Thinking about integrating tablets into your next display exhibition? Here are some tablet-related guidelines to steer you in the right direction.


Tablets (like iPads) first appeared in display exhibitions as giveaways and prizes, but now they’ve evolved to become effective tools for sales and communications. These new marketers best friends collect data, demonstrate, educate, entertain and much more. As exhibition audiences have become increasingly tech-savvy, exhibitors find they have little choice but to incorporate tablets into their trade exhibition strategy.


Incorporating tablets into your display booth signals to passers-by that your company is up to speed with today’s technology. But just as with any marketing medium, there are dos and don’ts. Proper integration requires some planning and careful thought. Here are some guidelines to get you started.


Know your audience.
Before incorporating a tablet into your exhibition display, ensure that your target market is tech savvy enough to use it as you’ve intended. Although most people under the age of 50 are familiar with tablet technology, don’t make assumptions based on age. Think about whether your audience will feel at ease with the device and determine what level of interaction you can expect from them. If you’re not sure your audience is comfortable with the basics of using a tablet, don’t ask attendees to enter key information via the device, or leave them with one to access your product catalogue. If attendees don’t feel at ease with tablets, your staff should be available to assist users with the tablet-based display.

Establish a clear purpose. Use tablets only if they improve or simple your exhibition display or align with your target audience. Always ensure that the way in which they’re incorporated adds to your objectives, brand, and messaging.

Prepare for problems. While the battery life for most tablets is long enough to support a full day’s use on the show floor, always have a plan B just in case. Remember to charge them pre-event and to bring extra charging cables for each one, but also have some fully charged backups waiting in the wings. Plus, if you’re planning to use the Internet or an online app, ensure that there’s a reliable Wi-Fi system in the event venue. If no such system exists — or even if it’s a little sketchy — either eliminate online elements from your presentation or purchase a data plan for each tablet that will allow you to access the Internet even when Wi-Fi isn’t available.

Train your staff. When it comes to device knowledge, your staff should know at least as much as attendees do — and they should be able to whip through your programs more quickly than they can zip around their smartphones. Ensure that your staffers have a minimum of a conversational understanding of the kind of tablet they’re using plus the benefits and drawbacks it offers. Invariably, attendees will inquire about the tablets you’re using, and a lot of baffled staffers can kill your tech credibility.

Separate business and pleasure. Unless you buy tablets specifically for use as part as your exhibition display, protect your personal and/or confidential company information from public eyes with some kind of security application. Use a file-protector app, for instance, to password protect confidential files stored on your device, thereby limiting the general public, and maybe even your staff, from accessing certain files. Also, if you’re using the iPad — whose browser typically loads the last URL viewed automatically — frequently check the device’s browsing history and clear its cache to avoid nonrelevant windows automatically opening when in front of attendees.

Have a security system in place. Many attendees could already possess their own personal tablets, but the devices still tend to grow legs and walk out of your trade exhibition. So incorporate some form of security system or iPad stand  to prevent theft. This could simply mean that you only allow staff to handle the devices and you make each of your staff personally accountable for storing a tablet in their particular accommodation instead of leaving it in the booth overnight. Or, you could use a locking device, including anything from cable attachments that lock your device to a stationary object yet still allow attendees to pick it up and handle it, to the stand with a built-in tablet that’s locked into position by the structure itself. And don’t forget about security during installation, dismantle, and shipping, which is when your valuable tablet is more than likely to go “bye bye.” The truth is, it is advisable to transport tablets to and from the trade show via your staff instead of including them within your exhibit shipment, and secured devices should definitely be the final thing placed in your booth during installation.


Clearly, given their minimal weight and size, in addition to their seemingly endless capabilities, tablets can be a cost-efficient and very effective addition to an exhibit. And armed with each of the tips, it’s possible to be certain that your tablets be compatible with your audience in addition to your objectives, and that your staffers are properly trained and prepared for practically any security situations that may arise.


Contact Spyder Displays for solutions to incorporate a tablet into your next event.