateral. The technical setup for each iPad sent with our system is rigorous; each system is streamlined for our wireless network and optimized for trade show use.
Although it seems easy to use your own iPads, it’s like many things in our industry: if it’s designed and built for trade shows, it’s going to give you the superior results you demand. Let’s have a discussion about the big picture and see how we can deliver superior results with a turn-key system that’s guaranteed to work. After all, it’s the leads system that matters; the iPad is just one of the components.