Regardless of what you may have read, cell phone charging stations are not lead-generating magic beans. However, if you already have the three trade show essentials nailed down — that is, (1) great branding and booth design, (2) friendly, knowledgeable salespeople, and (3) a solid plan for collecting leads and following up — then adding a branded charging station to your display may indeed be a smart move. The key is to see it for what it is: one small piece of a much broader prospect engagement strategy.
Charging Station Types and Features
Ever since 2012, when a survey of 130 European hotels revealed the number one item most often left behind in hotel rooms is an electric charger or adapter, trade show furniture manufacturers have produced a dizzying array of “charged” furniture options for trade show booths. In fact, nearly every type of trade show furniture you can imagine is now being manufactured with built-in USB ports, including charging kiosks, counters, benches, chairs, and an endless variety of charging tables.
And whether you rent or buy, you will likely have the option of custom-branding your charging station with your company’s logo and graphics.
But are branded charging stations in trade show booths really a game changer? They can be, but not as a standalone feature. In today’s competitive trade show market, it’s not enough to merely offer prospects a place to charge their devices and then have all of your salespeople lined up, waiting to pounce on a captive audience. As a lead gen tactic, branded charging stations work best when blended seamlessly with other customer engagement activities.
Here are a few ideas from industry experts that you might want to try:
Combine Your Charging Station with a Giveaway Promotion
Everybody loves free stuff, and people who use your charging station will be in your booth for around 10 minutes. Why not offer them a chance to register to win a prize while they’re waiting for their device to charge? By posting a simple QR code at your charging station, prospects can quickly scan the code and access the registration form on their own without having to wait for a salesperson.
Combine Your Charging Station with a Streaming Presentation
Charging stations can also be very successful when used as an educational pre-sales tool. Streaming recorded product demonstrations, case studies or customer testimonials at your station gives prospects an easy way to learn about your product or service.
Combine Your Charging Station with a Booth Game
If you have enough space in your booth, your charging station area can also work as a gaming table of sorts. By creating your own customized online trivia game app, for example, prospects can compete with each other while learning more about your service offering. And your industry-specific trivia questions can help to spark further conversation between prospects and your sales team later on.
Charging Stations Create a Unique Pre-Sale Opportunity
Interactive, branded charging stations create an ideal space in which to engage prospects and qualify leads. By providing a place for show attendees to charge up, relax, be entertained, be educated — and maybe even be offered a free snack — your salespeople will have an opportunity to initiate meaningful conversations with booth visitors who are already a bit more familiar with your products and services just by stopping at your charging station.