What to Look for in Trade Show Software

September 12, 2022

If you're in charge of organizing a trade show, you might be wondering how you’re going to manage all the product data, registration information, and event communications before and during the event. In the past, these tasks could be handled with spreadsheets, calendar invites, and email threads. However, bouncing back and forth between multiple programs and updating attendees every time there's a change in your event details can be very time-consuming and difficult to keep track of.

You need a trade show software that can manage all of your data and event logistics in one place. Fortunately, there are a number of software solutions that allow you to seamlessly integrate all of your trade show data, make updates without having to bounce from program to program, and manage communications all in one place. The right trade show software can help you automate all of those redundant data-entry tasks that are part of managing trade shows and other events.

In-Person Trade Show Software

When shopping for trade show software, you'll want something that can help you increase your event sales, help you gain business insights, and cut back on tedious administrative tasks. But what should you look for when choosing a software solution? Whether you’re a trade show organizer or an exhibitor, you’ll want something that has these main four features:

  1. Event Registration
  2. Support for Content & Lead Collection
  3. Product Catalog & Ordering
  4. Analytics & Reporting

Event Registration

To save you time and effort as a trade show organizer, you'll want software that helps you build and manage event websites tailored to your specific needs; something that can create multiple web pages, event maps, pre-show registration forms, and at-show registration and check-in for exhibitors and attendees. Here are a few other registration features to keep in mind:

  • Ability to conduct surveys
  • Enable sign-up to seminars at registration​
  • Create printable registration badges

Support for Content & Lead Collection

The ideal trade show software would give your exhibitors content management features that allow them to provide customers and attendees with product information. This would include sell sheets, virtual demos, product images, and more. Software that allows potential customers to express interest in a vendor's product and leave custom notes or contact information is also beneficial.

Product Catalog & Ordering

While we’re on the subject of content support for product information, we should also mention how valuable it is for the attendees to have the ability to flip through a digital product catalog and order directly while at the trade show. For exhibitors, this is a valuable feature to have, and it’s definitely something for organizers to keep in mind when shopping for trade show software.

Analytics & Reporting

As an organizer, you’ll want your trade show software to have data collection and reporting capabilities. Being able to view live reports throughout the show, as well as post-show analysis, is vital to your success. Your customers will appreciate having access to customized attendee reports, and your exhibitors will appreciate having access to live and post-show sales reports.

Virtual Trade Show Software

Post-pandemic, virtual trade shows are still taking place, and they’re a great way to bring in more attendees because they remove all travel barriers. If you’re hosting a virtual trade show or even a hybrid trade show, you’ll want software with all the features mentioned above and a few more. Even though attendees won’t be physically present at a virtual show, they can still get the experience of walking a showroom floor with the right software. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Customizable video or 3D lobby
  • Live and on-demand webinar streaming capability
  • Integrated multi-way chat
  • Breakout rooms and private messages

With a robust trade show software solution, you’ll have the tools you need to make your next trade show a success.

See what Perenso's trade show software can do to increase your team's sales and efficiency