A client was looking at my Apple iPad the other day (what, and you thought a fanboy like me wouldn’t have one?), and he said “that ought to be a brilliant sales presentation tool”. I replied that I’d already seen several reviews of the device suggesting that one of its most immediate applications would indeed be in business face-to-face presentations.
Imagine you’re on an exhibition stand. You’re not likely to get many casual visitors to sit down and look at a laptop presentation. But you’re also not going to be able to wave a laptop in their face while standing up either; a laptop may be portable, but it’s not a one-handed display device.
The iPad, on (or in) the other hand, is just that. It can be a perfectly sized picture frame capable of storing unlimited numbers of images, brochures and display slides. All it needs is a good way of bringing all this together, and various approaches are starting to appear: Nonlinear is one such app. Apple seems to have cracked the hard bit, which is putting all your company’s marketing material in a salesman’s hand. An app which allows it to be accessed quickly and easily will complete the package.
A recent report on business takeup of the iPad suggests that it’s being considered seriously by larger organisations, with the interest (perhaps surprisingly) coming from the IT department.
With any luck, decent alternatives to the iPad will be on the market by the end of the year, so we’ll have a choice …and the price of these devices may fall. But even at £500, the iPad is easily affordable enough for a salesman to be issued with one just for presentation support. It doesn’t need any other justification, or to be used for anything else.