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BizTrends 2018


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Apps in the exhibition industry

In this day and age, there is a mobile app for nearly everything, and that includes apps for the exhibition industry. There are multiple benefits that an app can offer the industry, especially the event organisers. Organisers can see statistics, user-generated content and see exactly what is popular. This fact alone is invaluable for future shows.
App is an abbreviation for application. Applications work with smartphones and tablets to do some particular service or supply information. Most apps work over mobile devices such as: Apple (iPhone and iPad), Android and Blackberry, to name a few. In South Africa, the smart phone penetration is 15% or 7.5 million and increasing. Our mobile advertising awareness levels exceed those of Europe, India and America; which indicates that there is promise in mobile apps and the future of mobile advertising. The market for apps is thus also increasing, and they are slowly becoming requirements in the working world.

Organisers are now able to create apps for their exhibitions with vast functionality. Just some of the features include: Scheduling, Event Information, Event Features, Personal Agenda, Exhibitor Profiles, Organiser Alerts, Product/Service Information, Floor Plan, Networking, Social media, etc. These apps can also virtually pay for themselves by selling the banner space and premium listings to exhibitors.

These apps can be branded with logos and splash pages and have banners. They make the event more convenient and fun. There is easy access to information and visitors are able to interact with exhibitors before the event. Organisers can also connect with the attendees, conduct surveys and more. A big plus for apps is the fact that they are green. They eliminate the need for endless amounts of paper from the organisers and the exhibitors for one.


More SocialMore ExposureMore Engagement
PersonalisationMore LeadsSuccessful Exhibitors
More opportunitiesBetter operationsComplete visibility
ConnectionsROIEvent Insight
Greater learning possibilitiesMatchMakingGreen

For different customisable exhibition/event apps, have a look at the following websites:

Mobile Event™
Core Apps - Follow (Partner to IAEE)

OCTANORM created an app for stand builders, and Brad Alder, had this to say: "The OCTANORM Exhibition iPad app for Apple iPad's is available in the Apple iTunes store free of charge. 'The Exhibition App' was launched as a tool to assist Exhibition companies, with presentations of proposals as well as an interactive reference library of OCTANORM Exhibition systems. The App includes the complete OCTANORM Catalogue including new parts; Technical information, and Exhibition stand design examples including 3D-rendered designs. The app can be customised to reflect the Exhibition companies branding and portfolio."

For apps that will map the floor area of the exhibition, try ShowPlans ( or MPS ( These apps provide a 3D or interactive map of the exhibition.

"EXSA is currently reviewing several apps to see what would work for the Association," reports Communications Manager Natasha Bryant. "We really want to be at the forefront of technology to inform our members on what's out in the market place and where it could work for them. EXSA is committed to giving value to all Forums in the Association."

EXSA's press office

EXSA - The Exhibitions and Events Association of Souhern Africa - was established in 1980 as a non-profit organisation.