How many business cards did you pick up at the last event you attended? Business cards have been around for ages and seem to be the easiest and fastest way to share and our contact information with others. Power networkers have been known to collect and exchange 100 or more business cards in one day. But, once you’ve got the card, what do you do with it? Often they’ll end up in our bags, pockets or purses and never quite make it into our address books because no one wants to spend the time to input and organize the information.
Poken – The Digital Business Card
In this digital age, what is the answer to every paper pushing problem we have? Make it electronic, right?
That’s the idea behind the Poken. It’s the newest gadget to hit the event community and it’s a winner in my books! With these super little guys you can exchange all your contact information – including all your social network profiles – instantly by touching Pokens together. I know, it sounds kinda kinky with the name and the touching and all, but it just makes it all the more fun!
Poken solves one simple problem: how do I remember the email addresses and screen names of everyone I meet? At your next event bring along your Poken and voila you are a walking talking contact exchanging master! You can choose from a few sleek designs created for the professional, or choose from many cute cartoon looking characters .
The new executive collection called the Poken Pulse is a 2gb USB flash drive and Poken all in one. The ones with cartoon characters are called the Poken Spark . (My favorite character is the Poken Ninja.)
As a brand, you can even have your own customized Poken created just for you and use them as promotional gifts at events. When you’re thinking of promotional gifts to offer your guests your goal is to give them something that has “keepability”…meaning they will not trash it, lose it, or give it away. Poken as promo gifts give your guests a useful tool that will be taken with them everywhere and will flash your logo every time they use it.
How Do Poken Work?
You buy a Poken for around $20, open a FREE account at http://www.doyoupoken.com and set up your account. Load your profiles, design your “ID Card”. Attach the Poken to your keychain, keep it in your pocket or purse or use the provided lanyard for easy access at events.
When you meet someone in the Real World, touch Poken-to-Poken, feel the magnetic pull and look for the green light as they share your Facebook, Twitter and other social network profiles.
Once you’re done for the day, just bring it back, plug your Poken into your computer’s USB port, and download the data. You’ll notice now that you have pending friends on your account page. Once you accept them you’ll not only have their contact information but also their Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, and other social network names.
Building your own contact card is easy. Simply add in whatever fields you want. And because it’s digital if you change jobs or join a new social network, as soon as you update your Poken business card, all of your friends and colleagues will have the contact information changed on their devices. You can also instantly be export all your new friend info from the website to Outlook and other email programs via downloadable vcards.
Pros: The simplicity of exchanging contact info and the automatic updates for each contact is something I really love. Just touch Pokens, look for the green light and you know the next time you plug your Poken into your computer you’ll have that person’s contact information as well as links to their social media profiles. The price point is great too, at just around $20 for the Spark and $35 for the USB flash drive version, it’s a deal. Oh and did I mention there is no monthly fee?
Cons: Because Poken is just catching on in the US, you’re not always going to find that everyone already has one. But as more people start using them and seeing how simple the idea is, it will only be a short time before Poken is the standard. Still plan on carrying some regular business cards with you. Just be sure to remind your new contacts how much time and effort you both could have saved by going digital with Poken.
I’m sold on the idea. As a matter of fact, I am so sold that I’ve decided to become an affiliate for Poken and may be sponsored by them at this year’s SXSW convention. (Keep your fingers crossed for me!) If you do decide to purchase any Pokens, the links in this post are my affiliate links. I appreciate it if you use them, but no worries if you don’t.
So, what’s your take on the Poken strategy for contact exchange? Have you seen anyone using them yet? Please leave your comments and suggestions below. As always, I love talking with you!
To Your Success,