I Don't Give Business Cards At Events

July 17, 2017
By: Ryan Salinas

What? Not give business cards at events? Why would you be so stupid? What would possess you to do such a thing? 

Relax. Calm down...take a sip of your coffee and I will explain. 

I used to send out attendants with a 5x5 postcard that had some basic package information and sure we would get phone calls here and there, but there's no tracking. In this digital age, tracking the origin of where the lead comes from is key. 

The second problem was where I would forget to order cards, an accident would happen, they would get damaged, left in the booth, or the information and pricing or features would change so quickly...and so on, and so on. 

I hate paper. I hate keeping up with paper. I hate storing it then trying to remember where I put it and making sure it's in the booth when the attendant grabs it.

I thought to myself, how do I fix this? There has to be a better way to get information out to potential clients. 


Couple of references before I continue! I use some third party applications that can all tie into together with a little time and effort. You'll find the options are endless. 
Typeform: An interactive form capture tool used to collect info via website. 
Twilio: An online software company that allows you to make and receive phone calls and send and receive text messages using its web service APIs.
Zapier: Used to automate tasks between web apps and tie the two together. 
There are alternatives for some of these companies. For example you could use Formstack instead of Typeform. You could use IFTTT instead of Zapier, however these are the ones that work for me. 

 

A lightbulb went off! I use Typeform for capturing leads on the website, so I looked for other integrations as well. The second step was to apply the Twilio integration to be able to send the text message. 

Once this form is submitted through Typeform, you'll need to go through an intermediary to get that information to Twilio

From here you'll connect your Typeform account, and tell Zapier which form and what information to pull. All I did was insert the phone number and the attendant name so I can track which attendant gets the commission. 

Next, you'll connect the Twilio account. This where you'll pull the information from the Typeform account. I always create a specific link on my website for users that click this link. You can offer targeted pricing, or anything special you like from someone finding out about your business in this way. 

Here's where the fun begins! I give all the attendants this custom link. And from there all they have to do is submit the information. Type in the phone number and their name and done! 

It's turned into a fast easy way for attendants to be invested in the business because we do offer a commission on whatever they book. 

We're able to retain the guests' info so we can follow up with them if necessary...business cards and postcards can't do that. 

Think about it this way, if you had a guest that you handed a postcard. That guest has to take the extra step of picking up their phone and calling you or typing in your website and filling out a form. This fixes both of those problems. 

You've skipped a few steps by putting your website and phone number into the hands on the consumer. 

Whenever the attendant sends this out, the guest gets a text message. Through Twilio, I have attached this to whenever they text back that it forwards to a cell phone, this I will say does take some extra coding. I have a system to where I can communicate back and forth, but that did take some work to accomplish. 

With the Zapier integration you are able to include a photo, I generally do a square graphic that reminds the client who we are and a photo of the booth, so its a little more recognizable. 

Then I include a link that is specific only to this application, that way I can track how many times its being visited. 

 

This is why I don't give out business cards. I change my mind up far too quickly, and all I have to do is simply update the website they are given and with just a few clicks I can put out new information, be able to follow up with leads, and give attendants credit for the leads that they acquire. It's a win-win-win! 

Comment below and let me know what you think! 

If you would like to have this setup for you, please purchase at this link.

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Ryan Salinas is an Adele Lover, Entrepreneur, and Photographer...in that order. He has been in the events industry for over 14 years. If you have any questions about the article you just read, send him an email

 
Ryan Salinas