Category Archives: Tradeshow Solutions

There are many uses for barcode scanners and related technology. One of the more popular uses, and one that – unfortunately – many people are unfamiliar with, is badge scanning. Badge scanning allows you to track attendance, along with other data, for employees and attendees. There are actually several very important functions that you can perform with a badge scanner—in a variety of settings. If you are curious to know more about the uses of a badge scanner, and how they can best be utilized, read further. This article will serve as a handy guide to all things related to badge scanners.


Using Badge Scanners At Tradeshows




There is often a huge need for badge scanners at tradeshows. A tradeshow badge scanner is able to collect useful data on who actually attended your tradeshow! This data-collection method relies on sophisticated software that would be programmed by the barcode vendor. While badge scanners can be used to track overall tradeshow attendance, they can also serve a more specified function: they allow individual exhibitors to scan badges and collect leads. These leads can then be downloaded onto a computer, so that the exhibitor can easily follow up on them. For this reason, it is recommended that you acquire multiple badge scanners for your tradeshow.


Using Badge Scanners To Track Employee Attendance


Companies (large and small) often use badge scanners as well. Badge scanners allow companies to track employee attendance, taking the place of the outdated “punch card.” Badge scanners are able to record employee clock in/clock out time with accuracy and precision, so that nothing is left for debate. On top of that, data that the scanner records is automatically loaded into a database, so that management can easily track employee attendance. Companies that have switched from manual time clocks to automated badge scanners have found the latter to be much more accurate and convenient.


Badge Scanner Software


As mentioned before, this automated method of data collection is possible thanks to some very sophisticated software. Badge scanner software is provided by the vendor itself, and is often included in the pricing package. Many vendors will give you the option of buying standard, pre-packaged software, or customizing that software to meet your specific needs. If you are looking to use your badge scanners in a unique and creative way, then the customizable option is likely the one for you. When buying a barcode scanner, look for a vendor that provides this option, and be sure to ask the vendor what customization would best suit your purposes.


To Buy Or To Rent


In most cases, renting a badge scanner is an option. In fact, it is an especially useful option if you are only using your badge scanner for a short period of time (as with tradeshows).  In order to determine if you should buy or rent, think about how long you would need your badge scanner for, how often you would need to rent it, and what the cost comparison between buying and renting would be.

While most people do not give much thought to the barcode equipment that scans their items at the grocery store, or scans their tickets at the movie theater, the truth is that these are very sophisticated devices that run on cutting-edge software. While the world of barcode software may be an uncharted one for many people, this wonderful software makes so many aspects of our lives more convenient. If you are curious about this amazing technology, and would like to know more about how it can make your life more convenient, read further.  This article will serve as a handy guide to barcode software.


The Uses Of Barcode Software


Barcode software can be written – and used – for a wide variety of purposes. To name a few: barcode software is used to track inventory, manage assets, track attendance (an important function for tradeshows and exhibitions), and scan tickets. The preceding list is certainly not comprehensive; there are many other functions that barcode software can be used for, and creative minds are coming up with new uses for barcode software every day.


How Does It Work?


At this point, you might be thinking, “OK, all of this sounds really cool, but how does this stuff actually work?”  Great question! Like other software, barcode software needs to be programmed into a device—in this case a barcode reader or scanner. A good barcode equipment vendor will likely have a team of data gurus who can program this software for you. The amazing this is that this programming can often be customized to meet your specific needs: you are not limited to a “one size fits all” program.  That being said, you can purchase a pre-packaged software program, if that meets your functional requirements.


Renting Barcode Software




One important thing to note is that you are not necessarily required to purchase barcode software in every case. Barcode software rentals are an increasingly popular choice for people who need the software on a temporary basis. This includes event planners and organizers. In most cases, renting barcode software does not mean that you have to sacrifice the customization and programming expertise mentioned above: barcode software can still be set up and customized for rentals. The actual equipment – such as barcode scanners and readers – that the software runs on can be rented as well.


Technical And On-Site Support For Your Barcode Software


For those of us who are unfamiliar with a given program or software, expert guidance is often needed. Fortunately, when purchasing or renting software, you have the opportunity to take advantage of customer support—both technical and on-site. Technical support is where a customer service representative helps you troubleshoot issues with your barcode software (or correct user errors), so that everything can run smoothly again. On-site support is where a representative from the software vendor provides expert guidance on how to best use the product. Take full advantage of these opportunities: they can help you get the most out of your barcode software and equipment.

Tradeshows and barcode equipment go hand-in-hand. Many of the essential administrative functions that are performed at tradeshows – such as attendance tracking, data collection, and ticket scanning – can be automated using barcode software and equipment. Automating these processes can save time and prevent bottlenecks.  For this reason, the tradeshow scanner has become an essential tool for exhibitors and event planners alike.  If you are considering utilizing barcode equipment for your next tradeshow or expo, there are many factors that you need to consider, and tips that you should be aware of. Below is a helpful guide for making the most out of barcode equipment at your next event.




Know What Your Needs Are


There are many different types of barcode equipment, and the equipment that you will need depends on the functions that you wish to carry out at your tradeshow. For this reason, it is a good idea to sit down and think about the tasks that you would like to automate, before shopping around. This will help you focus and zero in on the products that are right for you. For instance, there are barcode readers and software that are specifically designed for attendance tracking. On the other hand, if there will be any ticketed events at your tradeshow, you will want to invest in ticket scanning equipment. You can also obtain equipment to print tickets, if that is required.


Know That Help Is Available


Barcode software and equipment can run the gamut from the relatively simple to the highly-sophisticated. Again, the type of equipment that you purchase will depend on the scale of your event, as well as the automated functions that you wish to perform. Whatever type of equipment you purchase from your vendor, you should rest assured that help will be available to you. Barcode equipment vendors often provide customer service and technical support, so that any issues that arise with your software and equipment can be quickly and easily resolved.

Taking that concept one step further, some vendors even offer on-site support. On-site support involves more than just troubleshooting and repairing issues: it involves a technician who works directly with you and your event staff to ensure that you are getting the most out of your technology.  Such services might include helping you download leads and emails for exhibitors, badge printing, generation of attendance reports, conference tracking assistance, as well as data collection and scanner maintenance. Take advantage of these services: using this support effectively will help take your event to the next level.


Renting Is An Option Too


Many people don’t realize this, but you actually have the option of renting barcode equipment as well. This is a great option, if you only need barcode equipment in the short-term. In most cases, the customer service and technical support that is available to you when you purchase equipment will be available when you rent as well. You will likely also have access to the accessories that come with barcode equipment, such as batteries, chargers, docks, and download cables.

Many organizations have a big need for barcode scanners: businesses, non-profits, government organizations, and trade shows all find that barcode scanners are crucial for their day-to-day operations. If you are a manager for one of these organizations or events, chances are you often utilize barcode scanners – and other similar technology – as well. If you are wondering how you can obtain the barcode technology you need in the most cost-effective way, read further. Barcode scanners do not have to break the bank—the important thing is to find the barcode scanners that meet your particular needs, and fit your particular budget.




Buying Online


One great way to find a barcode scanner that fits your budget is to shop online. There are many websites that provide one-stop shopping for all of your barcode equipment needs. The prices on these sites are often much better than what you will find in stores. That being said, the best online vendors provide a level of customer service that meets or exceeds what you would expect from a store. For example, many of the best online vendors will provide technical support, in case you are having issues with your barcode scanner.  Some vendors also provide on-site support, in case you are purchasing barcodes for a large event or exhibition.  Also, buying barcode scanners online does not mean that you can’t return your equipment or have it repaired in case it malfunctions. Many online barcode dealers offer this option, and consumers actually find it more convenient than having to take their barcode equipment to a physical store.  Most websites give you a variety of ways that you can place your order—either over the phone, through fax or email, through physical mail, or on the website itself.


Renting A Barcode Scanner


If you manage an event – such as a convention or trade show – then your need for barcode scanners will likely fluctuate throughout the year. You will likely only need barcode scanners during the actual event itself—especially during the registration phase (barcode scanners are great for scanning ID badges, after all). If this is the case, then a barcode scanner rental would be the best bet for you. This option gives you access to barcode scanners on an as-needed basis, so that you do not have to pay full-price to own a barcode scanner.

You have many options when it comes to renting barcode scanners. One of the cheapest and most popular options is to take care of your barcode rental needs online.  There are many websites that offer rentals of barcode scanners, readers, and printers, along with other similar equipment. You do not have to sacrifice any convenience, just because you are renting. The best companies will deliver the materials to you, along with any accessories you might need, such as batteries and chargers. They can also help with things like setup and programming, so that you are not left wondering how to operate the equipment you are renting.  You have the convenience of being able to customize your rental according to your specific needs.

Most business sales and marketing, these days, takes place without any face-to-face interaction. One of the last stands of in-person business networking is the trade show. Of course, like everything else, even the face-to-face, in-person sales and marketing aspects of a trade show have been automated in recent years. The trade show transition online, however, is perhaps a little more subtle than in other areas of business. In fact, a lot of trade show modernization is found in an unlikely little place: the trade show badge. Trade show badges were once an afterthought of the trade show experience, a way to introduce oneself before getting on with the real business. Now, the trade show badge is a more integral part of the experience. This is because trade show badges can now be barcoded with vital data and information; they can then be scanned using a tradeshow badge scanner and have this vital data and information stored for later use and follow up. The value of data makes this data collection and follow-up process a more crucial aspect of a successful trade show than it has been in the past. So, exactly what are the key elements of a trade show badge that makes it such a great tool for businesses? Here is a look at the essentials.




Contact Information


Contact information relayed by trade show badges isn’t just limited to name and company. They also frequently display the wearer’s status at the event, whether they are an exhibitor, attendee, buyer, member of the press, speaker, student or have some other designation that can be useful for sales, marketing and/or networking purposes. Not only does this allow businesses to be more selective in speaking with their target audience on the day of the trade show, it also allows the follow-up process to be more efficient and effective as follow-up communication can be customized and tailored based on different groups of people engaged with at the show. Of course, the individual’s name and company are also displayed on the badge.  Attendance tracking, which is keeping track of names, titles, locations and company affiliation, also streamlines the follow-up process and helps businesses remember each interaction they had at the trade show and maximize its potential.




What makes storing all of this information possible is the barcode on the badge. This may be a standard barcode but may also be a QR code. It is usually located in the center of a trade show badge. These barcoded badges are only possible at a well-organized event that pre-registers attendees, solicits their contact information and assigns it to a specific barcode. Often times, trade shows are businesses in and of themselves, so it behooves them to be as organized as possible to be more conducive to conducting business both at the show and in the future.




The missing link between the barcoded badge at the event itself and the valuable data it stores that can be accessed and used later is the tradeshow badge scanner. A highly-organized event with lots of motivated buyers isn’t as useful as it could be if the vendor doesn’t have a scanner to collect the information on the barcoded badges. After it’s collected, trade show vendors also need the right software to store and transfer the information. Scanning a badge might seem like a silly process at first, but any vendor who has experienced a successful trade show follow-up campaign understands that the scans bring serious value.


A greater proportion of business growth and sales than ever before happens online. Though these online sales usually happen without any face-to-face interaction between a customer and a representative of the business, the need to make connections with customers hasn’t diminished. Like sales, more business marketing than ever takes place online as companies invest significant amounts of money into learning how to create customer loyalty and develop a brand exclusively online. The primary factor in this shift toward online sales and customer acquisition is cost. Businesses are able to significantly cut down on their operating costs by operating partially, primarily or exclusively online; just think about the cost savings associated with not having to operate from a brick-and-mortar location. While this isn’t ideal for all businesses, many businesses that thrive online would find it difficult to exist without the internet.


One exception to the exodus away from in-person business toward online business has been trade shows. Trade shows have managed to maintain relevance and even grow in importance as the business landscape changes. The reason for this is that they offer businesses access to a large pool of customers who have already demonstrated interest in their product or service just by attending the trade show. The continued existence and relevance of trade shows is interesting because success at a trade show demands the traditional, in-person sales and marketing skills that are otherwise diminishing. As a result, businesses often need to shift their mindset prior to a trade show. As a way to begin doing just that, here is a closer look at some reasons why trade shows still matter.






One of the most difficult parts of selling business to business, either in person or over the phone, is simply making contact with a person who has purchasing authority. Prior to the internet, most of a salesperson’s time was spent trying to get in touch with the right people. Trade shows have remained relevant partly because they reduce a business’s dependence on jumping through these hoops. Recent statistics show that over 80% of trade show attendees have buying authority. To a salesperson whom is used to spending only 10% of their time communicating with someone with purchasing authority, a trade show is obviously an incredible opportunity.




Greater percentages of marketing budgets, more than ever before, are allocated to online marketing strategies. At a trade show, businesses often have to shift gears and focus on in-person marketing strategies. Making an effective, memorable presentation is one skill that trade show attendees should hone prior to attending. Listening and follow-up skills are also important, as are choosing strategic giveaways or “party favors” that help leave an impression on those who check out a particular product at a trade show. All of these skills help to build a business’s brand with customers and within a particular industry.




Traditional networking skills are also important at a trade show. In fact, more sales happen after a trade show, as a result of interactions at the show, than they do at the trade show itself. There is modern hardware and software available now, though, that can help with this face-to-face networking. Tradeshow scanner rentals allow a business to scan the barcoded badges that attendees at trade shows often have. This scanning records and stores their information and makes the process of following up, building a relationship and making a sale a much easier process going forward.

Whereas only recently RFID technology was considered a high-tech novelty, something that was more suitable for a futuristic science fiction movie than it was for a small or mid-sized business, more and more companies of all sizes are incorporating RFID technology into their businesses operations. Despite how common the technology has become, many business owners are still reluctant to use RFID. For some, this may be because being slow adopters of new fads and trends is part of the reason they’ve been so successful in business in the first place. For these people and others, the potential applications of RFID may not have been simply and clearly articulated to them. Generally, business owners with a track record of success possess the foresight and creativity to see how a technology can be applied to bring a benefit to their business. While RFID can certainly be understood at a highly complex, technical level, a broad overview of how others are using the technology can be a helpful starting point in understanding it. Here is a look at some uses businesses are finding for RFID technology.




Nearly all businesses that sell a product—and many that provide services involving equipment—have an interest in keeping track of the physical objects that make their business go. From products and equipment to assets, people, documents and anything else vitally important to a business, leaders need to effectively manage and monitor these items. RFID tags associated with individual company assets can provide an efficient, automatic way of asset tracking. Having a running, accurate assessment of assets is about more than just keeping track; it provides businesses with the flexibility to make quick, smart decisions going forward.




RFID also allows businesses to more easily trace an item as it goes through the supply chain or goes through any sort of internal business process. By tracking a product’s movement through the supply chain, businesses are able to better maintain quality control throughout each individual stage of the process and more easily identify strengths and weaknesses.


Inventory Visibility




In the current hyper-competitive retail environment, it is more important than ever before for retailers to maintain inventory visibility at several different levels. RFID tags allow retailers to access up-to-date information about how much of an item is in stock, where it is displayed and how it is priced. The more accurate these totals are, the easier it is for retailers to analyze, compare and adjust these factors as necessary to improve sales. Many of the companies using RFID labels for inventory purposes also utilize barcode inventory rentals that allow them to rent the software and hardware necessary for optimum functioning of their inventory system.




As the aforementioned section on traceability indicates, it is important to monitor each stage of a business process. This is perhaps most obviously seen in the manufacturing process. By assigning RFID tags and labels to parts, manufacturing plants—including automobile manufacturing plants—are better able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their operations.  Implementing barcode software solutions that are customized to a specific business can do all this and more, even perform attendance tracking, inspections, and label printing.


An ever-expanding amount of commerce and business takes place remotely. More and more people and companies conduct their business online, from the convenience of their home or office. To some degree, this limits the value of face-to-face salesmanship that once dominated all aspects of business. Although more businesses than ever before derive a majority of their sales from online shoppers, traditional in-person sales are still relevant. The circumstances under which in-person sales are taking place, though, are changing.


For example, while an emerging business is more likely than ever to eschew traditional brick-and-mortar retail sales, trade shows and similar events are thriving. Perhaps this is because there is still a certain percentage of businesses and customers who feel the need to experience a product or service before purchasing it. Trade shows are also much more egalitarian than retail outlets; there are many less gatekeepers and barriers to entry that prevent someone with a good product from physically reaching out to their potential customers.


The Right Approach


Trade shows are further beneficial for businesses in that they provide a business with a pool of people who are predisposed to taking an interest in the product, as most trade shows are specific to a particular industry. In fact, trade shows are such an effective way of both selling and marketing that many normally aggressive small business owners and operators tend to rest on their laurels a bit in the presence of so much interest. To maximize the business growth potential of a trade show, businesses need to approach a trade show the same way they approach any potential business change or opportunity—with a focus on efficiency. Here are some ways to do so.


Planning Ahead




Planning ahead, with respect to a trade show, means planning ahead in multiple ways. In one sense, planning ahead means planning to maintain effective time management. At the beginning of a trade show, it can seem like there is an endless amount of time and opportunity to achieve sales and marketing outcomes, but that can be a mindset that leads to wasted effort. Perhaps the best way to manage time at a trade show is to first plan ahead with respect to the goals that one has. A business can come into a trade show with quantitative goals, such as number of sales or sales leads generated, or more qualitative goals, such as brand development or honing a presentation or pitch. Each business will have a unique set of desirable outcomes prior to a trade show, but as the adage goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.


Managing Expectations


How a business plans ahead is just as important as how much time it spends planning. As mentioned previously, a business should develop either quantitative goals, qualitative goals or a combination of the two. No matter the nature of a company’s goals, it is important to manage expectations prior to the start of a trade show. Many businesses set quantitative expectations too high, and become disappointed and lose energy when the sales goals are not met. In reality, certain businesses may be better advised to focus on more abstract goals such as networking, marketing and brand development that are harder to define but possibly more conducive to long-term, sustainable growth and success.


Having The Right Equipment


One reason trade shows have ironically maintained and even grown their popularity in the digital age is the increasing prevalence of technology at the events. In order to get the most out of a trade show, a business can invest in a tradeshow scanner that makes it easier to scan barcoded trade show badges and track the leads that are generated at the event. Not only does this aid in time management on the day of the show, it simplifies the crucial process of following up after the show concludes.





The importance of trade shows for many businesses is well understood. Especially for small and new businesses, trade shows present an opportunity to develop the business in several crucial ways. Most obviously, trade shows are an opportunity to grow a business by increasing sales; perhaps more beneficial in the long-term, however, is the potential to develop a company’s brand and further identify and cultivate a consistent customer base.


Many people who attend trade shows do so on behalf of retailers or stores who are looking to build their own business by identifying products that would be a good fit for their own brands and product lines. Lost in the hub of commerce that exists at a trade show is the host of the event itself. The buying, selling and networking that goes on at these shows does not take place in a vacuum; an organization responsible for the venue and all other logistical and organizational aspects is required. Trade show hosts may be the organization in control of a venue itself, such as a convention center, or a show may be hosted by a third-party organization.


The economic implications for trade show vendors and attendees are obvious and simplistic; trade show hosts, however, need to be conscious of the entire event’s financial context. Often, creative measures need to be taken to maximize trade show revenue and ensure that a show remains economically viable so it can remain on the calendar and be consistently counted on by businesses. Here are some ways that trade show hosts maximize revenue by selling sponsorship of the event.




Trade show vendors and attendees are often equipped with barcoded badges. Using a specialty tradeshow badge scanner, these badges are scanned and information about a particular individual or company can be easily stored and accessed at a later date. Trade show badges and scanners are increasingly popular as they have made networking at the event more efficient and organized than ever before. As a result of their ubiquity, many event organizers choose to sell sponsorship that includes advertising on these badges. As trade show vendors scan the badges of potential customers and attendees scan the badges of products and services that pique their interest, any advertising on the badges is certain to be noticed and provide a good return on investment for sponsors.






The often-hectic trade show check-in process is another potential source of revenue for the event. Even the most efficient, high-tech process is prone to situations where a lot of attendees are crowded into one area of the event space. While this is may be a necessary drawback of a well-attended trade show, it is an opportunity for organizers to sell advertising space around the physical check-in area. As events increasingly automate the check-in process, valuable advertising can still be sold on the mobile check-in screens that are guaranteed to be seen by all attendees.


Charging Stations


Good advertising can move people in a certain direction to a certain location, but it can also simply follow people where they are already headed. As trade show check-in becomes automated, some advertisers will still look to have a presence in the physical event space. Event organizers can capitalize on this by creating centralized charging stations and selling advertisements in and around the area. All of the mobile devices like laptops, smartphones and badge scanners that are a must for modern trade show attendees and vendors will need to be charged, and a charging station meets this need and creates a valuable advertising opportunity.




Trade shows are an exciting experience for businesses, especially new businesses still in their early stages of operation. Trade shows are an opportunity for fledgling businesses to develop their brand, generate leads, acquire new customers, make sales and generally grow their business. While the trade show experience can be exciting and full of optimism, it can also be a highly stressful event. The stress generated by trade shows is due to how critical they can be to the long term success of a business, particularly a small business that cannot afford many missteps in an increasingly competitive economy. One way to limit the stress involved in a trade show is for a business to have all of the equipment it needs well in advance of the day of the event. Having all of their ducks in a row can provide businesses with much needed peace of mind and free up valuable time and resources to focus on presentation. When it comes to trade show equipment, the actual products they intend to sell or props they intend to use in their service demonstrations are the first things that come to mind. There are many smaller items, however, that can contribute to the overall success of a trade show experience. Here is a look at the more subtle items that can help businesses leave a good impression with prospective customers and clients at a trade show.


Office Supplies


While more and more business is being done electronically, including networking and exchanging contact information, as well, there is still much to be said for having a stock of office supplies handy at a trade show. One never knows when a pair of scissors, extra writing utensils, a stapler or paper clips will make an unexpected difference in a customer interaction or in a last-second adjustment to presentation materials or informational handouts. Again, the peace of mind that comes with being prepared is often enough to have a significant, positive effect on a business owner’s overall trade show mindset.




Businesses in most industries are now expected to have at least some technological fluency. Demonstrating this tech savvy at a trade show can have a positive effect on a presentation and perception amongst other trade show attendees. One piece of tech equipment that comes in handy at a trade show is a digital camera. Of course, most smart phones are equipped with most of the features of a digital camera, but there is still a special quality involved in an actual camera. Not only can a camera film a company’s presentation, but it can also be used to take photos with customers and other attendees at the event. Both the presentation and the photos are potentially valuable, engaging content that can be posted to social media sites after the trade show. A tradeshow badge scanner is also a handy piece of equipment. Badge scanners can be used to scan the barcoded badges that many trade shows provide their attendees; their information is then stored, either by the scanner or by a software program it is synched to, for easy access after the trade show. Tradeshow badge scanners make the process of generating leads, tracking leads and following up after a trade show much more simple and efficient.




Other Items To Consider


Things like speakers, cleaning products, tool kits and aromatherapy products are also good options for the trade show exhibitor who wants to be thoroughly prepared. It is important to think of the trade show within the context of an overall business plan. Any item that will streamline the process on the day of the trade show or the follow-up process in the aftermath of the trade show might be considered a necessity.