5 Creative Ways to Use iPads in Trade Show Booths and Exhibits

CES trade show booth

At trade shows, exhibitors are constantly seeking creative ways to draw more people to their stand. Maximizing booth visitors is a top goal for companies to make sure they are getting a clear return on their event marketing dollars. 

And over the past few years, few tools have been used as frequently as iPads. They have become one of the best tools for attracting customers to a booth and keeping them there, engaged. No one-pager or brochure that a business distributes can come close to the customized interactions that may be established between the business and the visitor using an iPad. And let’s not forget, how easy they are to use and train event staff on.

They are not only affordable to rent, but they’re also an excellent way for booth visitors to “interact” with your business in a setting that you have perfect control over since, let’s face it, people love to play with these things.

With this in mind, let’s review 5 creative ways iPads can be put to use at your event booth. 

Conducting Surveys 

One advantage of going to a trade show is that you are surrounded by individuals who, at the very least, are interested in your company tangentially. This is a fantastic chance to get honest input on how to make your product better. On your iPad, you might consider presenting a quick market research survey (try to keep the questions limited to less than 10) and inviting participants to complete it while they visit your booth.

Not only does this make clients and potential future clients feel like they have a say in the direction of your product, it also provides your staff with data they need to make future decisions. 

If you are worried that people won’t want to take up their time filling out the survey, consider offering a small gift as a thank you. Something as simple as a nice new water bottle, coffee cup, or even a $5 dollar gift card, should be more than enough. 

Product Videos and Demos 

Product demos are perfect for being displayed on iPads. They’re a terrific method to display images, videos, and product samples, whether you set up multiple iPads, make them available on standalone kiosk stands, or give them to your sales staff.

You can provide your attendees a hands-on experience with your products by designing a straightforward web interface or Keynote presentation.

Even if you don’t have an entire demo to show, consider playing your company overview video on a loop. It should show what your products are and who you are as a company. If people are walking by your booth and unsure of what you have to offer, a solid company overview video could draw them in to speak with your team. 

Lead Capture 

Let’s face it, despite all the other endless benefits of trade shows like brand awareness, opportunities to speak with existing customers, and more, the main goal for many event planners is simple – capturing leads! 

And there is no easier, more effective way to do so than with iPads. Whether you choose to set up kiosks where people can put their information into a lead form to be contacted at a later date, or place them in the hands of your sales staff to ask attendees for their information while speaking to them, iPads make it simple. Instead of manually writing down contact information on a piece of paper or exchanging business cards, collecting the info on the iPads allows it to go straight into your CRM or marketing automation platform, where it’s nicely organized and your staff can easily access to follow up. 

To entice people to leave their information with you, consider running a giveaway. A popular giveaway at shows is a Yeti Cooler, but the options are endless. Just make sure the item you are planning to giveaway is on display and make it clear that all that attendees need to do to have a chance to win is submit their contact info. 


If we are being honest with each other here, the reality of the matter is trade shows can be a grueling, sometimes boring grind for attendees. Starting first thing in the morning and going until late in the afternoon, switching from attending seminars and speeches, to exploring the trade show floor, can really take it out of people. 

And similar to working all day at the office, people need breaks to stay fresh. Instead of focusing purely on how to promote your products and capture leads, it might be worth getting in the good graces of attendees by providing that needed break with some iPads games. 

It’s up to you whether or not you require people to leave their info in order to play, but having some tables with iPads or kiosks where people can get a mental break with some Paper Toss or Doodle Jump could be just what people need. You never know, after getting a little escape, they may be so grateful that they decide to stick around the booth and chat with your team. 

Making Sales 

For those companies with a quick, transactional sales process there may be no need to capture leads, you might just be able to make a sale right on the floor. 

By having iPads set up with Square + Stripe card readers, you’ll enable your staff to strike while the iron is hot, as the saying goes, and make sales on the spot. This is a great way to recoup some of your event spend to be at the trade show, and eliminate the opportunity for people to rethink their purchase choice. 

Just be sure to have a POS (point of sale) system set up and ready to go. 

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