How to turn your front desk into a mini-Apple Store

Three messages before we get started.
First: What you are about to read could make your life easier.
Second: It could make your front desk/reception/trade-show-booth feel like an Apple Store.
Third: It arrives at an incredibly reasonable price.

Maxime Corso from Cambridge, ON reached out to me shortly after I posted my article about Swipespot to tell me about his app called Sign In. In short, the app converts your iPad into an easy-to-use visitor registry which protects all information – both yours and your visitors.

I was immediately impressed with this app. Shortly after I had the pleasure of exchanging a few words with Maxime and he graciously agreed to conduct a quick interview for

Jenan: How did this app get made—what inspired you to develop it?
Maxime: As a sales & marketing professional with over 20 years of business experience, I visited countless offices. And in most cases had to sign in to most of those locations on a paper binder. When a friend purchased an iPad, showing me the device, it dawned on me that this is just a tiny, sleek, elegant computer. Build an app that can run on this tiny, yet powerful computer and that’s all that is required to automate the sign in process at most offices. The idea was born.

Jenan: Could you tell us a bit about how to best utilize your app as a productivity tool?
Maxime: Our websites outlines a few interesting cases where we show real-life examples of how our users utilize the app. Its quite wonderful to hear about the many uses, most of which I didn’t conceive of when developing. For example, for trade shows, company’s use this to gather visitor information, rather then the traditional fish bowl where you drop off your business card. Since the app is modern and sleek, users say they get great “buzz or feedback” with this device in their booth. Another case is a day care centre uses the app to sign in their students, logging the parent or guardian that drops off and picks up the children. Later, the day centre uses the registry data for attendance and billing. These are just a few of the many examples we get from our users.

Jenan: How do you go about finding ambassadors for your app?
Maxime: Ambassadors seem to find us, as is the case with most innovative ideas. People seem to be attracted to simple yet functional ideas.

Jenan: You recommend the stand for iPad made by Rocketfish—could you elaborate?
Maxime: We actually recommend many stands. Rocketfish is one of a very few available in Canada. There is a wider selection of stands available throughout Europe and the United States. I guess our recommendation is purely based on geographic availability.

Jenan: You told me that your app works great with Swipespot stands. Have you reached out to them yet?
Maxime: They contacted us through our website. We look forward to learning more about them, and seeing if there is a way to co-market our produsts together. It seems to be a natural fit.

Jenan: Do you have any other exciting projects you’d like to tell us about?
Maxime: We are also developing an EFT (electronic funds transfer) payment service for the Canadian and US markets. Currently the product is pre-launch. However, more information and product videos are available at

Jenan: Any advice for developers who are thinking about developing an app (“If I started today…”)
Maxime: The only useful advice I am glad I took seriously, was to try our concept/idea for the apple platform first. Specifically for the iPad tablet platform (as opposed to developing on other platforms concurrently like Android O/S). All indications confirm that Apple owns this marketplace with dedicated and growing audience. Other tablets platforms will try to compete, but seem to be struggling. Apple seems to be the one that has the staying power in this market space.

Jenan: Thank you Maxime and good luck with your app!
Aug 18, 2011