The unusual configuration of the booth caught my attention, but this was the third time I had passed this booth while searching for a colleague lost on the trade show floor. I tried to figure out the bizarre and unusual booth's presentation but just could not figure out what they were selling.
I asked the man in the purple bow tie what they did. He told me his company specialized in branding, and they worked with companies to help brand images for trade show booths. He rattled off a list of clients they have worked with and then went on to explain how all the booths around him were doing it wrong.
"Collecting business cards is a waste of time and energy," he boasted.
"Show management is providing an attendee list after the show, why waste the effort of collecting cards when we will get all the information in a day or two," he exclaimed.
Instantly I hear the voice of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham with Walter saying, "Dumb-ass!" Walter was upset that somebody would actually leave in the middle of a televised show. That's how I felt on a trade show floor hearing that a paying exhibitor is not accepting business cards.
Then it occurred to me that this was the President of a company and not a Sales Manager.
It may be true that show management provides you a list of attendees contact information, but that's what it is... a list. The list fails to tell you who is interested in your service or product.
Here are 4 reason's you should always gather business cards.
- Lead - This person is or knows of somebody interested in your product or service
- Marketing - Statistical data can be analyzed, such as titles, geographic demographics, and markets.
- Correct Data - Show managers hire vendors to do data entry, so information supplied may be inaccurate.
- Social Business Etiquette - In business we start the trust and professional relationship with the introduction of a business card.
About the Author
Dale Obrochta puts a twist on lead generation and helps companies attract clients, generate leads, and create a successful trade show experience for the attendee while stuffing his client's pockets with qualified leads.