"Leading Attendees to Buy:" An Interview with Core-Apps' Jay Tokosch

iPad-based, Showcase XD lets exhibitors add an interactive digital display to their booths and provide prospects the information they need to make smart buying decisions.

Available to exhibitors and tradeshow organizers through our agency, Showcase XD is the brainchild of Core-Apps, the leading provider of mobile apps for tradeshows.

Recently, Bob James interviewed Jay Tokosch, CEO, about the new product.

BOB JAMES: Why did you develop Showcase XD?

JAY TOKOSCH: We were attending Summer NAMM and saw an exhibitor using iPads on stands in front of their products. Each iPad was directed to the exhibitor's Website and people could interact with the site, a rather raw way of providing people with product specs. I watched what was going on and said to myself, "What a great idea!" Except there was a problem: people would use the iPad for checking email and surfing websites, so the exhibitor had to have a dedicated staff member in its booth whose only job was to redirect each iPad after it was used back to the company's website. So we set out to take the idea and run with it, while correcting the deficiency.

BOB: But why yet another digital tool? Don't exhibitors already use lead retrieval devices?

JAY: Tradeshow organizers tell us their exhibitors constantly clamor for more leads, even though they often collect more than they'd need to at any given event. Exhibitors will scan badges all day, hoping for new leads, but then never, ever follow up. For their part, exhibitors tell us that's absolutely true: they will return home with a big pool of leads, but since they can't recall what products any of the people were interested in, they don't follow up, because it's unproductive. Simply put, exhibitors are exhibiting their wares, but aren't leading attendees to buy.

BOB: So how does the product help?

JAY: Showcase XD addresses that core issue. It engages people who visit the booth, while giving exhibitors a "digital trace" of their product interests, so they can follow up productively. It also controls where people navigate, so when a visitor leaves, the iPad is still directed to the right web address. In a nutshell, I would say that Showcase XD is designed to be an attendee engagement tool that does the follow-up for the exhibitor automatically. It also helps attendees to further their decision to buy, and provides information on the back end to the exhibitor that allows it to personalize its follow-up after the show, at whatever pace it wants.

BOB: And it lets exhibitors save money on shipping?

JAY: Correct. Exhibitors will now save a ton of money, because they no longer have to ship brochures to shows. What a waste! We all know those brochures never make it back to the office anyway. They get thrown in the trash.

BOB: Who's the ideal user?

JAY: It will not only fit the large exhibitor, who needs a sizable ROI in a show, but even the exhibitor in the 10' by 10' booth. Everyone can afford it.

BOB: How should an exhibitor use the product?

JAY: An exhibitor can use it as a handheld or on a stand. It's based on preference: there's no particular advantage either way. Using stands in a large booth makes sense, but I can also envision the exhibitor in the 10' x 10' simply standing there with the iPad in hand and presenting the entire array of the company's products on that single device. Right now, that's how most exhibitors are using the product.

BOB: What's the attendee's user experience like?

JAY: Attendees get to find out the specs on the product: descriptions, pictures, videos, demos. They get all of that directly while in the booth. Then, when they return home from the show, there's an email awaiting them that summarizes everything they experienced in the booth. It prompts the visitor to recall everything he or she experienced and offers links additional resources. Most importantly, the exhibitor can tell the visitor how to buy the product, something that's rarely, if ever, discussed in the booth, and is vitally important to closing deals.

BOB: Will that really lead to more deals?

JAY: It definitely does. The email can be fully branded and delivered automatically, and can say, "Here's all the products you looked at in our booth, here are demonstration videos, and here's the most convenient way to purchase our products." That form of strong follow-up will definitely increase your sales.

BOB: Are there limitations an exhibitor should worry about?

JAY: There are no limitations on what an exhibitor can upload to the portal, but the standard product currently allows you to display no more than 10 products or digital assets at any one time on a single iPad. That is strictly by design: it's a matter of iPad aesthetics.

BOB: Where's all the data about the attendee experience stored?

JAY: All data collected is stored in the exhibitor's portal in real time, so the exhibitor has direct access to it and can move the data into its CRM at any time. There are also analytics available that show attendees' product-interest levels, by day and by product, and the volume of downloads of digital assets in the aggregate.

BOB: Is use of the product restricted to tradeshows?

JAY: Absolutely not! SHOWCASE XD can be used everywhere you meet customers: trade shows, conferences, airports, airplanes, taxis, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, golf courses, offices, on the street, and more. It lets exhibiting companies engage prospects and accelerate sales "anytime, anywhere."

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SHOWCASE XD? Call us at 202.641.5131.

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