NBAA11 Mobile App Raises the Bar High for All Future Aerospace Shows September 29, 2011Posted by ludozone in Aerospace, Conference, eBusiness Applications/Services, International Business Development, iPhone, Management, Social Media.
Tags: Aerospace, eBusiness, International Business, iPhone, Social Media
If you read my critique of previous Aerospace trade shows, I have always said that exhibitors needed to do more with technology to get noticed at such events. Attendees have a limited amount of time to spend in the expo hall and they will be armed with a predetermined list of booths to visit. I am a big fan of mobile apps, and I have been looking forward to the possibilities of making trade show going a much more efficient experience. But so far, I have been disappointed with what has come out. For example, the 2011 Paris Air Show app was far less that exciting. However all of that changed this week.
For the 64th Annual Meeting in Last Vegas next month, NBAA has just released the official NBAA11 trade show app that sets the bar very high for all future large aerospace events. The FREE app, created by Core-Apps and available for iPhone, Blackberry and Android, is nothing short of brilliant. Finally!
- No Internet Connection Needed – When you open the app, it updates the information if you have an internet connection. But to use the app, no connection is required. Everything is already there! Exhibitor info, maps, documents, news, twitter feed, etc… are all available as of the time of your last connection. This is an absolute requirement for large shows where connectivity is usually very difficult to maintain.
- Booth Categories and Map – You can find exhibitors easily through an alphabetical directory or a category directory. This is very efficient. For example, if you are looking for a new base of operation, you can easily find in a list all the airport representatives at the show. You can then jump to a zoom-able map, exhibitor contact info, description, and (if you have connectivity) their website.
- Booth Tagging, Tracking and Notes – In preparation for the show, you can tag the booths you would like to visit and create notes for the topics you would like to discuss. Once in Vegas, you can update the notes as you visit the exhibitors and flag the booths you have seen. At the end of the day or the show, you can email yourself all your notes for follow-up or reporting.
- Events List with Personal Calendar – The app comes with a personal calendar for the days of the show. From the conference agenda, you can add the sessions that interest you to the calendar, then add your own meetings. And if your meeting will take place at a booth, the app will add the location information automatically.
- Central access to important document and feeds – From the main menu, you can also access important documents, YouTube videos, and the NBAA Facebook page. This is a very convenient way to have all the event information in a central location although some of these features do require connectivity.
THREE THINGS THAT COULD MAKE THE APP EVEN BETTER
- Trending and Social Networking – Since the app knows the exhibitors that are tagged and visited, I would love to see trending on a map. Rating and/or public notes could be additional information collected by the app. This would be a great way to find hot products or important innovations. If that trending can further be curtailed by my sector of interest, the opinion of renowned experts, or by the habits of the “friends” I have connected with (perhaps through LinkedIn), we could start seeing some interesting efficiencies.
- Booth Tagging of News – As news gets submitted to NBAA over the wire or via press partners, the items could be tagged with the relevant booth numbers to make them available directly from the booth page. This would allow visitors to see the latest items relevant to the exhibitor right as they approach the booth.
- Check-in and Directions – “Visited” flags are great, but “Check-ins” are better. It would allow visitors to keep track of where they have been, but also to provide them with direction to where they need to go directly on the map. Combined with the social aspects above, this would also allow colleagues to find each other on the show floor if the check-ins are made available to the network.
I know this app will be a huge success at NBAA 2011. And I hope that other show organizers take notice and build upon this strong foundation. Exhibitors should also push for this development as it is one of the best ways for them to rise above the fray at these large shows.
Do you have an opinion of this app? Are you planning on using it at the show? What has been your experience?