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Badge Scanners vs Business Cards: Pros and Cons

Business cards are so 1950′s, right? We all know using a lead capture system is proven to close more deals faster, yet some exhibitors remain unconvinced. The new, cloud based lead systems work on your smartphone and incorporate email and contact management software post show.

Using electronic systems exhibitor data is stored “in the cloud”. “So what”, you say. “Cloud, shmoud, I want to clutch a piece of paper in my hands.” In response, I say, having your information in the cloud means that it is always available, and not to just one person. You can make it available to your colleagues by sharing your username and password. Since the data will be stored without charge for at least a year, you will never have to search though your records (or your pants’ pockets or a pocketbook) for a prospect’s information.

Still skeptical? We’ve come up with a short list of pros and cons of the two most popular lead capture systems.

Electronic Lead Retrieval


• Eliminates manual computer input
• Accurate, no transcription errors
• Easy to add qualifiers and notes
• Leads backed up in cloud-no lost leads
• No illegible leads
• Builds a database
• Saves time and money, offsetting upfront cost
• Exportable to CRM
• Easy to email follow-up
• Leads easily distributed and shared electronically


• Up-front cost is higher than using business cards
• Badge must be present for input
• Some systems require user training
• Some systems are suitable for use only on the show floor

Business Cards


• Low up-front cost
• No training required
• Highly portable
• Badges unnecessary, allowing use at all events


• Notes often illegible
• Qualifiers free-form, not standardized
• Limited space for notes
• Requires computer input
• Easily lost, no automatic backup
• Some attendees may not have cards
• Lead data cannot be shared in real-time

Business cards are not good enough. Not if you drop them, or lose them or never input the info into your CRM. Additionally, lead retrieval captures attendees full registration data – this is much more info than what is on a business card. It includes purchasing authority, buying timeline, company size as well as other useful data.

Now, with real time data transfer for lead retrieval – salespeople back at the office can follow up on leads while you’re still at the show.

You can collect and manage your leads anywhere, not just on the show floor. Most lead retrieval terminals do not fit conveniently into a pocket or purse. A smartphone does – and it is unlikely that you are ever without it.

You can use your iPad or Android tablet to collect and manage leads. A smartphone offers convenience – it can be used anywhere. A tablet offers a different kind of convenience. It can collect and display everything (well, almost everything). Not only that, collecting leads using a tablet becomes an interactive experience – our users report that their prospects participate in the process.

Seriously, we are in a digital age – manage your leads in a quick, digital way.

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