October is a spooky month so it’s a good time to share our own tiny horror story. There is no better villain for our tale than that terrifying specter we all dread facing: bad Wifi.
On a dark and stormy night, my colleague, Elizabeth, was attending a large conference as onsite support for our lead capture application. At the show, the exhibitor booth was using our real time reporting lead capture application on Dell Venue 8 tablets. This real-time reporting version of Captix:Scan requires a local Wifi connection to work properly.
Before the event, the exhibitors had shelled out nearly $20,000 for the costly trade show Wifi connection. However, in the middle of the show, despite everyone’s best efforts, no one could connect to the network!
It was then that Elizabeth first knew things would take a terrifying turn if they couldn’t get online. Without lead capture, leads would be lost and ROI would fall dramatically. Luckily, the clever Captix team managed to solve the problem — getting our client connected and our application running properly — but only at the expense of considerable time and manpower.
The moral of this story is that sometimes Wifi is not the answer but the problem.
In fact, there are two main benefits to staying offline at your next trade show:
1. More Face Time: And no, I’m not referring to the popular iPhone application.
We are part of a business generation that likes to be connected, but the downside of this techno-centric mindset is that most people are glued to their phones. If you peel your eyes away from your PC, you just might strike up a conversation with your next hot lead.
So, set down your social networks for an hour, and actually be social. Remember, you can always Tweet or check your email during a coffee break, but you only have so much time at the trade show to make real-life business connections. If you and your team focus on the real world instead of the online world, your booth becomes more lively and attractive to potential clients and partners.
(Not to mention, less internet time is proving to be good for your own mental health. The first person to be checked into rehab for internet addiction due to wearing GoogleGlass has happened.)
2. Less Wifi Dependency: There are many great lead capture apps out there, but the catch is that most require you to be connected to the Internet.
Unfortunately, even if the application is working flawlessly, any bump in your Internet service can cause you to lose both leads and valuable time trying to get back online. In essence, when you are dependent on a Wifi connection that you can’t truly control, you risk looking unprofessional.
Thankfully, the truth is that you don’t have to be online to capture leads. As many of our own clients have discovered, it’s much more reliable to pick a lead retrieval application that works in airplane mode by storing leads locally on your device until you’re ready to sync with the cloud.
There are still reasons to purchase and use Wifi at your show! If you have the budget, and can afford to spend hundreds to sometimes even thousands on a dedicated Wifi connection, then it can’t hurt to provide that option.
Mobile hotspots can also be very useful at trade shows. You never know when you’ll need to hop online in a business emergency. However, it is definitely best to restrict online time to only what is necessary for demonstrations and vital administrative tasks. Staying offline can give you an edge and help you engage with your real-life audience.
Escape the horror story. Stay offline.
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