Published in ComputerWorld Canada (Please see Why not use this idea to generate revenue? )
IT World Canada invited me to an HP seminar. I joined the crowd struggling to get through the registration desk and into the dozen or so tables of coffee and pastries.
I chatted with a bright young guy, “So, what brings you here?” I asked, glancing at his different-colored-neck-ribbon singling him out as an HP-er.
(Smile) “I’m here to meet some of my clients”.
We glanced at the hundreds of suits.
“How will you recognize them?”
(Crestfallen) “I don’t know”.
We glanced at the registration desk line-ups.
“What you need”, I offered, “is some sort of device that gives you a buzz in your pocket when your clients register. Hooked up to the OK button on the computer. Then you’d be aware that one of your clients had arrived. Like those plastic drink-coasters you get that lights up and vibrates when your sandwich is ready for pickup”.
(Sheepish) “Yes”, he said, “In fact, we have that technology”.
Memo to HP: If you run with this idea, you owe me a jolly good lunch at The Montreal Deli
There are twenty conferences a day across Toronto.
Find someone who is ready to start up a have-database-will-travel service in Toronto, then franchise it. It’s a bit late for The Olympics, but any event with Sid Crosby is a candidate.
At close of business the day before, you download a copy of the database from the host, and two hours before the event, you roll up with your tables, your smiling and professional staff in matching red jackets, all the paper and badge holders you’ll need, and as many computers as you have desk staff, each staff member thoroughly familiar with the screen and the keyboard shortcuts – no more clicking in the wrong place and muttering “snot”.
You supply pagers. Your staff at the registration computer would know which Sales Representative had been paged, so they’d be able to tell the registrant “Joe Bloggs is here and would like to meet you”. Or they could hand the client off to one of a small band of hosts who know Joe Bloggs.
Relieving the seminar provider of the mechanics of a registration procedure creates happy registrants. And taking care of collection of evaluation forms and distribution of freebies has to have some real value.