The hectic nature of a trade show can leave you with a pile of generic business cards and haphazardly written notes that don’t look familiar after the event. Attendees can also suffer from trade show fatigue after having seen hundreds of vendors. One of the easiest ways to stand out after a trade show is by moving fast. Keeping your contact information for leads organized is vital for successful post event follow up. These suggestions can help streamline the process.
Rent a Badge Scanner
Badge scanners may be available for exhibitors to rent during the course of the trade show. It is a convenient and modestly priced method of data capture. Renting a scanner from the show coordinators also guarantees that the device will be able to read any specialty barcodes. As each visitor enters your booth, staff captures their badge. Following the trade show, organizers will collate the information and send it to you.
This can work well for booths with only a few staff members and at smaller, specialized trade show events. However, when dealing with a large volume of attendees, badge scanners might not be as effective. One problem is that not all staff will be able to use one, resulting in missed leads. Another issue is long wait times between the end of the show and receiving your list of leads. If too much time elapses, hot leads can cool down.
Try a Smartphone App
Numerous lead capture apps exist. They are portable and budget friendly. The wide variety of options guarantees that one will have features specifically suited to your business needs. Some apps can even scan business cards directly. Once scanned or input, the contact information can then be extracted into easily accessed spreadsheets. A few lead capture apps have the capability to be seamlessly synced up to your CRM, easing your work load even further.
Many apps claim to scan badges. Don’t rely on this, as scanning badges won’t always work with apps. Whether or not a badge can be scanned depends on the type of barcode that the trade show uses.
Make Data Gathering Interactive
Rather than pestering attendees with scanners and sign up sheets, a quick way to capture contact information is via interactive stations. Set up several tablets within your trade show display. Load quizzes, games, or surveys onto the tablet that will start when visitors input their contact information. Photo booths also present a unique opportunity to gather and organize leads. There are plenty of affordable apps that can help you customize surveys and games that would complement your trade show booth effectively.
For interactive data capture to work smoothly, make sure to have enough stations spread out across the booth. Brevity is also crucial. The activity should not take more than a minute or two or else attendees may become frustrated with long waits, bypassing your booth altogether.
Staff members should take turns working the booth to allow time for note-taking, categorization, and input of leads into a CRM or spreadsheet. Not allowing sufficient time for these activities during a trade show can result in missed opportunities. Reviewing the contacts shortly after the interaction ensures that all the data collected is fresh and accurate. Also, quickly transferring leads to a master database, even if that database is just a spreadsheet, means that your salespeople can take off running without letting the fire die down. Set yourself up for quick and efficient followup to better maximize lead potential.
Categorize Your Leads
Some leads generated at your trade show exhibit will show more promise than others, which is why organizing their contact information into hot and cold categories will help expedite the follow up process. It is important to make hot leads your priority, especially if competition proved fierce during the trade show. Further categorizing leads into territories and size can also prove useful.