One of the most overwhelming things about trade shows is the sorting through the scanned QR codes, new LinkedIn connections, and stack of business cards. Forming hundreds of new contacts during a sleep-deprived week means that recalling faces, names, and their needs is difficult to do if it’s not done in the moment.

When FoodOps attends trade shows, we collect this information using a simple Google Form that populates a database. After walking an aisle and forming 10 or so connections – or sometimes immediately after a positive engagement – a team member will fill out a form that summarizes the brand, contact, needs, and the trade show attended. Regardless of who fills out the form, all entries are timestamped and put into the database.

Doing this in real time allows us to fully decompress from long days of walking the floor. When it comes time to follow-up, centralization makes it a breeze. This system made Expo West very manageable this year.

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