Expos And Business Cards

Just dropped in on the HUGE Hong Kong electronics expo thing. God is it big. Don’t even think about going round in an hour or two. It’s going to take me days to get round.

The thing that amuses me about these things is the whole Namecard Exchanging Thang. You’d have thought by now buyers, sellers, exhibitors and organisers would have come up with some better way of exchanging names and addresses, given everyone is busy buying and selling gadgets from USB-powered foot-baths to roll-up pianos.

But no: Everyone you talk to wants your business card, and if you don’t have one (well, I do have one, but I’m not giving that one away) they will look suspiciously at you and ask you to write down your email address in their exercise book. Of course, my handwriting is awful, especially when I’m lugging around a laptop and thousands of flyers, brochures and pricelists, so anyone with the email addresses jwsutjfelua@artnvtig.org , jwjasjujj@adinjc.com or jwgdjitf@attgloadfhg.net is going to be getting Hong Kong Electronics Expo related spam. All I can be confident of is that I, despite my best efforts to be legible, won’t get any.

So whatever happened to beaming namecards at each other? Does nobody do this anymore? Did anybody ever do this? Do any cellphones or smartphones actually let you do this as easily as the old Palms? If not, someone should make it happen. Set up your stall at the entrance of the next gadget expo and you’ll find a million customers queuing up. With me at the front.

3 thoughts on “Expos And Business Cards

  1. Irrespective of whether cellphones allow for address exchange as well as the Newton, the main problems using a cellphone to receive contact information are 1: getting the names (vCards) onto your computer, and 2: whether or not you are using a cellphone of smartphone, being able to find the contacts you have received. (The only easy way to resolve this is to annotate a contact immediately you receive it.)

    This is a related problem to the beaming issues around calendar entries, tasks and notes. When these bits of information are received they lose their context, ie: if I enter ‘Lunch with Jeremy’ in my smartphone calendar and beam it to Jeremy, it loses its context. A really smartphone might change the entry to ‘Lunch with Nico’.

    Neither the Newton nor the Palm deal with this well. But the Palm allows/allowed you to beam _your_ address by pressing and holding the Contact button, which was a step forward over the Newton.

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