“I don’t want one,” says The Showmanator (TS) determinedly to the Registration Fascista (RF) in front of him, thrusting an enormous satchel at him with a flourish suggesting it contained the Crown Jewels.
“But you have to have it! It’s part of the deal,” says the equally determined RF.
“Really, not,” returns TS with a growing steeliness in his eye.
“Sorry, really can’t take no for an answer … the sponsors you know …” returns the redoubtable RF, nearing tears and with an unbecoming tic starting to up in one eye.
I’ll leave it up to your imagination to guess who won this encounter and I’m sure there isn’t a person on the planet who wouldn’t recognise — and hopefully sympathise with — this tired old scenario featuring the event ‘goodie bag’ crammed with expensive, wasteful and mainly unwanted propaganda. OK so occasionally it also contains useful things like USB drives, notebooks, pens and chocolates … mmmm chocolates … but I can’t be the only person who sifts all of these then bins the bag at the first available opportunity?
I’m going to an event this week. The last email before travelling? Print this so you can be scanned in. Oh please … how last decade! Then there’s all those printed programmes — am I the only person who can hear the trees falling? And all those brochures, business cards, badges, photo-copies and similar. Why, oh why are we still printing all this stuff when we have apps capable of eliminating the lot? QR codes can be scanned just as effectively from screens (large and small), brochures may not look quite as flash in digital format but think of the cost savings and people who really want the product will cope with the brochure whatever form it’s in. Then, there’s the added bonus of being able to easily forward it to others they think will be interested — you have to be pretty motivated to send it snail or via get up and actually give it to someone.
Sadly, despite all the potential, the paperless event is still a long way away from a reality. For sure, not everyone yet has a smartphone and the mobile web apps — aka .mobi or HTIM5 apps — don’t enable scanning, but so what? If materials are only available in digital format, event goers will soon get it and hop on the mobile merry-go-round. In addition to offering genuine alternatives for the majority of the bigger print items, in the very near future, our phones will be able to encompass everything that a range of devices now does at events; scanning, lead capture, voting etc.
As SmartShow we talk about “one app to rule them all”, but as long as people continue to hide behind the security of print, the real benefits of our mobile-enabled world will not fully kick in. So, step away from the paper mountain people. Embrace your inner digital child and don’t worry, be ‘apply. The cost savings alone should bring a smile to your face and a guilt-free experience for your participants as they bask in the eco-friendly warmth that comes with being good citizens of the digital era.