How can exhibitors use a trade fair app for their marketing?

Trade fair apps offer new functions that allow exhibitors to use technology to play an active role in shaping their entire trade fair appearance. As a result of the triumphant advance of the smartphone, these apps are becoming increasingly popular with trade fair visitors.    

Photo: Sabrina Reinhardt
Photo: Sabrina Reinhardt

Expert: Sabrina Reinhardt
Sales and Marketing 
Heidelberg Mobil International GmbH

A variety of options 

In the month to two weeks before a trade fair starts, the number of times the event’s app is accessed and downloaded increases significantly. The alphabetical and product-specific lists of exhibitors are used particularly often, as are the maps of the site and exhibition halls. The app allows the trade fair company to offer exhibiting companies a variety of products to help them with their trade fair marketing. There is generally a product to suit every budget, which means that every exhibitor can benefit from the trade fair app.   

Banner sponsorship 

Banner sponsorship is a tried-and-trusted form of advertising. The advertising banner appears on almost every page of the app and can be linked to different kinds of pages. For example, the banner can be linked to an external website – the company’s home page, for example, or a microsite created specifically for the purpose of an advertising campaign. Another option is a landing page: instead of a direct link to the exhibitor’s home page, the user is first taken to a landing page within the app that contains detailed information and images. The advantage of a landing page like this is that no connection to the Internet is required to display it. The user receives the essential information about the company or specific products and can proceed to the company’s home page via a link.    

Exhibitor stands can be highlighted in the hall map by integrating company logos. (Photo: Heidelberg Mobil)
Exhibitor stands can be highlighted in the hall map by integrating company logos. (Photo: Heidelberg Mobil)

Clickable logo 

Small and medium-sized companies with limited budgets can highlight their stand on the map of the exhibition hall by adding their company logo to it. The exhibitor’s logo attracts considerably more attention than just the company’s name.  


At certain points – while a page is loading, for example – it is possible to display full-screen advertisements known as interstitials. These appear for around three seconds and then automatically disappear again. Interesting graphics attract a great deal of attention from users. It is also possible to include a link to the company’s home page on in the interstitial.

In-app apps 

In-app apps are particularly suitable for larger companies or shared stands. Facts and figures, news, a map of the stand, a company profile, social networks or videos can be displayed in an app integrated in the trade fair app. The visitor can navigate through the exhibitor’s content section by section and get a comprehensive picture of what the exhibitor has to offer. A prominent example of this is the interactive IBM stand, which is part of the CeBIT app.   

Range of benefits 

Trade fair apps offer a range of benefits for exhibiting companies’ marketing. These include measurable coverage, low wastage, independence of time and place, a high level of acceptance, long campaign durations, value for money and – something that’s particularly important – measurement of results on the basis of detailed analyses. In terms of the placement of the advertising, there is a clear focus on user behaviour. Rather than being overloaded with advertising, the app serves as an exclusive medium with a maximum of five banner locations. Moreover, strict attention is paid to avoiding overt competition between exhibitors. For example, no advertising is permitted within an exhibitor’s detailed entry. As a general principle, the information obtained on user behaviour around each trade fair is exploited in the development of subsequent apps. Apps that are well received and used a lot by trade fair visitors are developed further . On the other hand, options that are little used are discontinued.   


Heidelberg Mobil developed over 50 apps for trade fairs and conventions in 2012. These included major events such as IAA, IFA, CeBIT and Hannover Messe as well as smaller trade fairs and conventions of various magnitudes (

This article was published in TFI issue 5/2013


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