Ditch the Business Cards – How to Network More Successfully at Conferences

Any experienced businessperson has attended their fair share of conferences and tradeshows. They’ve networked, they’ve delivered their pitch, and they’ve handed out and received endless swathes of business cards. As our society continues to talk about going paperless, the fact that business cards are still prevalent seems a little outdated.

At Tout, our mission has always been to make emailing simpler and more efficient by providing features like templates, tracking, and easy-to-message groups. Still, our product is flexible and ever-changing; we hear about new use cases from our customers every day. So when we heard about users relying on Tout as a replacement for business cards, we had to share it!

Tout solves a key problem for any salesperson:  following up.

Picture South by Southwest in your mind: It’s a time for concerts, panel sessions, parties, and endless, endless amounts of networking. And with networking comes business cards. And with business cards come dead trees. All that aside, though, keeping track of the sheer volume of contacts met during SXSW is a daunting task.

We caught up with Vivek Sharma of Movable Ink who attended South by Southwest this year to get some insight into his use of Tout.

What was life like before Tout?
VS: [Before Tout, I would] carry a stack of business cards and do a card exchange.  No one ever follows up on collected business cards.  One could spend hours sorting through cards, transcribing data, and following up. Why not skip the steps and go directly to a personalized email? I've saved hours and hours of time with this streamlined process.
My inbox is also searchable so I'll always be able to go back and track older communications with someone I met.  I love Tout!

How did you use Tout at SXSW?

VS: I used Tout to send people my contact information, follow up with them, and demo my company's technology.  My company, Movable Ink, delivers live and streaming content in emails.  Tout's the perfect solution to demo this to people I meet.  I send people I meet a personalized email with an example of Movable Ink technology (see below).

It's the perfect tool to get people to experience what we have built on a visceral level.

Have you recommended Tout to anyone? How did you describe it?
VS: I do… in fact I describe Tout to anyone I've met and I'm about to send an email to.  I tell them it's like a Mailchimp for personal use.

Bonus: What are your favorite Tout features?
VS: Tout's delayed send is an awesome feature.  People are very busy during SXSW so its useful to auto-send the follow-up three days after the event, when they can actually absorb it.
The iPhone app is very easy to use when you're on the go.  Finally, being able to track whether your email was opened or clicked on is a big benefit.

You can learn more about Tout on our homepage – and be sure to look up our iPhone app as well.