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.