Expos & Trade Shows

Tradeshow
Credit: Shutterstock
Trade shows and expos are the bread and butter of many small businesses. Creative entrepreneurs often sell their goods at traveling events, and trade shows offer small business owners the chance to network with peers and get valuable facetime with potential clients.

If you're new to the world of trade shows and expos, or if you're just looking to optimize your experience, having a few well-chosen apps at your disposal can be a huge help. The apps on this list can do everything from collect customer feedback to help you manage new contacts.

CamCard

CamCard
Credit: CamCard
CamCard is a great app for expos and festivals alike. CamCard allows you to exchange ecards with customers and business contacts, scan and organize business cards and customer data, export data to systems such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, Outlook and Excel, track communications with customers, and even assign tasks to members of your team and set reminders for yourself.

CamCard is made by the same company as CamScanner, which makes for super easy integration. Businesses can try out CamCard for free; the entry level business subscription starts at just $12 a month.

iCapture

iCapture
Credit: iCapture
iCapture has everything you could possibly need for a trade show. You can use iCapture for lead capture, trade show badge-scanning, business card capture, email list building, drawings and giveaways, and lead retrieval. The app features are specially designed for small businesses attending showrooms, fairs, expos, business events and consumer events.

You can auto sync the info from iCapture into your CRM, create automated follow-up emails, and you don't even need an internet connection to make it work. If your business requires a robust system for trade shows, iCapture is it. Annual small business plans start at $10 a month and go up to $25 a month, but you can also pay just $79 for a one-off month with no obligation to continue service the following month.

QuickTapSurvey

QuickTapSurvey
Credit: QuickTapSurvey
If you're looking for an efficient way to collect data from current or potential clients, look no further than QuickTapSurvey. You can use this app on your iPad, iPhone or Android device. In addition to conducting surveys in real time at a trade show, QuickTapSurvey allows you to create and send out surveys via email after the fact. You can easily customize and brand your surveys, categorize your questions by type, capture signatures, pull reports and analytics, and even generate random "winners" for giveaways.

Pricing varies depending on how much functionality you want, but the Basic annual fee comes out to about $16 a month. You can try the Basic, Advanced or Expert subscriptions for free with no pressure to buy.

WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp Messenger
Credit: WhatsApp Messenger
While it's not specifically an expo or trade show app, WhatsApp Messenger can be helpful for staying in communication with your team when you are attending large events. The app allows you to hold free messaging conversations with multiple people across different devices, so your entire team can talk together at the same time. You can also use WhatsApp Messenger to share documents, photos, videos, and voice messages, and even host calls. Best of all, WhatsAppMessenger is free and compatible with all types of devices.

Square

Square
Credit: Square
It's essential for small businesses to accept credit cards, and if you're planning on becoming a vendor at expos and fairs, you'll set yourself up for success if you can perform credit card processing in addition to accepting cash.

Our favorite app service for mobile credit card processing is Square. Square utilizes an app and a small magstripe credit card reader, which you can plug directly into your smartphone or tablet. Square charges users on a 2.75 percent per swipe basis (or 3.5 percent plus 15 cents per transaction for manually keyed-in cards), and there are no monthly fees or setup fees. The Square reader is compatible with iPhone and Android devices.