Lead Liaison Press Release

Lead Liaison Releases Trade Show Success Kit: How to Prepare For, Execute, and Evaluate a Successful Trade Show

Lead LiaisonDallas, Texas – Ever since Lead Liaison launched their event lead capture solution, GoExhibit!™, in 2017, the company has been hyper-focused on helping businesses achieve greater success at marketing events like trade shows and conferences. They achieve this by offering the most flexible lead capture solution on the market, as well as a copious amount of educational content they produce around trade shows and events. 

This week, they’ve released a kit containing their most popular trade show-related content which they’ve dubbed the Trade Show Success Kit

The Trade Show Success Kit contains a checklist to help marketing event managers stay organized when planning exhibitions at upcoming trade shows. The checklist gets down to the nitty-gritty with reminders for when to finalize lead retrieval, how to structure post-event workflows, and more. The checklist even includes a sample packing list and sample itinerary, because as Lead Liaison Director of Marketing Jen Worsham says, “It makes it so much easier to have all of those things in once place – especially during pre-event team meetings.”

Lead Liaison’s Trade Show Success Kit also contains a step-by-step guide to implementing an independent lead capture solution. “We wanted to include this because this always seems to be the biggest hurdle to cross when considering the use of lead capture outside of what the show organizer provides,” says Worsham. “There’s so much to benefit from when using a consistent lead capture method across all events, so we wanted to remove the only real obstacle: the unknown.”

For marketing event coordinators wondering what their role looks like during a B2B event, Lead Liaison also includes a list of 10 things event managers should be doing at the trade show. This list includes suggestions like, “find the show organizer contact to collect booth feedback” and “take a photo of your team at the booth for more personalized follow-up.” 

Post-event strategy is not missed in the Trade Show Success Kit. It also contains a Post-Show Questionnaire intended to assist in collecting feedback from team members after a show. And, if the return on investment (ROI) is a consideration (hint: it should be), then the resource, How to Evaluation ROI from a Trade Show, will prove to be extremely helpful. 

“Because of our hands-on approach to supporting our GoExhibit!™ clients, we live and breathe marketing events,” says Worsham. “Sure, using our lead capture solution aids in success. But, we know that’s not the only thing to consider when planning and executing a successful trade show. This kit covers it all!”

To access the Trade Show Success Kit, click here

About Lead Liaison
Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that help businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and sales automation to boost sales effectiveness. Additionally, Lead Liaison is the global leader in event lead management, enabling companies to capture and manage leads from trade shows and events. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible architecture, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality into a single platform, called Revenue Generation Software®. Lead Liaison is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit http://www.leadliaison.com or call 1-800-89-LEADS (895-3237). To access our Press Kit, visit www.leadliaison.com/press-kit.

post-event marketing

Why Direct Mail Should Be Part Of Your Post-Event Marketing

So your trade show was a big success! You and your team had fun. The event helped you capture a lot of leads. Great! But your journey is just beginning. Now is the time to consider your post-event marketing strategy.

You captured leads at the trade show. Now, post-event, you need to nurture those leads. For that, you want an approach that involves multiple marketing channels. You have already harnessed the power of connecting with your leads face to face.

Now it’s time to leverage email, social media and content marketing.

Why not use another channel that has proven to be very effective at post-event marketing: direct mail?

Direct Mail Is Dead! Or Is It?

I have a pretty good idea what you are thinking: “Direct mail? Are you kidding me? Everyone knows that digital marketing is the way to go. Direct mail is dead!”

Is direct mail really dead? That’s what the digital marketing “conventional wisdom” might tell us, but maybe it’s not true. Plenty of B2B marketers like you are successfully harnessing the power of direct mail to help them nurture leads and boost sales results.

Direct mail marketing works!

According to one study, “direct mail proved the most effective advertising media. It outperformed digital channels consistently – and, in some cases, significantly. These findings suggest that while the digital space provides essential platforms for customer interaction, physical media is better suited to close the marketing-sales loop, or the gap between interaction and action.”

To quote marketing strategist and author, Elaine Fogel, “According to the Rain Group, half of B2B buyers prefer to be contacted by direct mail, 3rd out of a list of nine outreach methods.”

And…surprise, surprise! Apparently, even tech-obsessed millennials love direct mail:

“It’s been found that millennials who spend more time with physical ads have a stronger emotional response, leading to better memory of them. You could be on the list of the next generation’s most-loved advertising campaigns by optimizing your use of direct mail.” 

Direct mail can indeed be a powerful addition to your post-event marketing. Combine it well with digital marketing channels such as email and social media, and you can enjoy a powerful synergy that drives your results even higher.

But you have to do it right. So let’s talk about how to do direct mail right.

Omnichannel Post-Event Marketing: Be Everywhere

A Proven Way To Fail With Direct Mail. Hint: Don’t Do This

We’ve all received direct mail marketing pieces we threw in the trash without even opening them. Why didn’t we? For one thing, they probably had a very generic, bland, “corporate” look to them. They were obvious solicitations, and in addition to looking like they came from a big, impersonal company that cared nothing about us, the envelope gave us little incentive to open it.

If we did read it, we were not impressed. The letter’s content was focused on the company and how wonderful its products were, instead of where attention needed to be placed – on us! It did not empathetically focus on our problem and helping us solve it. It merely peddled a product.

“Letters From Grandma”

So what should you do instead? How do you make your direct mail stand out in a positive way from the onslaught of corporate “junk mail” your leads are receiving? Choose a marketing service that supports adding handwritten letters to an automated post-event marketing workflow. Then, take additional steps to make your letter personal. Make it look like a “letter from Grandma”.

Think about it: any letter or piece of mail that looks personal, that appears as if it came from an old friend or family member, is almost guaranteed to get opened.

What do these letters have in common? A handwritten address on the envelope. A “real” stamp, not one from a postage meter. When you open it, you read a conversational message written to an audience of one. You see a word you love: “you”! We all love to hear or read the words “you” and “your”. 

“Great To Meet You!”

Want to give your post-event direct mail an even more personal touch that will help you nurture your leads better? Mention your shared experience, the event itself. Talk about how much you enjoyed meeting and visiting with them. Reference something specific from your in-person conversation, especially as it relates to their problem and how you can help them solve it.

Don’t Forget About Postcards 

Why not consider using postcards in addition to, or even in place of letters? Postcards get attention. They are a visible, tangible reminder of your brand and your products to your trade show leads. Here’s a great benefit of postcard marketing: it’s easier for you to get your message to your readers. Why? They have to open a letter. But, a postcard catches a reader’s attention from the moment it comes into view.

A big part of post-event marketing success is building Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) in your audience. Done right, postcard marketing can help you do this. Postcards catch attention at the mailbox. Your message is likely to get read. There’s a good chance your leads will hang onto your postcard and leave it on their desk.

The result? Every time they see your postcard they think of you. If they think about you often enough, who will they most likely contact when they are ready to buy? You!

What’s Your Ultimate Goal With Direct Mail?

Remember that your ultimate goal with post-event marketing and lead nurturing is to convert your reader into your customer. So keep moving them through your marketing/sales pipeline. At the end of each direct mail piece, have a call to action that encourages them to take the next step in the buyer’s journey.

This may be directing them to make a phone call. It may be telling them about a personalized URL where they can join your email list and download your latest whitepaper. It may be a big announcement about an exciting live event you are hosting.

With direct mail or any other marketing communication, your call to action is crucial. It pays to discover more about this fascinating and potentially profitable topic.

Bottom line: always remember that your goal with direct mail is to drive the lead nurturing process forward and convert your reader into a paying customer.

Your Post-Event Marketing Toolbox

As with all of your marketing initiatives, think of the lead nurturing you do as if it were a construction project. It’s absurd to think you could build a house with only one tool, right? You need a well-equipped toolbox. The same thing goes for your trade show-related lead capture and nurturing.

Think omnichannel marketing, rather than one-channel marketing. As we’ve discussed today, direct mail can be one of your most effective post-event marketing channels.

You can win at direct mail marketing. Lead Liaison’s marketing automation capabilities can help you. We’ll make designing your next mail campaign easy. Want to find out more? Get in touch today!

B2B event

10 Things Event Managers Should Do During A B2B Event

They say that event planning is one of the most stressful jobs. B2B event planners, do you want to know a secret that might make your job slightly less stressful? Repeatable processes! 

We’re all about processes here. If you can outline the process for your various tasks, then you’ll greatly reduce the time and energy that you’ll have to put into those tasks because you won’t have to reorient yourself with the operation each time you start. 

We’ve created several process resources to help B2B event planners, like our Trade Show Preparation Checklist, Questions to Ask When Integrating Independent Lead Capture, or our Post-Show Questionnaire. Today, we will focus on the tasks that you might want to consider during your B2B event. Download the infographic here, or read below for more details about each item. 

10 Things Event Managers Should Do During A B2B Event

B2B At-Event Checklist

B2B events are fast-paced, but there is a lot of value that your company is going to want to squeeze out of it. Every item in the checklist below may not apply to your company, but we recommend that you take this list and modify it as needed. Then, use this as a part of your “trade show kit” going forward. Your team will be impressed with how well you manage the event, from start to finish.

  • Test your lead retrieval on each other. Scan each other’s badge and make sure the information is collected correctly, and that it feeds into your existing backend systems (CRM, marketing automation, etc.) in a timely manner. If you’ve set up a post-event workflow, this would be the final time to test and make sure all applicable actions are triggered upon form submission. While you should have tested this already, make sure nothing has changed by testing at the event. 
  • Set goals for your booth staff. In our experience, salespeople are born competitors. Surprise your booth staff with a special prize for the one that captures the most quality leads, and let them know in your morning get-together on day one. If they haven’t had their coffee yet, this will grab their attention and kick their competitiveness into high gear. 
  • Establish a central point of contact for any unexpected circumstances. This person might be yourself, but make sure to communicate this to your team. This will simplify your event more than you realize. Many times people like to “be the hero” but end up just muddying the waters. You planned the event. You have all the order forms. You know the process. You should manage the unexpected. 
  • Take a photo of your team in front of your booth. Use this photo in your event follow-up to remind prospects of who you are, and why they are getting the email. Most people need the visual reminder, so this will assist your company in standing out from competitors. 
  • Schedule a post-event meeting with your team. Go ahead and give everyone a heads up that you’ll want to have a quick recap meeting after the event closes for the day. Don’t surprise them towards the end of the day – set expectations early. This meeting will give you a chance to take your team’s temperature. How is the event going? Is there anything they needed today that you can prepare for tomorrow? Bonus points for scheduling this at a nearby watering hole. 
  • Ensure that any pre-purchased elements are in working order prior to the event start (ex: power, wifi). The ideal time to do this is during setup. You’ll likely know if a power source isn’t working right off the bat. But, don’t assume the wifi will work once the event starts. Test it during setup. 
  • Walk the floor. Take at least a half-hour to walk the trade show floor. Bring your cell phone and take pictures of booths that inspire you, and of your competition. You’ll come back to these photos later – I promise. Take the time to orient yourself and note where might be a better booth location next show.
  • Find your show organizer contact and ask for their input on your booth. This person could provide an unbiased opinion of what’s working and what’s not, especially in direct comparison to the other booths. You can take that information and build on it for the next show.  
  • Invite customers in attendance to your booth. Lure them with a special treat, like donuts or a snack basket. The goal is to keep them in your booth long enough to possibly provide testimonials to new potential clients. There’s nothing more convincing than a living, breathing advocate for your product or solution. 
  • Make notes on how to tweak your lead capture process. If you are using a mobile lead capture app over the antiquated badge scanners, you likely built your own lead capture form. What questions are your team skipping? Are there any parts of your lead capture form that could use fine-tuning for next time? We recommend using an independent lead capture solution across all of your events, so you can more easily clone your process from event to event. This also makes it infinitely easier to make minor tweaks to the lead capture and post-show workflow, based on experience. 

With each event that you manage, you’ll find more items to add to this list and discover which ones don’t really apply to your company. The key is to let your trade show experiences build off of one another. They should not be compartmentalized, but rather a cumulative effort to overall B2B event success. 

To learn more about Lead Liaison’s B2B event lead capture solution, request a personalized demo here.

tracking event ROI

How to Evaluate Event ROI from Your Trade Show

How can you execute an event, spend the money, and not know what you got out of it? Let’s say you are the CEO, and someone comes to you asking for a budget for an event. You’ll likely want to know your previous event ROI so that you can make the right decision. 

Did you know that 23% of marketers can track event ROI (source)? That means 77% of marketers cannot. Yikes.

To download this infographic, click here.

Top Challenges for Tracking Event ROI

  1. Calculating Cost is Difficult – With expenses coming from every direction, it’s hard to keep up with it all. You’ve got to consider the cost of your booth space, travel and expenses of the team, sponsorships, and any other miscellaneous costs. 
  2. Deals Don’t Happen on the Show Floor – To calculate the ROI, you need to know the return you got. That’s from the deal itself. The average sales cycle in business is 102 days (source). It might be a while before you can give an accurate event ROI.
  3. Too Busy to do the Math – There is a lot to do immediately following an event; the first of which being executing the necessary follow-up. 
  4. Nobody Asks! – There is so much work leading up to an event, during an event, and after an event, that the biggest considerations are easily overlooked. 

Popular Ways to Measure Return

Here are some popular ways to measure return, in order from most helpful to least helpful. 

  • Revenue
  • # Meetings Set
  • Engagement
  • Forecasted Revenue
  • # Opportunities

After calculating success, consider these important numbers:

  • Cost of event
  • Cost per lead
  • Cost per opportunity

Software Systems Help Calculate Event ROI

Software systems help connect the dots between your campaign efforts and your end result. For example, in Salesforce.com you have a lead that starts as a contact, then onto an opportunity, then to closed/won. When that deal closes, for $10k for example, you should be able to tie that revenue back to the campaign (and more importantly, the cost of the campaign). Where did that lead come from? How did they find out about you? Having software in place that either tracks all information within one system, or having a few that integrate (communicate) with one another, can help you attribute those deals and make better decisions for your organization going forward.

Hard Event ROI vs Soft Event ROI

Don’t forget to consider both the hard ROI and the soft ROI. 

Hard ROI is more about the direct benefits to your company. This can include how many leads you were able to collect, or how many deals you were able to close. The concept of hard ROI is more about financials.

But, there’s also a Soft ROI that you shouldn’t overlook. Indirect benefits like facetime with customers, increasing awareness of your brand, and any success you had networking should all count for something when evaluating the success of an event. Just because you didn’t close a deal, it doesn’t mean that you weren’t able to familiarize the industry with your product or solution. The more they see you and hear about you, the more likely it is that they will come to you when their need arises.  

In Conclusion

Calculating event ROI can be tricky, but is an essential part of the event process. The process of calculating your event ROI will be specific to your business and your goals. There is no magic equation. What might be helpful, though, is setting yourself up to be able to easily track as much of this data as possible so that answering the question, “What was our event ROI?” is achievable. 

Choose a software solution that helps you build event campaigns, captures exactly the data you need onsite, supports immediate follow-up, and tracks ROI. Lead Liaison’s event lead management solution, GoExhibit!™, does all of this. To learn more, click here

Lead Liaison Press Release

Event Lead Capture Provider Lead Liaison Unveils New Resources for Trade Show Event Planning

Lead LiaisonDallas, Texas – Lead Liaison, the powerhouse behind the event lead capture solution, GoExhibit!™, is set apart from competitors in the industry due to their extraordinary level of customer support. In true form, they released two helpful resources this week which are geared to help trade show coordinators prepare for high-steaks events.

Their Trade Show Preparation Checklist takes the stress out of preparing for trade shows by keeping track of responsibilities in a simplified checklist, along with tips on how and why each item should be completed. It’s extensivity makes the checklist an excellent tool for beginners as well as seasoned trade show planners. The resource also includes a Sample Packing List, as well as a Sample Team Itinerary.

“I use our Trade Show Preparation Checklist for every event we attend,” says Jen Worsham, Director of Marketing at Lead Liaison. “It was something I’ve formulated over the years, and it’s my number one planning resource. I am excited to share it with others in the industry.”

In addition to the checklist, Lead Liaison has just published a collection of Questions to Ask When Implementing Independent Lead Capture Software. A hesitation often encountered by trade show exhibitors, when considering the implementation of an independent lead capture solution, is how complicated it might be to integrate the solution with the show-appointed lead retrieval. 

It is a process that sounds more complicated than it is, so Lead Liaison *created* this resource, which can act as a phone script when speaking with show organizers and lead retrieval providers, to *clear the fog*. The phone script was compiled during research performed by the Lead Liaison event marketing team, speaking to dozens of show organizers and lead retrieval providers. Not only does it provide a list of questions, but also the background as to why the questions are necessary. 

To access the Trade Show Preparation Checklist, click here. To access the Questions to Ask When Implementing Independent Lead Capture Software, click here. These, and many more trade show-related resources can be found in Lead Liaison’s Resource Library

About Lead Liaison
Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that help businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and sales automation to boost sales effectiveness. Additionally, Lead Liaison is the global leader in event lead management, enabling companies to capture and manage leads from trade shows and events. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible architecture, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality into a single platform, called Revenue Generation Software®. Lead Liaison is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit http://www.leadliaison.com or call 1-800-89-LEADS (895-3237). To access our Press Kit, visit www.leadliaison.com/press-kit.

How to Integrate Independent Lead Capture Solution

Questions to Ask Trade Show Organizers When Using An Independent Lead Capture Solution

Trade show exhibitors often hesitate when integrating an independent lead capture solution with show-appointed lead retrieval. Will it be simple or complicated? How do I find out if I can connect my system? Am I asking the right questions?

We’re breaking down that barrier with this phone script that exhibitors can use when coordinating with the show organizer.  By connecting with the show’s lead retrieval provider, you will get the contact information that the show collects upon registration (name, email, company, job title).  Regardless of the outcome of the below conversation, you will still be able to (and are encouraged to) include other qualifying questions in your lead capture form.

Who is the lead retrieval provider?

First, ask the show’s management who is providing lead retrieval. It’s very straightforward, but be prepared for event organizers to drag this out. Some event organizers won’t lock this down until a few weeks before the event.  

You’ll also want to make sure you are asking the right person. Don’t ask an event sales rep, who might not have access to this information until closer to the event. Ask whoever you are speaking with to point you in the direction of the person managing lead retrieval; that will be the person you should ask.  

If they don’t understand what they mean by the person managing lead retrieval, ask them who is providing the barcodes for their name badges. This rarely fails to get you to the right person.

Who should I contact at the lead retrieval provider?

It’s good to know the name of the company, but it’s even better to have a direct contact. Asking this question will eliminate any bouncing around that might happen if you call the lead retrieval provider cold. 

Pivot: What if the show isn’t providing lead retrieval at all?

In that case, you’ll still be able to capture leads with a business card transcription method, manual entry, or a kiosk mode – where the booth visitor will just type their information in. 

If using GoExhibit!™’s business card transcription method for one-by-one scans or bulk scanning using the “Rapid Scan” feature, you’ll benefit from the industry’s fastest and most accurate turnaround times. The faster you get the leads in the system, the sooner you can follow-up. And it’s important to remember that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds to an event lead first (source). 

Questions to Ask Lead Retrieval Provider When Using an Independent Lead Capture Solution

What is the lead retrieval method?

Once you have the correct person on the phone at the lead retrieval provider, the first thing you’ll want to ask them about is the lead retrieval method. Are they providing badge scanners to be used with event badges? Or, are they asking exhibitors to download an app on their mobile device? Knowing this will help you determine how you’ll want to set up your lead capture software for this event. 

What is the cost to use the show-appointed method? (overall and per user)

If you have already committed to using an independent lead capture solution, this will be moot. However, it’s always good to keep a pulse on these prices to ensure that you are making the right decision for your company. 

Using an independent lead capture provider is typically less expensive in the long run, especially if you plan on having multiple booth representatives. Each one will need a method of scanning, and that can add up quick. If you’re looking to compare, you’d want to:

  • Consider the overall cost, in addition to the cost per user, of using the show-appointed lead retrieval provider. 
  • Consider how many users (booth representatives) you’ll have.
  • Consider the resources you’d need to use on the backend to process leads. For example, if the show lead retrieval provider can’t provide a list of leads captured until after the event has concluded, you’ll miss a crucial window of time that you could have been following up. Your competitors will likely follow up sooner, thus seizing the opportunity faster. How much will these missed opportunities cost your business?
  • Consider the time you’d spend pulling together event-specific ROI data; something independent lead capture solutions often calculate automatically.

You can use this Trade Show ROI Calculator to get a better idea of how independent lead capture will save your company money. 

Additional Good-to-Know Prompts

If you have already chosen an independent lead capture provider, you should be able to answer “Yes!” to the following questions. Unfortunately, many show-appointed solutions cannot do these things. Ask them and see the difference between a holistic independent lead capture provider and a show-appointed lead retrieval provider. 

  • Does your solution enrich records?
  • Does your solution integrate with my CRM? 
  • Does your solution integrate with my marketing automation platform?

Do you offer an API or Developer’s Kit?

You will need to connect your independent lead capture solution with the show’s lead retrieval. You will do that by utilizing their API or Developer’s Kit. An API and a Developer’s Kit are essentially the same thing in this circumstance. Think of an API or Developer’s Kit as the link between your lead capture solution and their data. It’s how the two communicate. Your lead capture solution provider will need this information to ensure a successful transfer of lead information.

What is the cost of the API/Developer’s Kit?

This is the only additional cost your company will incur when using an independent lead capture solution, so it is important to ask this up front. 

If no API/Developer’s Kit, ask if they have a post-show merge option.

Some events do not offer an API or Developer’s Kit. In those instances, they will hopefully support post-show merge (sometimes referred to as post-show reconciliation). To use this method, your booth representatives would scan badges as normal throughout the event, but those leads will not be instantly synced. After the event has completed, your team (or your lead capture provider) will submit all bar scans to the show’s lead retrieval provider. They will match the scans with their system and return an .xlsx or .csv file with all the available lead data, which you can then import into your independent lead capture solution/CRM/marketing automation platform. At that point, any post-show workflows will be triggered.  

Additional Post-Show Merge Questions

How long will it be before we can access our leads?

If using post-show merge, this is an important question because it will determine how you structure your post-show follow-up. It can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days. 

How are those leads accessed (through a portal, post-show reconciliation, etc.)?

If a show does not offer a Developer’s Kit, you’ll have to access the leads post-show. They may have their own portal (either in-house or through 3rd party lead retrieval hired for the show). If they offer a portal, you will be able to log in and view leads instantly. However, post-show merge without a portal often can take 3-5 days before you’ll have access to your leads. 

Conclusion

The benefits of using an independent lead capture solution far outweigh using the show-appointed lead retrieval provider, even considering the conversation required above. Consistency across all of your events, lower overall cost per event, and the ability to communicate to leads with highly personalized content tip the scale. 

Given the amount of money that your company invests into trade shows and events, it only makes sense to give your sales team as much high-quality information as possible. Features like audio notes, voice-to-text transcription, conditional questions, real-time content sharing, and more make independent lead capture, like GoExhibit!™, the best choice for B2B companies.

How to Prepare for a Successful Trade Show

When preparing to exhibit at a trade show, it’s critical that you stay organized. The success of your trade show hinges on your team’s ability to execute each part of the process properly, and on schedule. No pressure, right?!

Take the stress out of preparing for your next trade show by keeping track of responsibilities in a simplified checklist. If you’re looking for a place to get started, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of tasks to help you prepare for a successful trade show.

To download the checklist, which you can edit and personalize to your business needs, click here. This is a resource you’ll turn to time and time again. In addition to the checklist, we’ve also included a Sample Packing List (tab 2), as well as a Sample Itinerary (tab 3). These additional resources are best stored together, in our experience.

Below, we’ve outlined the tasks in a bullet-point list, so you can get a feel for what’s included in the downloadable checklist.

  • Research show information & request application materials for exhibitors – Be sure to note how much your desired booth space might cost, along with any other required fees such as carpet or power.
  • Review Event Manual to understand all event-specific details – Do this early so you can plan accordingly. Note any special events that your team will want to attend, and add that to your itinerary.
  • Research booth display vendors and artwork deadline(s) – If you plan on creating a new booth display, start looking into vendors to understand cost and deadline(s) for artwork.
  • Outline your budget – Outline the expected budget for this show. Include the cost of the booth space, booth display, booth attractions, lighting, rigging, electrical, Wi-Fi, carpet, T&E, lodging, and lead retrieval.
  • Evaluate promotional opportunities (like mailers sent from show organizer, for example) – Most trade show attendees create an agenda for who they’d like to visit. Make sure you’re on their list! Interacting with attendees ahead of the event is key, so educate yourself on the opportunities that the show organizer will provide for exhibitors. Mailers sent from the show organizer are a great example of interacting with registered attendees in a way that stands out from the rest of the email blasts. Find out what your options are, and the due dates for submission.
  • *Evaluate lead capture options – Most trade shows partner with a lead retrieval provider for exhibitor lead capture. Badge scanning is antiquated and cannot fully integrate with the technology you already have in place. Consider an event lead management solution, like GoExhibit!™, which integrates seamlessly with their in-house marketing automation, sales automation, and CRM solutions OR the 3rd party CRM software, marketing automation software, or other technology you already have in place.
  • *Request Developer’s Kit (or API) from Lead Retrieval Provider – This step will only be necessary if you plan to use an independent lead capture solution. The benefits of using an independent lead capture solution are extensive, but one is that it provides a consistent experience for your booth representatives across all of your events. You’ll simply need to facilitate a connection between your lead capture solution and the show-appointed lead retrieval provider per event.
  • Host a Team Meeting, #1 – Use this time to announce company attendance and discuss details such as who will attend, what your goals are for lead capture, and so on.
  • Register booth personnel – After your team decides on who will be in attendance, make sure to register them with the event organizers.
  • Submit Directory Listing -The show organizer should provide a deadline for when you’ll need to submit your information for the Directory. Don’t miss this key step, so registered attendees know that you’ll be there.
  • Outline your promotion strategy – How will you advertise your attendance and entice visitors to stop in? Try an omnichannel approach, which can include direct mail, email, social media, and more!
  • Plan booth design – Where will you set out business cards? How will traffic flow through your booth? Where will you display your product or solution?
  • Plan booth attractions – Everyone loves a good booth attraction. We recommend announcing your booth attraction in your promotional material to increase the hype around your booth.
  • *Outline your post-show workflow – Map out how you plan on communicating with Prospects post-show. We recommend an omnichannel approach. Sending a text message immediately upon lead capture can be very impactful, and will keep your brand top-of-mind. Email follow-ups a few days after the event has concluded (so that you miss the Out-of-Office window) with a picture of your team at your booth will remind your Prospect of their conversation with your team. A handwritten letter that includes a business card (or even a $5 Starbucks gift card!) sent a week or two later will really drive home your message and further solidify the relationship you team started at the event. *Pro Tip: Personalize your follow-up by merging any combination of data collected from your lead capture form. Include links to educational content based on the product or solution that they were most interested in.
  • Finalize attire – Do this early in the process so that you have time to order anything you’ll need customized (matching collared shirts with company logo, for example). And don’t forget to advise on required pants/shoes, too. You’d rather be over-prepared than run the risk of having a newbie show up in jeans and flip flops.
  • Host a Team Meeting, #2 – In this meeting, review your promotional campaign, post-show workflow, booth design, booth attractions, attire, and more. Make sure everyone is on the same page before creating all of the material.
  • Notify show management if using the show organizer-appointed contractor – If your trade show requires that you use a show organizer-appointed contractor of things like installation, make the proper arrangements early to avoid last-minute fees.
  • Analyze all existing exhibitors – Most show organizers will provide a list of other exhibitors. Of your direct competitors, who will be in attendance at this event? Stalk their Twitter to find images of their previous booths and make sure yours is up to par. Are there any companies in attendance that you could partner with for booth attractions or takeaways?
  • Create and execute your social media strategy – What’s great about social media is that you can go ahead and schedule all of your posts leading up to the event. This is a great task to get out of the way early. Make sure to include relevant event hashtags!
  • Order booth giveaways (t-shirts, pens, etc.) – Make sure you order these in plenty of time, and provide a cushion in case they don’t turn out as planned. If you have access to the event attendee list, go a step further and poll attendees ahead of time to see what they might like to receive most. Then, they’ll really be looking forward to visiting your booth!
  • Secure travel arrangements & lodging – If your event involves travel, make sure that everyone on your team has appropriate travel arrangements and lodging. Make sure to account for setup and breakdown of your booth. Rumour has it that Tuesdays are the best day to purchase airfare. Also, most trade shows offer a discounted rate with a local hotel. Check for that first!
  • Order Carpet – Carpet is required for most indoor trade shows. If you don’t need to match the carpet to your booth theme, consider using the same color as the event organizers are using in the walkways to encourage traffic flow into your booth.
  • Order Electrical – If required. Tip: Find out how much power your booth lighting will need, and order that at a minimum.
  • Order Wi-Fi – If needed. Tip: Bring your own hotspot to avoid costly fees.
  • *Create your lead capture form – If using a customizable solution like GoExhibit!™,  you’ll want to create your lead capture form early and share with your team. Ensure that you are collecting everything you need from booth attendees. Create conditional questions based on interest, and include voice recording and voice-to-text functionality so that your sales team can record important data quickly and easily.
  • *Create the content for your post-show workflow – You already mapped out your post-show workflow. Now all you have to do is create the content and piece it together!
  • Prepare for technology needs (iPad, laptops, mobile devices for lead capture, etc.) – Make sure that each piece of required technology is on your Packing List, and don’t forget extra phone charges, charging blocks, extension cords, etc. (This checklist has a Sample Packing List included on tab 2!)
  • Plan exhibit setup/dismantle – Assign responsibility for showing up early to help with setup and assign team members to the breakdown process, as well. Make sure to give anyone setting up or breaking down enough cushion between travel to make it work without stress.
  • *Create an itinerary – Outline when your team should be where, so there’s no confusion. Include time frame for badge pickup, setup, exhibit hours, session hours, happy hours or client dinners, tear down hours, etc. If you are using an independent lead capture solution that supports documents, include your itinerary in the app so that your booth reps can easily access. (This checklist has a Sample Itinerary included on tab 3!)
  • Host a Team Meeting, #3 – In this meeting, review your packing list and itinerary. Send a follow-up email to each of your team members with the exact items they are responsible for bringing. Answer any last-minute questions.

Lead Liaison offers one of the most powerful and holistic event lead management solutions in the industry, GoExhibit!. Above, we’ve noted which line items GoExhibit! can support with an asterisk (*).

To see a demo of GoExhibit!, request one here!

The Anatomy of a Great Event Lead Capture Form

When exhibiting at a trade show or other marketing event, your lead capture form drives success. That’s not to say that having an enticing booth and properly staffing it doesn’t matter, too. But without an effective and efficient event lead capture form, you’ll inevitably fall behind.

That’s why we wanted to provide an outline of a great event lead capture form. If you include these key components, you’ll be sure to set your team up for success (and sales) post-show. When someone visits your booth, your team should be focusing on making a connection, not killing the moment with a long list of questions. A complicated lead capture process can turn an interaction into an interrogation. So simplify your event lead capture form by narrowing it down to the suggestions below.

The Anatomy of an Event Lead Capture FormDownload this Graphic

Quickly and Easily Collect Basic Lead Info

Based on the show you are exhibiting with, you should be able to integrate your event lead management solution with the show lead retrieval. In our research, we have found that nearly 80% of events will integrate with an event lead management solution.

If integrated, a great event lead capture form will include a badge scanning element that makes it easy to collect basic contact information without needing to hold up the flow of the conversation. Most event lead management solutions support barcodes, QR codes, and even near field communication (NFC) badges.

If the show doesn’t offer integration, simply include a Business Card Transcription element instead. Most event lead management solutions support transcription of the information on a business card. Lead Liaison’s GoExhibit!™ features transcription service with a 99.9% accuracy and near-immediate turnaround time.

Qualify Your Leads

Meet with your team to narrow down exactly what constitutes a qualified lead, and include that question (or those questions) immediately after your badge scanning element. You want the form to flow the same way the booth representative’s conversation would go. They’ll collect basic information, and then they’ll consider if the lead is qualified.

Not everyone who gives up their information represents a real business opportunity. In your preparation, consider what the top three most important characteristics are to identify qualified leads. Assessing whether a lead is worth pursuing allows you to easily progress your sales process in any post-show automations.

Using a temperature scale is a simple and effective way to gauge interest. “Hot” signifies that they are almost ready to buy. “Warm” means they need to be nurtured a bit before they’ll make a purchase (make sure you have an excellent post-show nurture campaign). “Cold” leads are not even worth your sales team’s time yet. They can still be nurtured, but your sales team can probably skip any aggressive post-show outreach.

If you wanted to get a little more detailed, you could further qualify your lead by asking:

  • How much buying authority or influence does this person have?
  • How soon is this person likely to make a purchasing decision?

Investigate Key Interests in Your Event Lead Capture Form

If your company is showcasing multiple solutions at your booth, your Key Interests field should contain a checklist of those solutions. If your company is showcasing a single solution, your Key Interests field should contain a checklist of various problems your solution can solve.

If your event lead capture solution supports conditional fields, you could design your form so that additional questions populate based on the prior selections. That way, your booth representatives won’t have to waste time scrolling through questions that are not relevant, but they are prompted with the appropriate questions when applicable.

For example, if your company offers Solution A, Solution B, and Solution C, your event lead capture form could populate a different follow-up question based on if they are interested in A, B, or C.The follow-up question could inquire about what particular problem the prospect needs to address with your solution. Of course, every answer will be slightly different, but you should be able to put any answer into a few different buckets. And since you’re using conditional fields, why not have an “Other” option that triggers a text field so your booth rep can fill it in?

Help Your Team with a Voice Notes Component

Voice notes can be one of the most useful components of your lead capture form. They allow booth representatives to focus on conversations instead of note-taking. The goal, remember, is to have an organic conversation so that you start building that positive relationship from the start. If the prospect feels like the purpose of the conversation is to check boxes, they’ll be less inclined to open up.

The opportunities that a voice notes component provides are endless. Voice notes can be used to record an answer to the single most important question on your lead capture form. If the prospect is comfortable, you could record the entire conversation so you don’t miss a thing.

When a booth rep concludes a conversation with a prospect, voice notes allow them to easily step aside and quickly rattle off all pertinent information within a minute, rather than writing them in a notebook or keying them into their lead capture form.

Some event lead management solutions even offer voice-to-text transcription, which makes the process even more efficient. Now, your booth reps have no excuse for not taking great notes!

Simplifying your form to include these items will not only make lead capture easier for your staff at the event, but it will also make it easier for the marketing team to follow up appropriately based on the answers collected. Some event lead management solutions even offer ways to deeply personalize follow-up based on the answers collected at the event. A handwritten letter sent a week after the event can reference their specific need. A follow-up email can contain a link to a detailed overview of the solution they were most interested in.

The possibilities are truly endless when using Lead Liaison’s event lead management solution, GoExhibit!™. If you are interested in learning more about our solution, click here.

These Tech Tips Will Boost Event Lead Capture Success!

Welcome to part two of our series on how you and your team can get the most out of your trade show experience, optimize lead capture and enjoy a high level of customer lifetime value from these leads.

In a previous article, we discussed some valuable ideas you can leverage to capture more leads at your next event. Today, we continue that conversation. Let’s discuss specifically how you can harness the power of technology to capture and collect as many leads as possible, engage with them right away (even while you are still at the event) and set the stage for converting them into eager prospects and buyers.

Rethinking Your Lead Capture Form

Put yourself in your booth visitor’s (your potential lead’s) shoes. Attending a big industry event can be an overwhelming experience for them! This sense of overwhelm felt by so many trade show attendees can cost your company lead capturing and nurturing opportunities.

So what can you do about this situation and turn it to your advantage?

What can you do that will make their experience more enjoyable and help you have a more meaningful engagement? What generates a massive impact that will help keep you and your brand in the forefront of their minds? Keep reading to find out…

When you are engaging in conversations with leads at your booth, don’t waste your time or theirs by asking the same dull, boring, unimaginative questions every other exhibitor is asking them. Aside from the basic information you can get from their badge scan, add targeted, relevant questions to your all-important lead capture form. Questions that will not only help you follow up more efficiently and effectively but will also help you keep your lead, the one you worked so hard to capture at the event, engaged.

Why is this important? The more engaged your lead feels during the buyer’s journey, the more of their very limited attention you will win and keep. The more likely they are to buy from you. So how can you keep them feeling engaged?

Remember what we talked about in our review of lead capture tips: every time you ask your leads and prospects to do something, they are asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” You want to tell them what’s in it for them. So take the answers they give to the questions on your lead capture form to help you do this. Analyze the information they give you, and craft responses that show your leads how your product solves the problems they want solved.

Doesn’t it make sense that if, in response to their questions, you were equipped with answers they found to be highly relevant to their situation, that you could give powerful answers to the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Ask Better Questions. Enjoy Better Lead Capture Results!

On your lead capture form, ask questions that relate to the problem they have – the one that your product helps them solve. Include conditional questions that pop up based on their answers to the questions you previously asked.

Here’s an example of a conditional question: if you ask a lead what role they play in the company, and they say “I do the research for new technology”, you’ll select “Product Research” from your dropdown. With a little research, you’ll be able to create a list of potential job titles that you are likely to run into at the event. Selecting “Product Research” will then trigger a new, role-specific question: “What’s the first thing you look at when researching?”

Do you see how this approach can help you target your post-show marketing responses and deliver a win-win solution for both you and your leads?

As you are communicating with them post-engagement, use the answers they gave you to deliver content, in the format they prefer, that keeps them engaged and interested in what you have to say.

What’s the bottom line? You want to use your lead capture form not just to capture the lead’s contact information. You want to use it to help you make your post-show marketing process more personalized, persuasive and, ultimately, much more effective

Embrace Audio Notes

Like we discussed a moment ago, a trade show or industry event can be overwhelming. And given your primary goal of lead capture, you don’t want to ask your team to spend their vitally important booth time typing notes into their phone or writing them down on a notepad.

If your salespeople at the trade show are taking too much time scrambling to finalize their notes from previous conversations, they are likely losing valuable opportunities to engage with new booth visitors.

The perfect buyer may have just passed by your booth and been snatched up by a competitor!

Rather than burdening your team members with these highly inefficient methods which could easily cause valuable information to be lost, why not find a lead capture solution that gives them the option to record an audio note which can automatically be transcribed once the event is over?

Tailor Follow-Up to the Individual

Here’s the thing: your booth visitors have talked to a lot of exhibitors at the big event, including your competitors. Will they remember you after the show, or will you be promptly forgotten?

You must do something that will really help you stand out in the eyes of your new leads. Don’t merely employ a “default”, one-size-fits-all event follow-up strategy. Ask them how they prefer to be followed up with, and with what type of content. Use a lead capture form that contains a dropdown selection which allows you to select their preferred method of follow-up (phone call, email, or text).

Then, tailor your post-show communication to that specific prospect’s wishes. It will mean a lot to them. And it will leave a positive, lasting impression. The type of impression that just might help your company win another customer!

Obviously, if you are going to successfully carry these ideas out, it helps you to have the right marketing and sales automation platform. This is how our team at Lead Liaison can really assist you.

Our innovative, robust, cloud-based software combines fully-customizable lead capture forms, real-time lead tracking, lead qualification, lead distribution, database segmentation, lead nurturing, social media engagement and ROI reporting into a single platform.

We make some bold claims, but as our happy clients can attest, we can back them up. Want to find out more about how you might become the next Lead Liaison success story? Contact us today to arrange your complimentary demo of our event lead capture solution, GoExhibit!™.

After the Event: Post-Trade Show Questionnaire

The actions you take after exhibiting at a trade show are equally as, if not more, important than what you did to prepare for it. Following up with prospects in a meaningful way is the top priority. The amount of business you close from the event is likely the most telling sign of a successful trade show. But, that’s not the only way you can evaluate your participation. Another means of evaluation, which is often overlooked, is asking your team what they think about the event, your booth, and your methods. After all, they were the ones in the midst of it. They have first-hand experience about what worked, and what didn’t.

While you aren’t expected to make every change suggested, it’s very helpful to collect input from the team that was onsite or “in the trenches” as they might say. It doesn’t hurt to ask. And you never know! You might be surprised to find some easy changes you could make at your next event to make it even more successful.

This Post-Show Questionnaire is free to download and makes it easy to collect valuable information from your event staff post-show. Its easy-to-read format is perfect for winding down on the plane ride home. We’ve also included the questions below, and why they are important. Add this resource to your trade show process now!

Bonus Hack: If you are using a marketing automation solution with a form builder and landing page builder, consider creating a simple form/landing page to include these questions. That way, all you have to do at the end of each event is send them the link to your survey page. They can take it online and their answers will be recorded for future use.

What was the most useful part of our trade show lead capture form? (i.e. Which questions were most helpful?)

While you probably made it very clear to your team which fields were most important to complete, they undoubtedly gravitated to the ones they felt were most important mid-show. (They are salespeople, after all!) Let them tell you why, while it is still fresh in their head.

What was the least useful part of our trade show lead capture form? (i.e. Which questions were least helpful?)

Make sure you understand which questions become more of a distraction than a helpful prompt. Sometimes our desire to collect ALL THE INFORMATION overpowers our better judgment to keep things simple. Or perhaps you included some custom content in your lead form, like a video demonstration, that not a single booth rep used. Learn more about what you need to eliminate next time around.

Did visitors like our booth? Did it help with engagement, or distract?

Here’s where you can collect great feedback about your booth attractions, displays, banners, demo stations, kiosks, and more. There may be one overly-opinionated booth rep that absolutely hated the demo station, while several other mild-mannered booth reps actually appreciated the ability to show off your solution in real time. Instead of asking this in a group setting, a 1:1 survey helps eliminate the fear of speaking up and will give you a more accurate representation of opinions. 

How do you feel about the location of our booth within the trade show exhibit hall?

Location is everything. Although your location probably depended more on your budget and the time you registered for the event, it’s still helpful to see what others think about the booth you chose. Did your team appreciate being closer to the bathrooms because of the additional foot traffic? Did they hate being towards the front due to the increase in uninterested attendees taking up space?

What would you add to our booth to better present ourselves to trade show attendees?

We’ll ask about specific booth attractions in the next question. For this one, your team should focus on what they recommend adding to your booth next time that adds value to their conversations. Perhaps a demonstration table would have been helpful, or a tall bistro table for better conversations.

Do you have any cool ideas for booth attractions next time?

As your team is winding down from an event, competing booths will be fresh on their minds. What did they see that they thought could be easily incorporated into your booth? The timing of this question is everything. Asking prior to the event might result in lukewarm input. Asking this immediately following the event will elicit feedback that is driven by recent experience. That’s invaluable.

Is there anything else that we should consider bringing to the show to make our team more successful (more power blocks, gum, pain reliever, duct tape, etc.)?

This question can help you build a Trade Show Survival Kit that your booth representatives will appreciate tremendously. It may also help you pair down the kit so that you are only providing things that you know your team will need/want. 

Do you have any feedback about our post-show follow-up, as of now?

This question could be considered premature, but it’s worth asking anyway. If you’ve thoroughly covered your post-show workflow with your team, they will undoubtedly have changes or feedback they want to provide now based on their actual conversations. For example, if you included a follow-up text* sent within minutes of submitting your lead capture form, your team might determine that the text should actually come an hour or two later instead of immediately upon submission. 

Which exhibitor had the best booth at the event and why?

This will help you set your goals even higher for next time. Plus, it will be interesting to see the variety of answers you collect since everyone will have their own unique opinion about it. 

While you were at the show, did you hear of any other shows that you think we should consider attending? Why do you think we should attend?

Event attendees are always buzzing about other events “you have to attend!” Your team may learn of a trade show or conference that wasn’t even on your radar. Or, their feedback may further endorse your current trade show schedule.

Conclusion

Asking your team to complete this questionnaire is only half the battle. Show them that you read their feedback and that you care about their opinions. After collecting everyone’s answers and reading through everything, consider having a team meeting to review common concerns or to clarify anything that seems unclear. Let your team know that their feedback has been heard and that it matters. If this isn’t a key part of your process, you can count on getting fewer and fewer responses as time goes on.

*If you are interested in learning more about an event lead management solution that supports all of the capabilities mentioned above (like the post-show text message), contact us for a demo!