Lose the Swag Bag: How to DeClutter at Trade Shows by Using Your Smart Phone
Remember that massive bag of swag you brought back from the last show you attended? Filled with stuff you were certain was useful when you picked it up, or took it from an eager young person in front of a booth? Remember what you did with all of that "useful" swag? An awful lot of it probably ended up in the trash or the recycling bin. The trade show industry is often heralded as the second most wasteful industry on the planet, behind either construction or manufacturing. I can't confirm this factoid, but I can certainly understand why it gets so much mileage: an awful lot of the material taken in to a trade show leaves in cans and dumpsters.
Yep, vendors at trade shows are always trying to give you stuff: marketing collateral, pens, post-it notes, swizzle sticks... anything with their company logo on it. They'll tell you'll find these items, or the information on them, useful. You may... but, ultimately, its the information contained in these giveaways that will really provide value, and you don't need one of those plastic bags with the perfectly round handle hole for that. Not, at least, if you have a smart phone.
That's right: all of the useful items you'll collect at booths — those with specs on a new product or contact information for someone you've met — became obsolete with the popularity of the smart phone. No more need to organize business cards, or product descriptions, or pamphlets with company info — just scan, swipe, and, click, and keep your hands free.
Want to avoid all that clutter and waste? Keep your phone on you, and keep these pointers in mind:
Look for QR codes: Smart vendors are learning how to cut the costs of their trade show visits by putting marketing collateral online. Quick Response (QR) codes make it really easy for anyone with a smart phone to download that material. Look for them at a vendor's booth, or at other places around the show — one of the beauties of them for vendors is that they can put their codes up anywhere, and share collateral without meeting someone face-to-face.
Snap pictures: Your phone's camera can serve as a helpful information-gathering device — just snap photos of vendor signage to collect information such as company names and URLs. An optical scanner app should allow you to easily extract the text from the photo.
Article continues at ENN affiliate, Clean Techies
Trade show image via Shutterstock