In today’s business travel world the question of “Can I successfully travel with just a phone and tablet” has become the great debate. I have told myself over and over that it has to be possible to make a business trip with just a tablet; instead of, adding 4.5 pounds of Laptop to the luggage. Well, although I am convinced it is possible…I have not been able to actually leave home without the laptop.
Do I need the laptop? Most likely not. As long as I don’t have to type a multi-page custom contract or perform in depth spreadsheet analysis, I am probably just fine working with a tablet. In actuality, with the plethora of apps offered in both Itunes and Android App stores one really can streamline trade show activities easier with a phone or tablet. Let’s look at some apps you should definitely download prior to leaving home.
1. Gateguru – Most airport hub based attendees will enjoy direct flights to McCarron International in Las Vegas; however, for those of you who must make connections, GateGuru is a great app to have on your phone. The app will help you navigate terminals based on gates, food, sundries, airport clubs, etc.
2. Uber – You are at the airport and you don’t want to wait in the 200 person line for a cab and you really can’t justify spending $100 for a 10 minute cab ride in a limo over to the hotel. Well, Uber is your best option BUT may not be an option at all. Let’s see what Judge Douglas Herndon rules today at 9am Vegas time. Uber launched October 24th and within hours, Uber drivers were losing their vehicles to impound due to the muscle of the Transportation Authority and Taxi Union. As of right now, Uber drivers are still operating in Clark County and are definitely the quickest option to get from McCarron to any hotel on the strip.
3. Vegas Maps – So you have landed and are headed to your hotel. These small cities called Casino Resorts can be puzzling at best due to the commotion around you all the time. Vegas Maps has a free version that has, take a guess…casino hotel / resort maps. Looking for the restaurants? Check Vegas Maps. Need a Starbucks coffee that first morning at 4am because back home it’s 7am? Vegas Maps.
4. Sign Easy – It’s Tuesday morning and you wake for the show only to find a couple of PDF files in your inbox that need to be signed, scanned and emailed/faxed back to the office. Why go crazy looking for a printer when you can use SignEasy? SignEasy is an app that lets you capture and place your signature from you phone / tablet into a PDF so that you do not have to print and sign.
5. AAPEX Show App – It’s actually a really nice tool to have. I have been able to identify several booths where I have meetings and already have them marked in the app for quick reference on the show flow. Signed up for one of the education course but forgot the time and location? No problem, open the app and in seconds you have the list of events with time and location. The show has done a great job with this app.
6. TurboScan – You are at your booth and upon looking at your newly printed brochures, you find a critical typo that must be corrected asap. You take out your pen, mark up the brochure and use TurboScan to quickly snap a photo of it. TurboScan will take that photo and convert it either to a PDF or Jpeg (your choice) and you can even email the PDF right from the app.
7. Penultimate – Time for a meeting with clients. You sit down at the table and instead of the typical pen and paper, you pull out a stylus and begin to write normally on your Ipad. Penultimate is an app that captures your hand written notes on a virtual notepad in your Ipad. Ditch the legal pad, capture direct to the machine for reference later.
8. XE Currency – You have to go to a couple of meetings on the first floor of the show. Most people don’t need an explanation as to why a currency converter would be beneficial on the first floor of the show. XE Currency is a great little app that shows current FX rates and will instantly provide up to a 1 year historical. Wondering why your export sales in US Dollars have tanked? Check the FX rate and quickly identify currency devaluation issues.
9. DocuSign – You have had several meetings and have reviewed the notes with everyone who needs to approve a decision on a proposal. As a former boss of mine used to say to me, “If you don’t have the P.O., don’t come home.”, now you have the ability to obtain a signed, legally binding contract right there at the show. DocuSign has been used for years in the RealEstate market. This program allows you to upload a contract, mark the signature / initial locations and send to the appropriate people for signature. They sign the document electronically and you have an immediate trail of signatures. The client can sign off right from their phone or tablet.
10. OpenTable – Now that you have made it through the long trade show day and you have those electronic, legally binding signatures for your new projects, it’s time to celebrate with a nice dinner. Forgot to make a reservation prior to the trip? No worries, don’t run out of the show with the cattle herd at 5pm, book a reservation from your booth using Open Table. The app provides open reservation slots at all the main restaurants around town. A few clicks and you are all set, it even drops the reservation onto your calendar.
There are way more apps that will be used during the show and we know we have left out several more that may be of assistance but the apps above will definitely help make life on the show floor a bit easier.
As always, if you have any questions or need outside assistance with your aftermarket operation in Mexico, please don’t hesitate to contact us:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at: 248-792-0108