Use interactive maps for tradeshows, exhibition and convention centers
Far from being just a means of getting from a to b, in the Internet age, maps on web has became an important part of websites and online marketing strategy of many business. They are used to display territory assignments, store locators, country selector, directories, and for many other applications.
A popular way to use the interactive map is to use it as a site plan, which maps out the different parts of a site or building, and helps people find their way about. Site plan are used most often in exhibition, trade shows, convention centers, campus, or as floor plan for home and offices. Many real estate, hotel and property finder websites are also seen adapting to the latest online technology, and are using interactive site plan as a part of a powerful online marketing strategy.
For example, by embeding a clickable interactive map on your exhibition or trade show website, visitors can quickly click an area on the map to find out where the booths are located in. You can also use mouseover image or tootips to display additional information about each both as necessary. The phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words" holds even more true in the Internet age. Your potential visitors can better relate to your information and stay on your website when they're able to view an illustrative map.
The interactive site map can offer trade show participants a truly insightful experience that help them to decide where (be it a stand or booth) to visit, or which booth to reserve, clarifies about the entry and exit points, and gives a real view of the building prior to their arrival. Not only interactive maps can help visitors to navigate, you can also show additional information to indicate where the restaurants, hotel, toilets, meeting rooms, business center are.
Google Map is very well known for creating interactive world maps. Google Map is indeed a very powerful online map tool, and it is free for embed to your website. You can use Google Map to create maps with details upto street levels, zoom in and out easily. You can also add 'bubbles' anywhere on the Google earth map to pinpoint a location, and search locations by simply type in an address.
However, which you can use Google map to easily pinpoint geographical locations, Google Map might not be suitable to use on your corporate website as a navigation tool for exhibition or trade shows.
For instance, you might need
- a basic US Map, generalize all states or regions for users to use as a state selector
- a single state map (e.g. California) within the USA, showing counties border lines.
- a world map, set colours of each continent or country, use as a country selector
- import your own map (e.g. an exhibition floor plan), adding points and interactive functions
These tasks cannot be done easily in Google map -- because Google Map needs to load the entire globe map everytime and is co-ordiate based. You can not set a mouseover function for a region (continent, country, state or county) without dig deep into the Google Map API.
For these type of usage, you can use an interactive map software such as iMapBuilder. iMapBuilder is an interactive map making program which you can install on your windows desktop to create clickable flash map easily. It comes with a set of ready-to-use map templates, including World, Europe, USA, China, Asia, Africa, North and South America, Australia and other maps. Most importantly, you can import your own graphic or illustrations instead of country map templates, so to convert any ordinary floor plan or exhibition ground image into a interactive, clickable map.
You can then also export the created interactive map to JPG image format for using in other applications, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, freehand, PowerPoint, etc. The map can then be displayed in your exhibtion or trade show promotional brochures, newsletters, magazines, bulletins, prospectuses, etc