The Complete Guide to Using Digital Business Cards at Trade Shows
Digital business cards provide an instant and contactless way to share contact information, making them the perfect networking tools to use at trade shows. In this article, learn exactly how digital business cards are key to networking successfully during trade show events.
Picture this: You’re attending a bustling trade show to meet potential clients or investors. You’ve got your trusty stack of business cards ready to do your PR. But as you interact, you quickly realize you are running out of paper business cards with still many people left to meet.
Moreover, paper business cards restrict you in other ways—limited interactivity, physical sharing—to name a few.
This is exactly where a digital business card, also known as an e-business card, becomes useful. In addition to eliminating the need for a finite stack of paper, digital business cards provide a highly interactive and hassle-free way to share contact information. You can share these cards conveniently via popular contactless mediums such as Apple or Google Wallet, email signature, and social media.
Continue reading for a complete guide to using digital business cards at trade shows, including:
1. Create and update digital business cards at any time
Creating a digital business card is as easy as making a profile on social media. For instance, with Beaconstac, you just need to log in to the dashboard, select a suitable layout, fill in the details you want to display, and your card is ready to share along with a QR Code.
Now let’s say, at some point, you need to update your business card’s contact information—whether the update is a new phone number, email, or website URL.
If you use paper business cards, the only way to reflect the updates is by spending money on reprinting. This is in direct contrast to what digital business cards offer.
Because of the dynamic nature of digital business cards, you can update them at the back end as often as necessary—with the updates displayed in real-time. This eliminates the need for expensive card-reprinting efforts.
2. Show all your business and professional details in one place
At trade shows, attendees typically come across dozens of businesses like yours offering unique products or services. In such a scenario, it’s essential to make sure that you leave a lasting impression on your potential clients.
Unlike physical business cards with a limited space of 3.5” x 2.0,” you can have all your details in one place on a digital business card. This virtual real estate helps you convey a comprehensive picture of your business. For instance, in addition to your contact details, your card can showcase website links, social handles, links to marketing material, and more.
Providing attendees access to all your information in one place makes it easier for them to better understand your business, allowing you to make a lasting impact.
3. Conduct 100% contactless networking during trade shows
Surveys have found that 82% of customers want businesses to offer a contactless experience, which holds true for networking as well.
During trade shows, you can easily share your digital business card contact-free with the attendees and prospects you meet. This is possible because your recipient can save your digital business card as an Apple Wallet/Google Wallet pass.
4. Monitor your digital business card’s engagement performance
Measuring networking ROI from attending trade shows can be a daunting task if you’re using paper business cards. This is because they do not have the ability to provide actionable insights into their effectiveness in generating leads or fostering connections.
By contrast, digital business cards offer card-scan tracking and analytics. This capability allows you to capture crucial engagement metrics, which you can use to make data-driven decisions, optimize your networking strategy, and achieve better results.
Through Beaconstac, your digital business card can obtain the following meaningful engagement metrics:
1. The total number of views your card has received.
2. The number of times your contact was saved.
3. The total number of unique recipients your card has reached.
4. Your best and worst-performing digital business cards.
5. Card engagement by time, date, location, and device.
In addition to capturing these metrics, you can retarget users on Facebook and Google, giving you another opportunity to convert people who have previously shown interest in your business but haven’t converted yet.
5. Cut down on card creation costs significantly
The average annual cost to print paper business cards in the US is $194 per employee. This average spend is only meant to give you a perspective—expenses can go much higher depending on your card’s complexity and material.
To be able to carry more cards, you need to spend more on printing. Unfortunately, much of this money is wasted as 63% of recipients would only throw paper business cards in the trash.
Digital business cards are paperless, which means they are significantly more cost-effective. Switching to e-business cards instantly reduces the massive paper printing and reprinting costs associated with your business card use.
6. Capture leads in real-time via your digital business card
Trade shows and events present ideal moments to capture warm leads for your business. The good news is that you can conduct real-time lead collection via your digital business card during these events.
How? Through your digital business card’s two-way contact-sharing capability.
This feature lets you capture your card recipient’s contact details as soon as you share your digital business card. Your recipient simply completes and submits a contact form present in your card. The details they share will automatically be recorded in your virtual address book (on your digital business card provider’s dashboard).
Through this address book, you can view and manage all the leads you collect using your card. You can also export these leads list directly to Salesforce or 700+ other CRM platforms via Zapier.
7. Provide real-time interactivity with e-business cards
Networking at trade shows can be overwhelming, with countless brands vying for the same attention. In this crowded environment, digital business cards can help your brand stand out.
You can make your networking more engaging and memorable since digital business cards are highly interactive. Your recipients can access the contact detail they need in real-time—whether it’s a social icon, landing page URL, or phone number—via a single tap or click.
According to a recent report, interactive content generates 2X more conversions than passive content. By providing interactivity and ease of use for your business card recipients, you significantly increase their likelihood of engaging with your brand.
This ultimately leads to more conversions and a higher networking ROI.
8. Network in a 100% sustainable and eco-friendly way
It should be well established by now that digital business cards are the best option for networking at trade shows. Unlike paper business cards, you can include as much information as you need on an e-business card—with each piece of information being interactive.
Including your basic details such as your name, profile picture, and job title on your digital business card helps attendees remember you and enables you to cross the first level of trust-building.
Let’s say you are a realtor using a digital business card. You can include a summary briefly detailing your experience in dealing with properties successfully with home buyers. This can immediately build trust and authority among your target audience.
1. A professional headshot
2. Your name, title, and pronoun
3. Your company and designation
4. A professional summary
2. Contact details
Once the recipients know who you are, it’s time to inform them how they can contact you.
A digital business card lets you add all your contact details—including all your phone numbers, emails, and website URLs (such as a link to a WhatsApp chat or a meeting scheduler). This gives your recipients more alternatives to get in touch with you.
The best part? Each of these contact details is accessible with a single tap.
For instance, remote meeting links are essential for professionals like consultants and advisors. By adding a convenient but dynamic meeting link to your e-business card’s contact details section, you can get started with a new client seamlessly.
Another research has shown that using a signature color can increase consumer recognition of your brand by 80%. Also, pay attention to your font style and size to align with your brand’s website—all of which are customizable with digital business cards.
So, in addition to your profile information and contact details, ensure to add your unique branding design to your digital business card to showcase authenticity.
We recommend designing your digital business card by customizing the colors per your company branding.
Beaconstac allows you to tailor your e-business card’s aesthetics to your unique branding design.
You can customize your cards in the following ways:
1. Choose a beautiful digital business card layout from a wide selection
2. Add your company or brand logo to your card
3. Customize your card’s color (via an advanced color palette feature)
4. Change your textual fonts and sizes
4. Relevant marketing materials
Including links to your website or key marketing materials on your digital business card helps attendees learn more about your products or services.
For example, a healthcare professional’s digital business card can showcase a link that redirects to an external resource showing how a patient’s health has improved after a consultation. It can also display links to patient testimonials, recently published blog posts, or informative documents.
QR Codes are a popular and efficient way of sharing digital business cards. Once your digital business card is linked to a QR Code, you can download this business card QR Code in a suitable format and share it across various channels.
In addition, you can also share this QR Code via other channels, such as social media. You can even display it on your company’s promotional materials—such as your booth stand’s posters.
3. Via URL on SMS and instant messaging apps
At trade shows, sometimes attendees might find your number and drop a text, looking to learn more about you and your business.
If you are using a digital business card, you can simply send them your card’s URL via SMS or instant messaging apps.
On Beaconstac’s dashboard, you can quickly find the URL for your card, copy it, and send it to your potential clients. This is one of the most instant and hassle-free ways to send e-business cards—even in a casual conversation.
Best practices: To increase the networking impact of your digital business card during trade shows, it is crucial to follow these best practices:
1. Keep information up to date. Keep the information in your digital business card up-to-date to avoid any misconception.
2. Customize based on the intent/purpose of the trade show. Your e-business card details should reflect the intent or purpose of the trade show you are attending. For instance, at a healthcare event, emphasize your healthcare-related expertise and provide relevant links to your work.
3. Be specific about who you share your card with. Distribute your digital business card only to people who are relevant to you and your business. If you’re a real estate agent at a property expo, share your card only with those who are looking to buy or sell a property.
Network successfully at trade shows with Beaconstac’s digital business cards
You’re attending trade shows to make an impression that drives leads and strong business connections.
When you use digital business cards instead of paper business cards, you come across as more professional, sustainable, modern, and more importantly, prepared—all signs of someone who can be relied on when doing business with.
Through Beaconstac, you can create, share, and manage digital business cards at scale. Go paperless with Apple and Google Wallet sharing and monitor your card’s engagement performance with card-scan analytics.
The platform safeguards your e-business card activities with enterprise-grade security measures and does not force you to download an additional application.
Vanhishikha is a B2B SaaS content marketer and writer who likes to tap into the search intent of target audiences and use the data to guide marketing strategies and create content that resonates with them. She is also the founder of Contensify, a SaaS marketing agency for startups and scale-ups.