Don't let this happen to you. You have a computer in your pocket and the most powerful (yet simple) organization tool available to you: Evernote. Below I am going to show you the most important use of Evernote for you at the PPAI Expo. There is much more Evernote can do for you (and if you attended my Evernote seminar at PPAI Education you'll know most!) so take the time to learn how to use Evernote and you'll be that much more productive.
First, download Evernote to your phone and your computer
It is free and available on iphones and droids. It is also available for Windows and Mac. The reason you want it on your computer is the information you store on your phone will automatically be available to you on your computer. It's easiest to create the account on your computer but you can create your account from anywhere.
Now, the fun part!
You are at a booth and you see a great item and you want to remember it. Heck, even if it isn't "great" it's worth remembering for some reason and this only takes 30 seconds. So you grab your phone and open Evernote.
- Click the "+" button (new note)
- Type heading such as "Car charger from XYZ "
- Speak (using voice to text) or type in any notes such as:
- Why you like it
- What client you have in mind
- What the price point is
- Special pricing
- Booth number
- Click the camera button (click the paperclip icon and choose camera) and take a picture
- Add a Tag such as "Tradeshow"
- Click save
When you get back to your office and you need to remember the cool items, just open evernote and click the tag TRADESHOW and all your notes will be there. If you want to limit it to PPAEXPO14 name that as that tag instead of Tradeshow but I like fewer tags so I stick with tradeshow (Evernote sorts by date automatically so that lets you see the recent items first).
If you need to search for a specific item and have lots of notes, you can type in "Car charger" and either include the tag or not. That will help you find the item fast. The more notes you type, the easier it will be to find, but when you are at the show, you will want to move fast so I recommend only important key words. I also suggest:
- Use the voice dictation feature of you phone for the notes
- There is an option to include a voice recording (near camera, but says AUDIO) but it does not transcribe the text which means it is not searchable. But if you have a lot to say about the item or want to record the vendor saying something, AUDIO is a great option.
There are so many other uses for evernote. I will post my slides from the Evernote session at www.slideshare.net/therealdaledenham for your learning pleasure.
Bonus tip to deal with business cards:
Take a photo in Evernote of the business card and throw the card away. If you are using an iphone (I use android) there is a business card feature that automatically extracts the data into text. Tag the card with Contact and you'll build a history of the cards that otherwise you'd lose in your bag and never find again.