For 500 bucks, you can make your exhibit interactive, from showing a product demo to recording a lead, using your iPad. At Bartizan, we have manufactured lead retrieval hardware and developed lead retrieval software, but right now the best combination of hardware and software for my money is the iPad and iLeads.
The iPad gives you the opportunity to let booth visitors interact with you, your products and your lead management. It is incredibly effective, or, as Steve Jobs might say, "insanely great!"
Think of all of the things about your product that you cannot adequately demo on a trade show floor: A customer using your sump pump to empty his flooded basement, your newest helicopter in flight, the way your turf transforms a barren backyard in a matter of days, customers lauding your software, chemicals that are incredibly effective but not allowed in an exhibit hall...You can demonstrate each of these on an iPad that your visitor can hold in her hands.
Once you've demonstrated the product, you can segway right into customer qualification and lead collection. Qualifying and collecting leads is so much more civilized using an iPad, too. Rather than asking your visitor, "Are you a decision-maker?", you can point to different levels of decision-making authority. He can select the appropriate level by simply tapping the box that corresponds to his role: final decision; does purchasing; recommends; not involved.
With over a quarter-million apps, Apple very likely offers something for every exhibitor. For $500, it could be one of your best trade show investments.