Every IP Lawyer that I know has the same Problem after an IP Law Convention, such as INTA, LES, FICPI, APAA, etc.
The Convention is over, we are sitting on a pile of business cards and we do not know how to handle it. There are simply too many of them.
In my early days as an IP lawyer, I have wrapped a rubber band around the pile and put a label on it: “FICPI 2001”. Then I have put the little block of business cards in a drawer and I have never taken them out again.
What a waste of time and information. I mean both attending the conference and collecting the business cards of my associates.
Expensive Solution: hire manpower
But I have changed this over time. I have started to scan in the collected business cards and to run an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on them, I am in the meantime also using a Customer Relationship Program (CRM) to administer the information on the business cards, for sending out emails before and after a convention.
But converting the business cards into readily available electronic information was still a pain for my assistant, despite the OCR. And it is expensive. Costs range between 1 and 2 US$ per business card, depending on how much Internet look up work is necessary.
Until we found a way to handle the business cards more easily.
Simple Solution: use the CamCard app on your smartphone
I am now now using the CamCard App (on my smartphone) and the corresponding website www.camcard.com (on my assistant’s desktop computer) for doing the job.
In very short words, the following steps will work:
– on each evening of a conference, i take photos of all collected business cards with my smartphone (my old Samsung Note3 works perfectly),
– I open the CamCard (CC) app on my smartphone and – important – I log in to the CamCard cloud server,
– I open the image storage on my smartphone and I select and “share” the business card photos with the CC app on the same smartphone,
– I go to sleep.
This extra step of taking photos of each business card that I have collected during the day does only take 10 minutes and it helps me a lot. I better remember the faces behind the collected business cards. If someone gave me a gift during that day, I can better link the gift with the respective giver and this gives me a very positive feeling of being appreciated. I can send a follow up directions to my assistant, according to little notes that I wrote on some of the business cards. And I can sleep peacefully, as I have fully completed my own assignment at the convention for that day.
While I am sleeping, there is a batch process running on my smartphone which converts the previously selected business card photos into text information. Whether there are 10 or 100 business cards, or even more.
The next morning I continue my convention as if nothing has happened.
Meanwhile, my assistant back in the office – not me – will start to work on the catch of the day before:
– she opens the www.camcard.com web page in any Internet browser on her desktop computer or laptop, and she logs herself in with my log-in information,
– she edits and amends the recognized information on her desktop computer,
– she exports the digitalized information either into an Excel sheet or directly into the CRM program that we are using in our firm.
Online Video Course: How to use the CamCard Software. Click here