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Three Useful Apps for Any Trade Show

This post was first published by Meredith L. Eaton on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.

Last week, while at NAB in Las Vegas, the trade show floor was bustling with the usual hype around new trends, announcements and innovations. With more than 90,000 attendees, NAB is often regarded as one of the largest trade shows in the world, and certainly the largest for the digital media sector. With so much to see and do, such a large trade show can quickly become exhausting and a bit overwhelming. To make the experience easier, however, there are a few handy apps that help take care of some of the more tedious trade show tasks and leave you free to focus on networking, business development and lead generation.

1. Expensify – When traveling to trade shows, more often than not, there’s a tedious expense report waiting for you upon your return. Keeping track of paper receipts amidst business cards and USB sticks is not an easy task, let alone remembering all your cash tips or personal charges. Expensify is a handy app that acts as a mobile receipt scanner, which can also be used to log cash receipts. What’s more, both of these operations tie directly into the full online service and it’s completely free for individuals (and very cheap for businesses).

2. Business Card Reader – The stack of business cards accumulated after a trade show often seems like it’s a mile high, especially if you are faced with the task of entering each contact manually into your database. But, with the business card reader app, you can dispose of paper business cards on the spot and simply snap a picture using the text recognition software to load the contact instantly into your phone. Such apps are esentially modernizing business cards for the 21st century and making networking one step simpler.

3. Free Wi-Fi Finder – It’s great when trade shows provide a Wi-Fi network for the event, but, usually, the network gets quickly overloaded and either kicks you offline or takes forever to connect. Sometimes, it’s necessary to just find a quiet place with Internet connectivity to catch up on email or check in on life back at the office. That’s why the Free Wi-Fi Finder app is such a great tool for trade shows, or travel in general.

These are three apps that I certainly won’t be leaving home without the next time I travel to a trade show. Have you found other apps useful for trade shows or business travel? I know apps like Bump, Ustream and Call a Taxi can also be extremely helpfup, but what else would you add to the list?


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