We’ve all had it haven’t we? You go to an event with a pocket full of your own business cards to hand out, and you end up coming back with even more from your new connections. You then have the delightful task of transferring your new pile of cards into your address book and onto your laptop. In the age of the smartphone, there are apps that take a picture and transfer the information as best they can, but this still requires a big chunk of human interaction. I’m not about to announce the ‘death of the business card’, but one company have come up with an innovative way of swapping details and collecting information at events.

Poken have utilised NFC technology (NFC is the short-range wireless technology used by Oyster and contactless credit cards) and put this into a handy USB device – or ‘Poken’. “How does this stop me carrying my business card?” I hear you cry! Well, you load your details onto your USB dongle and when you meet someone, you simply touch USBs and your details have been transferred. You would then plug your dongle into your laptop, and download your new contacts.

The business card clearly still has a role to play, but by being able to transfer contact details and grab literature just by touch, there may be a new way to interact at events. No more queues of advisers filling out forms to get their CPD certificates or printing thick, expensive brochures. Just have them touch the pad to say they were there and the event’s digital content will be sitting comfortably in their top pocket.