How To Improve Trade Show Lead Capture and Retrieval

A trade show is an excellent opportunity to promote your business and increase sales. It begins with setting the desired goals, but the hard part is achieving them. Learning how to maximize any trade show lead that comes your way is imperative. This guide focuses on describing the entire process of how to capture and retrieving an event lead. Here is what you should know to maximize the odds of success at your next trade show!

Identity Who’s Going to the Event

If you target all customers visiting the event, you could risk missing a trade show lead vital for your business. It doesn’t have to be about quantity. Instead, focus on quality, at least when it comes to choosing the audience you will target.

Is there a list of the show attendees? Get as much info as possible, such as company and representative names, since that can help secure a successful lead capture. You might need to pay for an attendee list and their contacts. That’s still much cheaper than targeting the general audience visiting the show. You can lower the average cost per event lead if you narrow the group to target.

Apart from getting a list, make sure to scan the area where the trade show will occur. If a company from your niche is in a 30-mile radius, the odds are it will have a representative at the event. Prepare your promotional materials and other relevant info to establish a relationship and land a potential lead.

Prioritize Pre-Event Outreach

Now that you have the attendee list, it’s time to set your lead capture priorities. If you are participating in a large trade show, this could help you understand where to focus your efforts. Check out these tips that could help boost lead retrieval:

  • Analyze your existing customers. Is there a specific industry that makes most of your clients? Does your product fit small businesses or large enterprises better?
  • Create company profiles. You can focus on basics, such as the company’s industry and the contact’s job function.
  • Look for clients who have already expressed interest in your product. Did someone comment or share your social media content? Can you identify companies that never purchased your product but expressed interest in it before?
  • Important events. If a company got a financial boost recently, it indicates they have funding to purchase your product. Leadership changes are also critical since that’s a chance to establish a relationship with the new management.

Don’t forget your existing customers, as they can also be a successful trade show lead. You can use the event to strengthen the relationship. If you have a client within 50 miles of the show’s location, the odds are that the company will have a representative at the event.

Trade show leads
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Launch a Multi-Channel Campaign

During the trade show, you’ll focus on lead retrieval. You’ll have higher odds of success if targeted leads already know your brand. That’s why a multi-channel campaign before the event is critical. You can work together with your marketing and sales team to come up with the best strategy.

Consider combining the following methods:

  • E-mail marketing. Direct mail is rarely effective, but e-mails can be a method of establishing brand awareness among targeted leads.
  • Phone calls. Your sales team could contact the companies and suggest stopping by your booth or booking a meeting at the event.
  • Social advertising. You can post social media campaigns focused on the area around the event. That way, you can announce your presence at the show, which could increase your lead capture odds.

The purpose is that your desired leads know about your product and business ahead of the event. That way, they’ll recognize your booth once they are at the show. It could inspire them to come by and book a meeting or product demo.

Attract and Engage your Attendees

Before discussing ways to attract the attendees, determine how you will participate in the event. Do you plan to have a booth or walk the floor? If you are walking, focus on those you identified to have the best lead capture odds. It’s smart to use an event map, especially at large shows.

Those with a booth should think about its aesthetic appeal. It’s essential to have something to attract the attention of those who pass by your booth. You can also use benefits like product discounts, giveaways, etc.

If a representative comes to your booth, see if you have them or the company on your desired lead retrieval list. They deserve your maximum attention, so make sure to have at least a single staff member on them during the entire visit. You can have a table in the back of the booth where you could sit down and discuss business while drinking coffee.

Improve Your Post-Show Leads

During the show, you’ll gather two contact types – new leads and those you targeted before the event. An important thing to note is that you shouldn’t give the employees a form to complete. It’s a hassle for the majority, and they don’t even have to provide correct information.

You don’t want to end up with a bunch of false numbers, so focus on the data on the business cards. If the customer doesn’t have a business card, ask them for a LinkedIn profile. The information provided there is usually accurate. Use that data to confirm the desired trade show lead is worth pursuing. If necessary, conduct internet research to learn more about the prospects. The idea of doing this is to avoid losing time on an event lead that will never turn into a client.

Launch a Follow-Up Campaign

Even if you haven’t been successful in capturing your desired trade show lead, you still have time after the event. A smart follow-up campaign can ensure you make that final step and sell the product.

For starters, the company event representative might not be the decision-maker. And even if they are, some businesses analyze their opportunities first and act after the trade show. That’s where a follow-up campaign can play a decisive role, but it’s crucial to develop a smart approach.

Most experts agree you should give your event lead a day or two after the show. If you are pursuing a large enterprise, they’ll need time to discuss the event and adjust their future goals. That’s when you should step in with a phone call. If you exchanged phone numbers and you noticed the representative expressed interest, it increases your lead retrieval chances.

During the call, try to be clear and concise. Use a couple of sentences to remind them about your meeting and discussion. Your idea is to book another meeting or a product demonstration if necessary.

You can use this approach over e-mail, too. It’s best if you have a representative’s e-mail and not the general company’s address. Aim to personalize the e-mail, so add any unique information you have. It could be the representative’s or business name, details you talked about at the show, etc.

Even if your follow-up campaign doesn’t turn into a sale, you’ll set the ground for the upcoming shows. You made an important step to increasing brand awareness, which can help boost the company’s growth down the road.

Final Thoughts

Attracting and capturing leads at trade shows is a process. You begin the entire project before the event by establishing the desired lead list. Establishing brand awareness with those companies can help you get a head start at the trade show. As for the event, your booth needs to look stunning and attractive.

You’ll probably have many visitors, so identifying those that can become a successful lead is imperative. The goal is to give them maximum attention. And even if it doesn’t result in a sale at the show, the follow-up campaign can ensure you reach the desired goal.

It all comes down to setting a clear strategy before the show and following it during the event. With this smart approach, every trade show can increase your expectations and turn into fantastic success!


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