About Yancy's vendor bingo solution

by Volker Weber


On the Lotusphere show floor I saw a couple of QR codes that said "Scan me and win an iPad". Whipping out my iPhone, I found this to be extremely easy to use. If you have a QR code reader on your smartphone, and you really should, you just point it to the graphic, it calls a URL that leads you to a website, where you only have to register once. When you scan the next badge, it calls a different URL, but it recognizes your ID which is stored in a cookie on your phone. Very cool and easy. No address to fill out on a card, no holes to punch. Just point the camera at a couple of badges to collect them.

Then I found out it was Yancy Lent of Planet Lotus fame who wrote this elegant solution. It debuted at Lotusphere, but it can of course also be used at other events. Yancy calls it Vendor Bingo, and he is just building a list of leads and tracks whether participants have collected all badges. The coolest part is how he finally draws the winner. Select all completed entries, sort them by a random number and limit the result to one.

SELECT attributes you want to see
FROM the users table
WHERE has completed and is not a vendor
ORDER BY rand( )

That's quite elegant.

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The beauty is the extensibility of the QR codes. I had them set for the rooms at LS for the checking in ability. Simply point, scan, you are checked in. But no signs allowed again :-(

Chris Miller, 2011-02-08

I was one of the "VendorBingo" vendors and I too liked the idea a lot. My take was it would be the "ultimate" literature collection system. Instead of a bag of paper literature that is collected but won't be read, I could reverse-scan the vendor and visit them at my leisure, with a custom list of companies that I want to see more about.

This puts the pressure on the vendor to have a meaningful conversation. I only scan an attendee when this happens because they will ignore my email otherwise. Think of the new "VendorBingo" experience: A conversation ensues and the customer says to the vendor "Can I scan you"?

This approach could also be used for the Labs, at individual sessions, or anywhere I wanted to "bookmark" a URL (without typing) for later research.

Frank Paolino, 2011-02-08

I use QR as a "send to phone" tag. Look in the lower right corner of any page on this site. The code contains the current URL. This might eventually go to the upper right corner under the search box.

Volker Weber, 2011-02-08

@Frank. If you visited the IBM booths in the vendor showcase some of them featured Vendor Bingo cards, however a different campaign. They wanted the links to do directly to their literature sites for the individual products/booths. It was rush job and didn't get all that much attention. Some at IBM were keeping an eye on our campaign for the iPad to eval for to other IBM shows, you never know, vendorbingo.com could actually compliment the official Vendor Bingo cards they give out in a future show.

So, to your point. One of the proposals i gave them; those managing the IBM booths, was to do just what you recommended, instead of a direct route with stat generation, it could send the attendee to a landing page that builds a list of all the booth visits with links to the product/services doc. Here the attendee has a permanent list of visits, in order of visit. Add note taking to the visit and you have a full picture of your trip(s) through the Exhibitor Hall / Showcase Floor. When the show is over, the attendee can visit vendorbingo.com and see all their information. If other events use the same service, the attendee can manage/view all their conferences in one place. This is available today for anyone that used vendor bingo at Lotusphere.

@Volker, that's a pretty cool idea, a tag for each page, reason, i read more on my phone at night more then i do during the day on the big screen, so bookmarking it to my phone; very cool. I might just borrow this idea for http://www.yancylent.com, but since my mother is the only one that reads it and she doesn't have a smart-phone....

AND, thanks for taking the time to pass along your thoughts on my newest creation, it is much appreciated!

Yancy Lent, 2011-02-09

Integra was also a vendor participating in Yancy's grand plan.

The barrier to adoption is people not having a QR Reader on their SmartPhone. Suggestion: the smoothest way to get the reader onto any phone is to point your Smartphone's browser to www.2dscan.com. This takes you to a customised installation page for the free Scanlife reader specific for the particular detected browser/phone and provides one single Download button. Really sweet.

An interesting thing was the number of people that already had a QR Reader installed on their Smartphone was very high. This was most so for the US folks who seem to be bombarded with coupons.

John de Giorgio, 2011-02-11

Volker, which QR-Reader do you recommend/use on your iPhone?



Alex Martin, 2011-06-05

Try RedLaser.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-05

Volker, which QR-Reader do you recommend/use on your iPhone?



Alex Martin, 2011-06-05

Old vowe.net archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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