If you didn’t know this already, conference attendees are addicted to their mobile devices. Since 86% of the world’s population owns a smartphone/cell phone, according to the United Nations Telecom Agency, is it any wonder that we are constantly trying to remain connected to each other?

Just take a look around at your next conference. How many people are looking at their phone or tablet as they are sitting, standing or walking? You will be amazed once you start paying attention.

But did you know that chargers are one of the top items left behind in hotel rooms according to Smarter Travel? And if you polled most meeting attendees, you will probably find that this is the one item they usually leave at home as well.

If you are like most exhibitors, you are finding it increasingly difficult to engage meeting participants in long conversations. You want to make your booth a gathering place for attendees, right?  Consider renting a charging station as a way to invite attendees to hang out, keep them connected remotely AND keep them at your booth longer.

Still not convinced? Look where people charge their mobile devices. They will use any outlet available to them including the one in the back of a meeting room, convention dead space or even the hotel’s cocktail lounge. Given that attendees usually visit the trade show floor several hours into a conference, it only makes sense that they might be hunting for an outlet on the floor or feel compelled to return to their hotel room – thus cutting down their interaction time with you, the exhibitor. 

Don’t miss out on offering a charging station at your trade show booth - here are the top 10 benefits of renting a charging station kiosk:

Benefit #1: Attendees won’t have to make the “mad dash” for an open outlet. 
People are constantly looking for a place to charge their phone, especially when they receive the dreaded message that 10% of their battery life is remaining.

Benefit #2: Keep attendees at your booth longer because you are actually providing a service they can use. During this time, you can introduce to them to your current promotions, service offerings and new products through the HD LCD display on top of the kiosk which will keep attendees interested while they are waiting for their device to charge -- especially if all your exhibitor staff is busy. In addition, this display can be changed on a real-time basis and convey to attendee’s important meeting messages. 

Benefit # 3: Increase Dwell Time and Engage Attendees. Gain 10-15 minutes of a prospective customer’s undivided attention where you might have in the past only been able to keep them at your booth for 3-4 minutes.  A great conversation starter when they approach your booth is to ask if they have a mobile device they would like to charge.

Benefit #4: Increase Foot Traffic. Display in your booth’s Plasma TV or Video Wall “Free Charging Station” and you will see attendees flock to your booth.

Benefit #5: Attendees will remain on the trade show floor longer instead of returning to their hotel room.

Benefit #6: Build brand buzz. Your company name, logo, social media channels and QR code can be strategically placed on the kiosk. You can even order a custom wrap that can cover the entire kiosk with your brand colors and logo, thus creating 360 degrees of brand visibility.

Benefit #7: Sponsors can deliver their message to a captive audience. If you are concerned about cost, you can sell unlimited sponsorships. The interactive touch screen on the top of the kiosk can deliver educational and entertainment content through video, social channels and contests.

Benefit #8: Depart from the competition by creating a dedicated “Refresh and Recharge” Booth where attendees can charge their devices, network and get something to eat and drink. They can recharge themselves while recharging their mobile devices. Creating a "living room" look and feel with comfortable chairs and a video wall rental or Plasma TV can allow attendees to relax and view what is going on in different parts of the conference, thus keeping them engaged and connected.  

Benefit #9: A kiosk can charge several mobile devices simultaneously, including tablets and cell phones in a “mix or match” format.

Benefit #10: Charging Stations are hardware agnostic, supporting 95% of the current models of smartphones and tablets.

De-de Mulligan, CMP, CMM  has been an experienced meeting professional since 1993. She has been an active blogger in the meetings industry since 2009. Mulligan is on the Board of Directors of the PCMA POWER Chapter, Hudson Clocktower Rotary, and MPI Education Chair for northeast Ohio.

If you are looking for 10 minutes of attention from meeting attendees, rent a charging station from SmartSource Rentals. They have thousands of interactive technology tool rentals including iPads, computer kiosks and Wi-Fi network array systems. For more information about charging station configurations, contact SmartSource Rentals at 800.888.8686.  

Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is a speaker and independent third-party consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity He can be contacted at his extensive web site Corbin Ball Associates - Meetings Technology Headquarters (www.corbinball.com) and followed at www.twitter.com/corbinball. Subscribe to Corbin's free every-other-month high-content TechTalk Newsletter at www.corbinball.com/techtalk.

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