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* Updated on January 13, 2020
As a business owner you should be well aware about leads and how to generate them as well. Such knowledge comes with selecting the most suitable applications to serve this purpose. The following is a list of apps that you can make use of when capturing leads.
With Captello, you can easily capture leads with any device and record voice notes about your conversation on the fly (notes quickly get transcribed for you while you focus on building connections), then communicate seamlessly and automatically with handwritten letters and postcards, text messages and emails, all before you leave the exhibit floor.
Workflow automation and tools like customizable forms and branding make Captello a game changer in the lead capture software market and help exhibitors become first movers on warm leads, which makes all the difference!
Captello also includes powerful new gamifications called Activations, which help attract new booth traffic and engage visitors in new and captivating ways, all while capturing quality leads!
2. On Spot Social
This is a great iPad app that captures leads in the field. It is also very suitable for individuals who are not tech-savvy as a result of its interface which is very user friendly. On Spot Social also works whether you are online or offline. Therefore, you can still attend an event as you capture your leads then upload them to your database as soon as you go online.
Lead Liaison’s GoCapture!™ is a fully integrated event lead capture solution for B2B companies. What makes GoCapture!™ different can be summed up in two words: unlimited and comprehensive. GoCapture!™ offers unlimited front end users with unlimited devices, unlimited back end users, and unlimited forms. It’s completely customizable, so you can tailor it to fit your specific business needs. And, it is backed by a powerful back-end system, providing a fully-integrated end-to-end solution with all leading CRM and marketing automation platforms.
4. Validar Universal Lead Capture
This app can be personalized to be used at whichever event you attend and works with various hardware such as magnetic stripes, barcodes among others. According to the questions answered by leads, this app can assign scores to your leads. It is a very simple application whose major strength is its customization properties. Another fascinating aspect about it is that it alerts you when the perfectly lead is in the vicinity.
QuickTapSurvey is another application that allows you to capture leads without necessarily being online. It can be utilized as a kiosk and is also very easy to set up.
The app allows you to:
- Customize your design by choosing from a variety of templates, themes, logos and background pictures
- Capture unlimited leads with full contact details
- Capture leads using a customized contest entry or prize giveaway splash screen
- Encrypt data and keep it safely on your iPad or Android tablets
- Use more than 15 qualification questions to qualify your leads
- Use integrations or API to send lead data to your CRM
Those are just some of the lead capture apps you can opt to use when you attend an event. Before you settle for one, make sure that the app satisfies all your needs and works in line with your business objectives.
What are the best methods of post-event follow up?
- Email correspondence as soon as possible after collecting the lead.
- Handwritten letters or cards with additional information about your products / services.
- Telephone follow-up no within one week after the event.
Following a simple process will help you connect with far more of your leads.
Step 1: Get Serious About Lead Retrieval
You will ideally be using a full featured event lead capture solution. As part of a customized automated process, Captello Lead Retrieval App enables you to capture leads with any mobile device and follow up with prospects immediately and automatically with personalized email. Ideally, the prospect walks away from an amazing conversation at your exhibit, then checks their phone, where they will discover your email or SMS message.
Step 2: Add a Personal Touch
Handwritten letters and notes are a great touch that everyone appreciates. Going old school in this way communicates that you spent time considering this prospect and their needs. Including a brochure or collateral that you discussed at the booth reminds them about how your product or service provides a solution to their felt needs.
Writing handwritten letters at scale is not something most marketing teams/salespeople have the time to do, so Captello provides this service as a value add feature to their flexible suite of solutions.
Step 3: Phone Follow Up
After an email and a personal handwritten letter from you, most prospects are familiar enough with your to take your phone call. Make sure they don’t slip through the cracks by adding a call task within your CRM.
Captello’s native integration with all major CRM and Marketing Automation platforms makes it easy to integrate with your CRM and create a task or sequence of tasks and that work for you. Imagine the possibilities if every lead from every trade show was part of an intentional and full-proof follow-up plan with emails, call tasks and handwritten letters or postcards!
So much planning goes into the execution of an event, but follow-up is the most important. Make it the most effective part of the process with powerful and intuitive lead capture software and automated workflow.
As always, please feel free to contact your Lead Liaison Representative with any questions about the enhancements below. Not yet a client? Schedule a demo here!
Important: To take advantage of the new mobile app features, you must upgrade to the newest version of GoCapture!™ from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. There is no need to uninstall and reinstall; simply update the app in the appropriate store.
Customize your event lead capture experience like never before!
With the release of Version 3.0, you can change font colors and add cover images. Combined with our existing Custom Content features, you can create a form branded perfectly for your organization.
Kiosk forms get an all new feature in this release: screensavers.
From displaying images to cycling through promotions, screensavers grab attention and increase engagement.
For longer forms, sections are a game changer.
Sections group fields together, making it easier for end users to navigate your form.
You can use sections to make whole groups of fields appear or disappear based on the same visibility rule.
Search and Filter
Forget scrolling past hundreds of leads just to add notes.
With Version 3.0, you can search and filter submissions to find exactly who you are looking for.
Retrieve Authentication Code
- Pause/resume audio support for audio recording
- Multi-column separator support for tablets
- Camera rotation to use front camera during capture
- Bulk Invites
- Scheduled follow up actions
- General sync enhancements.
Interested in the solutions you see here?
If you are already a Lead Liaison customer, contact your Account Manager with any questions and we’ll be happy to assist.
If you’re new to exhibiting and unfamiliar with the different lead retrieval solutions out on the market today, you might be tempted just to rent the system provided by the trade show instead of purchasing your own.
While that may seem like the simplest and most convenient way to go, you might not realize how this path of least resistance could end up negatively impacting your ability to capture quality leads – and your bottom line.
Let’s examine some of the pitfalls of renting a show-provided lead retrieval system and why purchasing an independent solution is your best bet.
1. A One-Size-Fits-All Lead Retrieval System
These days, show-provided lead capture systems come in the form of a badge scanner or a mobile app, with more and more shows leaning toward the latter.
(Want to learn more about the pros and cons of badge systems versus mobile apps? Click here!)
Since these systems are used by multiple exhibitors at a time, they’re typically one-size-fits-all solutions that don’t allow for much, if any, customization. Instead of being able to provide attendees with strategic, targeted questions that are specific to what your company needs, you’ll only be able to access basic attendee information, such as name, email address and job title.
However, when you purchase your own lead management solution, such as Lead Liaison’s GoExhibit!, you’ll have the freedom to customize lead capture forms and take advantage of a myriad of features to enhance the overall booth experience and convert leads into sales. These include business card transcription, audio notes, and voice-to-text transcription, smart qualifiers, the ability to immediately share documents mid-conversation or in follow-up, and design personalized back-end campaigns, just to name a few.
In essence, you’re creating a customized and repeatable process that you can execute from trade show to trade show. Try accomplishing that with a generic lead system!
2. Not As Cheap as You’d Think
So maybe you’re thinking, “Okay, so maybe the show’s system isn’t perfect, but it’s got to be cheaper than buying an independent solution, right?” While on the surface this may seem true, keep in mind that the costs of renting the show-provided system can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. It comes down to simple math.
For example, obtaining a user license for a show-provided mobile app costs can cost, on average, around $390 per user according to our research. But, if you’re like most exhibiting companies, you’ll have a team of sales representatives at the show who will each need access to their own badge scanner. That will either cause your lead capture rental costs to skyrocket from a few hundred to several thousand dollars – for just one show – or your reps will end up sharing scanners. This could not only result in lost leads but also potential business opportunities. And how do you put a cost on that?
Even if the trade show is using a lead retrieval app, they’re still not as cost-effective as owning one because you’re being charged on a per-use basis, again with little customization capabilities.
Look for an independent lead capture solution that doesn’t charge per user. That way, regardless of the show size, you’ll never be limited to how many booth representatives can collect leads at one time. Sure, the cost of ownership will look like a lot initially, but when you do the math, you’ll find that you’ll still save money overall with a lower total cost of ownership. Use this Trade Show ROI Calculator to get an estimate based on your company’s event participation data.
3. An Inconsistent Lead Retrieval Experience
Another problem with renting, especially if you’re exhibiting at multiple shows throughout the year, is the lack of consistency between the systems and the challenges that can pose for your sales teams. For example, Show A may offer a mobile app, then at Show B, a badge scanner with a different lead retrieval company, and then at Show C, another mobile app from a different supplier.
Besides being confusing for you and your staff, it’s also frustrating to have to retrain your booth representatives every time they encounter another system they haven’t used before. This is the hidden reality that comes with renting a system: wasting time (and ultimately, money) training employees when they could be focused on gathering quality leads.
When you use your own lead capture system, you’ll enjoy a much more efficient and consistent experience for both you and your staff, who can learn to use one common interface to its maximum potential. Your sales reps will be able to ask the right questions and collect the most accurate information, providing your marketing department with everything they need to follow-up properly.
While you will have to pay for access to the show’s Developer’s Kit or API (Application Programming Interface) when using an independent lead capture system, this will be your only tie to the show-appointed lead retrieval company. That’s why working with a provider such as Lead Liaison that supports this part of the process is key. Once API access is granted, you’ll be free to use as many tablets and smartphones for scanning and collecting leads as you wish!
While purchasing a lead solution may seem like a big investment on the front end, it actually ends up saving you money in the long-term, especially if your company exhibits at multiple events throughout the year. Factor in the cost per event for renting versus owning, times that amount by the number of trade shows you exhibit in, and you’ll see that once you get down to the nitty-gritty of dollars and cents, owning is actually the most cost-effective option.
Food for Thought…
Studies have shown that approximately 35-50 percent of people tend to do business with the company that responds to them first. If you’re one of several exhibitors offering similar solutions, how quickly you follow-up on a hot lead can mean the difference between landing a new customer or being left in the dust by your competitors.
Trade shows are highly competitive environments. Why would you choose a generic lead retrieval system that could drag out your response time and reduce your odds of success? Find an independent lead capture solution that syncs with your existing technology within seconds, or that supports instant, automated follow-up within its own platform.
Harness the power of cutting-edge lead capture technology to your advantage and maximize your trade show return on investment (ROI) by investing in a lead capture and management system designed to help you achieve your primary objective: turning hot leads into big, fat sales!
Thinking about how you will manage your post-show follow-up, after a trade show or other marketing event, is a critical step in finding success with event marketing.
There are several methods of communication that you’ll probably consider using in your follow-up, but have you considered text messages?
Text Message Marketing in Post-Show Follow-Up
You want an omnichannel approach before, during, and after the trade show. In addition to email marketing, you want to harness the power of social media. You should consider the often-overlooked channel of direct mail marketing. And here’s a channel you might not have thought about—text message/SMS marketing.
Used wisely as part of your well-provisioned “marketing toolbox”, before and during the event, and as part of your post-show follow-up, text message marketing can help you reap major dividends.
Before your trade show, text/SMS marketing can help you build name recognition for your brand, not to mention the kind of curiosity and anticipation that guarantees attendees will gladly go the extra mile at the show to seek you out and discover more about what you can do for them.
When you are at a trade show, you can use text messages to notify attendees of agenda items you do not want them to miss, like an after-hours party you are hosting, or an intriguing product demo that will answer many of their questions and lead them to eagerly engage with you and go further into your pipeline. You could also send a text blast to announce a drawing or fun contest you are hosting.
How About After The Trade Show?
After an event, life for them, and you, is hectic. You are back at work. You are trying to get back into a normal routine. So are the leads you met at the trade show. At this point, you are at a marketing “fork in the road”. They have a lot on their minds and their plates. They could get distracted and easily forget about you. You could get complacent and forget to follow up with them.
This scenario happens a lot. Many marketing and sales teams struggle with post-show follow-up; their lead generation and nurturing efforts fizzle out. Please don’t let that be the case for you and your team. You have put in too much time, effort and financial investment to not enjoy a substantial return.
You captured the leads. You and your staff met many of them face-to-face. It’s critical that you now build Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) and nurture them with an omnichannel post-event follow-up campaign. Text message marketing can help you.
A Huge Benefit Of Text Message Marketing!
With almost any marketing initiative or channel, you face a big challenge: it’s difficult to grab and keep your audience’s attention. It can be a major uphill battle to get your busy, distracted leads to stop what they are feverishly doing, focus their limited attention on your message, open and read it.
Text message marketing helps you overcome this challenge. Think about it. When they receive a text, almost everyone stops what they are doing, opens it up and reads it immediately. I do this. Chances are you do too. The engagement rate with text messages is off the charts. The open rate for SMS marketing messages is huge – as much as 82%!
What other marketing channel has that kind of open rate? As effective as they are, certainly not email or direct mail.
Bottom line: your post-trade show text message is very likely to get opened. And if it gets opened, it’s likely to get read. And if it gets read, assuming you wrote it well (more on this in a moment), it’s likely to help your post-show follow-up by leading to a conversion where the reader takes the step you want them to take.
Text Message Marketing Use Cases. The Sky Is The Limit!
There are a multitude of potential use cases for text message marketing. You can notify your subscriber list of your latest blog article. You can send a Happy Birthday greeting. You sales team can send reminders of upcoming scheduled phone calls…
You are limited only by your imagination!
To show you that we “practice what we preach”, here is an example of how Lead Liaison recently harnessed the power of text message marketing as part of our post-show follow-up.
At a recent trade show, we asked our new leads if they were comfortable sharing their mobile phone numbers with us. 90% said “Yes”.
We told them to expect a text message that would include their Lead Liaison Representative’s contact information, so they could save it in their phones, in case they thought of more questions after our in-person conversation.
On the backend, our post-show follow-up included a text message, personalized with the lead’s first name. That text was triggered within minutes of submitting our lead capture form, meaning that we were most definitely the first to follow up with them.
Avoid “Shiny Object” Syndrome
This is true for any marketing channel or tool, including text/SMS: don’t use it just because “it’s cool”, or “it’s popular and everyone else is using it”. Plan out your marketing strategy and objectives. Then plug in the tools to help you reach those objectives. There’s a great likelihood that text message marketing should be one of those tools; after a trade show, and in general, it can be a valuable part of your lead capture and nurturing efforts.
A Couple Of Text Message Marketing Best Practices
Although a detailed explanation is beyond the scope of this article, it’s important that you follow all relevant laws and regulations related to text message marketing. Don’t spam anyone. Only market to those who have specifically given you permission to. And make it super-easy for them to opt-out of receiving your messages.
Even though your text message is likely to get opened, it won’t get the response you want unless you follow good copywriting and content marketing practices. So make your text personal. Use the word “you”. Make your message “conversational” and lively, not stiff, formal and “corporate”.
When they are reading your text, readers are wondering “What’s In It For Me?”
So tell them what’s in it for them. Tell them how they stand to gain by clicking the link in your message. Keep it brief, and build curiosity in your readers’ minds and hearts; use the text to “sell the click”, that is to persuade them to click through to a landing page or website where you can include a lot more copy and marketing content.
Do You Want To Win At Text Message Marketing? Lead Liaison Can Help You!
Are you beginning to see how text message marketing can boost your lead generation and nurturing results before, during and after your trade show? Do you want to take full advantage of this powerful marketing channel to help you gain more leads and sales from your next event?
Lead Liaison can help you. We offer text messaging automation through our drag-and-drop, cloud-based interface. So when you are looking to a text message marketing platform that is super simple to use, turn to us. We will help you create new possibilities and opportunities as you pursue success with trade show lead generation!
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!
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- # Meetings Set
- 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.
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.