3 Tips for Success at the Virtual Trade Show You’re Attending

3 Tips for Success at the Virtual Trade Show You’re Attending

Attending virtual trade shows is a new reality for most of us as we navigate this “new normal.” The playbook on this topic hasn’t been written yet. Most of us are figuring it out as we go.

The year 2020 has brought along many new challenges & hurdles that we have had to navigate through. For those of us in the event marketing space, virtual trade shows rank fairly high on that list of challenging experiences. These events are nothing short of intimidating to setup & oftentimes difficult to wade through as each event has varying rules & regulations. In the article below, we will attempt to answer the big question everyone is asking: What does it take to be successful at the virtual trade shows you’re attending? 

The main takeaway from this article is that,

“a virtual trade show is still a trade show.”

You must prepare for this with the same passion, dedication & discipline that you would apply to an in-person trade show. Even though it is hosted virtually, you still have the valuable opportunity to gather qualified leads from around the world & create meaningful connections.

 

1: Think strategically about the reps you choose to “send” to the show

In the same way that you would plan for face-to-face trade shows, you must first analyze the expected audience and decide on which products or services you would like to highlight. From there, you can make knowledgeable decisions about which sales reps to “staff” your booth. While the standard qualifications for a qualified rep would include things such as advanced product knowledge and charisma, you also need to account for the reps that have the highest level of comfort with digital communication channels such as chat, email & video conferencing. 

 

2: Have reps capture leads consistently in one place

Similar to F2F events, it is vital that your sales reps are capturing leads in a consistent manner and that all leads can flow into one location that is easily accessible. You also want to make sure that your Marketing Team is receiving leads in real-time so that follow-up can be done immediately while your brand is still top-of-mind for your potential client. 

Lead Liaison makes this seamless by offering an easy-to-setup Lead Capture Form & native integrations with major CRMs & Marketing Automation Platforms such as Eloqua, Salesforce & more. 

 

3: Invest in your virtual booth

Many virtual trade shows that we have attended recently feel slightly…boring… at times. You want to make sure that your booth stands out from the crowd. Find something that attracts, captures attention & ultimately converts your lead to a customer. Lead Liaison has recently launched an innovative way of accomplishing the goal listed above. The answer is simple: GAMES & GIVEAWAYS! Just as we’ve seen with traditional events, attendees are looking for different. They’re looking for swag. They’re looking for an incentive. We have over 20 fun & exciting games like whack-a-mole, spin-to-win & blackjack. These not only grab attention & create buzz about your brand, but they also capture lead contact information to help your sales reps and marketing team in their followup. All of these games are completely customizable & can fit your brand personality. Contact us to learn more. 

It is our hope that the ideas listed above will spark your creativity & help your next virtual event to be a success. Keep in mind that, as with in-person trade shows, a virtual trade show doesn’t end when reps “leave” the show. Meet with your team. Get their feedback about what worked well, and what didn’t. Ask what they’ve heard from chatting with prospects or what they’ve seen in other booths. Any and all feedback will help you add to and refine your virtual trade show playbook.

Lead Liaison Press Release

Lead Liaison Announces Free Lead Generation Tool Dubbed Website Visitor Converter

Lead LiaisonDallas, Texas – Lead Liaison, the leader in sales and marketing automation solutions, has added yet another free tool to their growing list of resources available to sales and marketers worldwide. The solution is appropriately named Website Visitor Converter.

Brad Froese, Director of Marketing, acknowledges one of the primary challenges marketers must overcome:

“Marketers are constantly trying to figure out what type of content to put on their website. They understand inbound marketing is a critical growth strategy. However, it’s hard to figure out where to draw the line. What should be given away for free and what should be gated?
Gated content should be valued enough by a visitor to exchange for their coveted email address. Once they’ve determined what that valuable “free” content is going to be, marketers can use Website Visitor Converter to gate it for free. They can also set up and manage passcodes, and easily style gated prompts to match corporate branding. It’s a really flexible plugin for any website built on the WordPress platform.”

The solution can operate in one of two ways. First, it can be used for free to gate valuable website content. Interested website visitors can provide their email address to access the content. Through an integration with a leading email validation provider, email addresses can be verified for authenticity prior to accessing the content. Alternatively, content can be gated by a pass code. The pass code can be handed out ahead of time and used to unlock access. Second, the solution can integrate with Lead Liaison’s sales and marketing automation platform. When a visitor provides their contact information, they can easily be added into an automated workflow or drip campaign.

Website Visitor Converter is a free, downloadable WordPress plugin available directly from the WordPress.org catalog, and can be downloaded 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.

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.

The Last Thing Anybody Needs is Another Boring Virtual Event

The Last Thing Anybody Needs is Another Boring Virtual Event

This September of 2020, about 6 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we here at Lead Liaison noticed an interesting comment on LinkedIn from Katherine M. describing the 3 factors that entice her into engaging with a virtual event:

“For me it’s either

1) I learn something EXTREMELY valuable;
2) I get to connect with awesome people; or,
3) it’s super fun and/or entertaining”

We agree 100%!

Virtual events absolutely demand one of these 3 elements (and preferably all 3!) to avoid coming across as flat, boring, useless agents of overhype.

 

Let’s start with #1 – Educating and bringing extreme value to your audience

First and foremost, you must understand the wants and needs of your audience going into the event. Pre-event polling regarding potential topics on a scale of 1 to 10 will help your team to evaluate and further facilitate the presentations that will help bring in more attendees and keep them involved over the course of your online event.

Be sure to make the best use of imagery! Look to create fascinating and quick informational videos with colorful images, interactive elements and photography that commands attention.

Keep educational portions concise. Provide links to additional resources on your company site if your participants would like to learn more. The last thing you want to do is have your event drone on like a requirement that attendees must sit through in order to benefit, because trust us – home distractions, email inboxes waiting to be cleaned, and a treasure trove of other online diversions are readily available and waiting to steal your thunder.

Think strategically about how your team can interject sales initiatives, sponsors, and other business strategies along with vital education that will help your virtual event attendees find value in the time they invest.

Moving along to #2 – Helping produce authentic connections with inspiring like-minded people

Your event must allow time for participants to network and create friendships and new connections. Live chats and Q&A’s in sessions are wonderful, but encourage your team to think deeper about how they can help facilitate introductions and lasting relationships between audience members.

Breakout rooms, well thought out roundtables with attendees who are pre-determined to benefit each other from dedicated discussions, and ease of use connecting via social media during the event can add a next-level feel to your virtual event.

There is even software that provides online cocktail happy hours designed to allow for 5 minute discussions (much like speed dating). Use the premise of connecting with others over a drink as a tool to keep people at your event engaged and curious about what’s coming next. The opportunity to unwind, connect and discuss hot topics after a full day of learning together is a welcome conclusion.

Finally, and perhaps most important, we arrive at #3 – Bring the fun and entertainment!

We’re all living through unprecedented times that few have previously encountered. The wide spread use of masks, physical distancing and navigating a climate of ever changing politics and science has instilled an elevated desire for fun, captivating and thrilling experiences.

Gamify your event with classic trade show games such as Spin to Win (similar to Wheel of Fortune), Pick a Winner (akin to drawing a business card from a bowl), or online Scratch-Offs. Set probabilities of winning and automate gift cards to be emailed to the winners.

Perhaps your team is more interested in hosting a casino night with marketing gamification fun including Blackjack, Slot Machines or Roulette with real-time leaderboards. Competition amongst attendees promotes participation and guarantees engagement!

Think about the event from an attendee’s perspective. If your team was taking part in the virtual event instead of running it, what would THEY want to include to make the experience appealing and enjoyable throughout the course of the sessions?

The stellar news is that by integrating game dynamics before, during and after your event, you can assist in converting passive attendees into ENGAGED participants.

Lead Liaison’s gamification features are self-service and integration is inexpensive, simple and most importantly – FUN!

Don’t hesitate to reach out with ideas on how we can help liven up your next event!

keeping email campaigns clean

The advantages of targeted emails, personalization, and list cleaning!

The advantages of targeted emails, personalization and list cleaning

“One thing I often see companies doing is emailing to the same list, day after day, week after week without any idea if the emails are being looked at or giving the ROI they desire.”- Mike Pauer


If you’ve had an email address for any amount of time, and used it to sign up for accounts, I’m sure you will have seen the same emails you never open mentioning a flash sale or special offer for the hundredth time.

When you send out the right email, to the right person, it should feel more personal like it’s coming from a friend, rather than a mass marketing message trying to sell something.

Use personalization in the email and segment your list towards who is most likely to be interested.

An email subject that mentions the person by name and how it relates to their interests has a much higher chance of being opened or clicked. 

As a personal example from my own inbox: within the last few days I received emails with the subjects, “Massive 8×10 Live auction tonight!”, “Flash Sale—up to 60% off bedding, bath and more” and “Spark some happiness in your home from $4!” all of which just immediately went into the trash because I had no real interest.

On the other hand, email’s with the subjects “Michael, open this e-mail to load your offers!”, “Great escapes close to Toronto” and “Extra Discount on A Deal You Viewed” were all opened. Why? Because they were personalized for me and sparked my interest. The more interest the recipient has, the more chance they will open, read, and click the email.

When crafting your email, the other thing to keep in mind is the pre-header. It can be just as important as the subject. A brief description of just what’s inside the email and why it’s important to the recipient can go a long way towards increasing your opens.

Something to consider when bulk sending: How clean is the list you’re sending to?

Have you been sending to the same list of people for 5 years without any statistics on engagement? This can lead to very poor open rates, or even to having a spam trap in a worst case scenario. When it comes to list maintenance, the best practice is to always remove anyone that bounces, and consider pruning anyone that has not opened or clicked the email for a period of time. 

What if you are concerned about cutting prospective clients?

Run a campaign directly to them! Segment the list to those who have never opened an email in the past year, then send a campaign asking if they still want to receive emails, or offer a special discount. If you go with the first option then as people confirm they do still want your emails you can move them back into the main sending list. With the second option, you can see which email addresses are alive, and may still be interested in your product or services. Overall you are reducing the number of emails you send out, helping to increase your list quality and sender reputation.

Defining Lifecycle Stages

Qualifying Leads by Lifecycle Stage

Qualifying Leads by Lifecycle Stage

 

Defining Marketing Qualified Lead, or MQL, can be a slippery process because companies, departments and individuals can have very different viewpoints as to what really makes a prospect and MQL.

At Lead Liaison, we let Marketing and Sales define the stages together, so everyone owns and clearly understands what is taking place inside the sales funnel. Here’s how we’ve defined lifecycle stages, including MQL and SQL. We hope this is a helpful resource for your company as well:

Lifecycle Stage Definitions

People progress through Lifecycle Stages at Lead Liaison as we sell and market to them. Lifecycle Stages represent the different phases of a person as they evolve from a lead to a Prospect and ultimately into a customer.Our CRM, called OneFocus, tracks and reports on people in their Lifecycle Stage. Marketers can pull reports on the three Vs of marketing, the Velocity (how quickly people move into and out of stages), Viscosity (where people are getting stuck), and Volume (how many leads they have) of their leads. Depending on the stage, statuses change automatically, manually, or by customized business rules defined in the system. A critical function of Lifecycle Stages is that a person can never go backwards in their lifecycle. They only move forward. Lifecycle Stages are:

Suspect > Engaged > Marketing Qualified > Sales Qualified > Opportunity > Customer > Evangelist > Disqualified > Other

Suspect

Behavior: Automatically updated

When a new person is loaded into the system who we have never interacted with they become a Suspect. A Suspect has no idea who we are either. This is the first status for any net-new person in the system. This status is set automatically. 

Engaged

Behavior: Automatically updated

This status is set automatically. Prospects move from Suspect to Engaged whenever they generate inbound activity with us. For example, clicking through on a link in an email campaign, visiting a website, submitting a form, playing a game, etc. 

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

Behavior: Updated by automated rules.

Prospects will be considered a MQL when any of the following happens:

  1. Prospect completes a form, or sends correspondence indicating interest in Lead Liaison solution(s) AND has submitted contact information pursuant to. This includes phone and/or email.
  2. Phone / Email Validity: Can be verified as a phone number or email where the prospect can be reached. Email should contain the company URL (no personal email domains), and if not, then verified by a response from the prospect which indicates ongoing interest in Lead Liaison solution(s).
  3. Prospect indicates current or future interest in doing business with Lead Liaison.
  4. Prospect can be considered a new MQL every 12 months. In other words, if the Prospect indicated interest in 2019, but fell off, and expressed renewed interest after 12 months, then the MQL will be counted as a new MQL.
  5. Prospect completes a process or form to receive a downloadable asset from a Lead Liaison website, landing page, social media platform or the like.
  6. Prospect replies to an outbound email campaign indicating interest.
  7. Prospect replies to an outbound social media communication indicating interest, and provides contact information pursuant to follow-up communications regarding Lead Liaison solution(s).
  8. Inbound Prospect reaches out to Lead Liaison via a website form inquiry, lead capture form inquiry of any kind in any Lead Liaison lead management platform.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

Behavior: Manually updated

Sales Managers have 10 calendar days to disposition a lead from MQL status before an alert is sent out to management, marketing, and the Sales Manager. The Sales Manager has three choices when dispositioning a lead:

  • Move to SQL
  • Move to Disqualified
  • Keep as MQL

Prospects will be considered an SQL using the following criteria:

  1. Prospect’s company has budgeted for our Services,
  2. Prospect has authority (or is closely connected to someone with authority AND awareness of the project) to purchase our Services,
  3. Prospect has a need to purchase our Services,
  4. Prospect has a clear timeline for purchasing our Services within six (6) months from becoming a MQL.

Opportunity

Behavior: Automatically updated

When a Prospect is associated with a Deal (Opportunity) then the system will automatically move their Lifecycle Stage to Opportunity. 

Customer

Behavior: Automatically updated

 

When a Prospect is associated with a Deal (Opportunity) and the Deal moves to Closed-Won then the system will automatically move their Lifecycle Stage to Customer. 

Evangelist / Disqualified

Behavior: Manually updated

Move Prospects to this status as you see fit. 

Other

Behavior: Manually updated

The Other Lifecycle Stage can contain any statuses you wish. We use Former Customer under Other to better track who our former clients are.

 

For additional information about Lead Liaison solutions, visit https://leadliaison.com or complete a demo request for a personalized walkthrough.

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.