Put Charging Stations in Booths

Most trade shows now have charging stations either in the exhibit hall or somewhere in the venue so that attendees can keep their mobile devices powered and available for their show apps, surveys and other digital engagement.

However, there could be good reasons why exhibitors would want to work with show managers to put charging stations in their booths as well. One important reason: the attendee’s undivided attention as he or she waits for their device to recharge.

“Typically, someone’s going to come in and charge their phone for five to 10 minutes,” says Kraig Shetler, CEO of charging station provider Boothtraffic. “It’s like somebody waiting in line for an ice cream cone at a booth: You give the reps a chance to engage the attendees that they otherwise wouldn’t have.”

And for those who prefer a less direct approach or when booth staff members are busy with other people, a charging station with a touch screen allows the exhibitor to engage more individuals.

The station can be loaded with videos, product brochures, customer testimonials, research studies, news articles and other materials that help sell products or services. This way the users have something to entertain themselves with while waiting for their devices to charge, and the vendor can make a virtual contact.

The charging station can also be programmed to send a request for information to the sales team. The user inputs his name, e-mail address or phone number along with the specific information needed. The attendee’s data is stored in a spreadsheet in the charging station’s software until the exhibitor downloads it.

Some of the best news? While an electrical connection is obviously required (typically a standard part of any booth package anyway), an expensive Internet connection isn’t.

“When it comes to trade shows, people feel naked without their phones,” Shetler says. “They’re worried about not getting a phone call or e-mail. (Attendees) want to be able to charge their phone, to get it up to 15 or 20 percent, and be good until they get back to their home or hotel.”

The price might seem high ($1,500 for a week for one of Shelter’s stations), but he says it’s easy to cover that investment with the leads that can result. “As exhibits become more digital, it’s no (longer about) what you’re giving away in your booth, but how interactive your booth is,” Shetler says.

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