Mindless scanning badges and random follow-up. Is this really 2014?


Dreamforce had over 400 exhibitors spread across multiple halls. Some exhibitors had stands in several halls. Here are some of the themes Paid per scan

As usual there was mindless scanning of badges to get you on their database.

"Cloud Expo vendors are strange. I encountered folks that would politely ask to scan my badge only after exchanging some value to me via conversation and then others would just scan my badge as I walked by (WTF?) and then others would just approach while I was eating and shamelessly ask to scan my badge just to add to their lead database. Hrm, next year I need to spend more time in sessions and less in the expo =)"

"Having worked a few events before, in a past life, its either about quality - only scanning true prospects or doing the numbers game which to me is very old school"

"It was a turn off that some of the vendors would walk up to me as I was walking by, ask if I wanted some small swag, give me that swag. and scan my badge without telling me what their company was. Without me having a chance to say anything."

Random follow up

A week after Dreamforce the follow-up seems to include the following

  • Is generic: "thank you for attending our session" - when I RSVPs but couldn't get in. So they drove emails off RSVP, not the attendance log
  • Is generic: "dear attendee"
  • Is inappropriate:  - calling at 4am because they have not spotted the time zone is APAC
  • Is out of context: they know nothing about you because of "paid per scan"
  • No follow-up at all: perhaps because they scanned so many people they can't decide who to follow-up

"I have also experienced the phone calls....Not great in My New Zealand time zone at 4am! I don't love anyone's product at that time.... ...and just as I predicted. First 4am call (NZ time) from DF14, overnight. Grrrr..."

"It is the painful side to Dreamforce. I am selective who I let scan - but at the same time the unsubscribe usually works. If not - they get added to the junk mail filter!"

"I put my cell # as my contact #,. I got 5 calls yesterday. One of the vendors uses a technology so that the calling number automatically appears to come from YOUR area code, even though they don't have an office there."

Turn off

This is stopping delegates from even going into the exhibition halls

"I've had this happen to me in the past too and have learned to just keep my badge hidden to avoid the badge snatchers. I also stopped putting my business card into every fishbowl that had a cool drawing. The likelihood of me winning the prize is small and I still have to deal with the phone calls and emails. This year, I didn't even make it into the expo so I haven't had any calls or emails as of yet!"

"I purposely didn't talk to any vendors this year so I wouldn't get scanned or hounded by vendor calls/emails and I'm still getting them."

"I thought I learned my lesson last year having let anyone scan my badge. Tried to be selective this year but found many vendors wouldn't even talk to me about their products unless I let them scan me!"

"Personally, I only visited the vendors I was specifically interested in. If you didn't provide a purpose for me and my organization, you were not visited. I also "forced" the booth people to describe what their product did, how it would benefit my company, and even asked for a brief demo. Only then did I allow them to scan my badge. It's easy to be swayed by the new, bright, shiny (and often REALLY awesome) swag -- but, it takes some serious will power."

Conclusions

Exhibiting is become less and less cost effective

Sensible lead qualification on the stand makes followup easier and more relevant

Good qualification and follow up makes you stand out

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