Investing in a stand at a business show or trade show is expensive and you need to see a return on that investment. When things go your way, you may pick up a piece of business that on the day that justifies the cost, but if it doesn’t, you need to make sure that you’ve collected all that visitor information to do some useful followup with later.

It still amazes me when I see stands with clipboards and paper forms. Not only is this inefficient at the stand itself, but it also means that some poor admin has to decipher rushed handwriting back at the office to type it all in.

I also see use of trade show scanning systems which are no doubt, the best solution for the job. They’re usually integrated with the marketing of the event, visitor name cards and you’ll have tech support on the day if you have any issues. However, this usually comes at a cost.

So, here’s the middle ground. Use your smartphone. But use it effectively so that you can do something with the data after the event.




Step 1

Download Card Scanner App from Zoho. It costs 79p and is very straightforward to use. You can read my other blog about the success factor of the scan, but in general, the better the phone camera, the better the success rate of the scan.


Step 2

Set up a Zoho Contact Manager free trial by clicking here. This is where the stand visitors will be stored for further action. If needed, you can have someone monitoring the scans on the day and sending appropriate emails or creating followup actions.

Contact Manager is an excellent solution in its own right. It’s a mini-CRM for businesses that aren’t quite ready for full CRM yet, but it has a lot of features that take it way beyond using Outlook, ICloud or a spreadsheet. Take a look at the video to find out more.

If you just need a one-off solution, then Zoho Contact Manager has a 14-day trial available which means you’ll be able to do the job, export the data and move on. You may even decide to keep the tool as it’s only $15 per month for as many users you require.

Step 3

Set up Card Scanner to link with Zoho Contact Manager. To do this, head into Card Scanner on your smart phone and click the Settings cog. Under Login Details, add your Zoho credentials and setup the synch with Contact Manager. Now, each time you scan a business card, it will be automatically uploaded to Contact Manager.

A top tip is to check the details as they’re scanned to make any amends before synchronising with Contact Manager.

Step 4

Once the data’s been scanned and is in Zoho Contact Manager, you have a couple of options. You can continue using this tool to carry out followup calls, send a Mailchimp email campaign or track the success criteria with the Deals module.

If you just want to export the data to a spreadsheet, the hit the top right corner when in “Contacts” and you’ll be able see the options you need to Import/Export.

Have a play with Zoho Contact Manager during your 14-Day trial too. You’ll find that you can do a lot more than you can if you just download it and work from there.

If you get stuck, just let us know by filling in the form below. It’s always great to find out what shows you’re doing and see how Target Cloud can help you make the most of the opportunity.

Zoho Contact Manager

Ideal for business networking, startups and individuals. Less complex than full CRM. Organize contacts, track deals and integrate with Mailchimp.

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