Monday, May 10, 2010

First show daily for the iPad? China Daily release iPad app for Expo 2010 Shanghai China

The Show Daily is the mainstay of many trade shows in the U.S., and most are printed by trade magazines who contract with the show management company or trade association in charge of the show.
Many publishers have been looking to avoid the high cost of print and shipping these show dailies by exploring web alternatives. Maybe the mobile app seen here will give a few publishers additional ideas.

Late last week a new iPad app appeared in the iTunes store an app from China Daily for Expo 2010 Shanghai China, a World Expo (or international fair) that has 190 countries participating. The exposition runs from May 1 to October 31 and the iPad app is sort of a new twist on the show daily idea.

(According to the English language version of the expo site, there is also supposed to be an app for the iPhone and iPod touch, but I do not see one in iTunes -- this may have been an error on Apple's part. An app for iPhone makes much more sense since the iPad has not even been released in China and most parts of the world yet. But since the iPad app was the first to be seen, we'll go ahead and look at that one now.)

The app is simple enough, essentially an RSS reader. But the app does contain a lot of useful information and much to read. The app contains information on the individual pavilions, as well as visitor services. It also contains a rather interesting section called Outside In -- which has nothing to do with the company of the same name, but does aggregate stories about the expo written by outside sources. In fact, the lead story now in the section is a rather negative look at the expo, possibly making it through the censors because of translation difficulties?

Once the market for tablets and e-readers matures, it is definitely possible that producing show dailies exclusively (or with a web version, as well) could be a viable option for trade publishers. For now, the iPhone marries up nicely with the iPad, but the penetration of both devices together remains small. With the possible appearance of Android based tablets, however, suddenly publishers could seriously consider producing apps for both platforms and feel confident that they are reaching a decent share of the market.