In Manhattan, you don’t open your back door to let Fido take his morning constitutional, you walk him. Of course, there are some busy (and probably very affluent) New Yorkers who hire someone else to walk Fido. I always marvel when I see a dog-walker with a half-dozen dogs happily marching up the avenue. These dogs never seem to bark or mix it up with one another. Good breeding? Who knows?
But for those like me who walk their own dog, Fido, or in my case Bubbles, serves as much as a name badge as the badge you would wear at a trade show. When a fellow dog walker that I see regularly approaches, it is just as likely that he’ll greet Bubbles by name as he will say, “Hello, Lew”. The fact is, as many people know me by my “badge” Bubbles, as know me by name. I, too, will usually know the name of someone’s dog before I learn the owner’s name.
A dog tells you something about its owner. You can deduce certain things from the breed, the interaction between dog and owner, the dogs “accessories” (Coat? Jeweled collar? Heavy leather studded collar? Ribbon in its hair?). A trade show badge tells you something about the person wearing it – name, company affiliation, geographical location.
But when you get down to it, you really can’t know too much about someone just from looking at his or her dog. The information you gather will be pretty superficial. Same with a trade show badge. If all you do is record the wearer’s name, affiliation, address and email address, you will have about as much information as appears on a dog tag. And it will be about as useful. To be valuable, that badge has to reveal such things as the wearer’s product and service interests, his level of purchasing authority, his buying plans and budget…the important things that electronic lead retrieval can deliver.