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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!

Lead Liaison Press Release

Lead Liaison Makes Splash in Lead Capture Category at EXHIBITORLIVE 2019

Dallas, TX – GoExhibit!™ made its trade show debut at EXHIBITORLIVE in Las Vegas this week. The event lead capture & management solution has been sweeping the industry since its release in late 2017. This was the first time the company showcased it live.

Conference attendees were highly attracted to the revolutionary solution for event lead capture. Lead Liaison’s booth buzzed with excitement as the staff demonstrated GoExhibit!™ by using it to collect their own lead data. GoExhibit!™ integrated with ITN International, the show’s lead retrieval provider, to support lead capture via NFC badge scan. Booth attendees received a text message follow up, often before they had even left the booth, and ensuing communication as post-show engagement continued. Real-time demonstrations emphasized the company’s belief in immediate, intentional, and personalized follow up. GoExhibit!™ was mentioned in several of the educational sessions and conference panels throughout the week, as well.

“The show reinforced the fact that we have an industry-leading solution with distinct competitive advantages that people are craving,” says Jen Worsham, Director of Marketing at Lead Liaison. She continues, “Hand-held badge scanners are antiquated, and alternative lead capture solutions don’t hold a flame to the fully-integrated, easy-to-use features of GoExhibit!™”

Lead Liaison surpassed its goals for the show. Much of their success can be credited to the use of their own solution at the event. In addition to using their mobile lead capture app, aptly named GoCapture!™ in the app stores, Lead Liaison had laptops on-hand tracking real-time event data. Representatives were able to demonstrate the Events Dashboard, a key feature of GoExhibit!™. The Events Dashboard displayed live data such as Total Prospects Captured, Average Engagement Score, Top Performing Sales Representatives, and more. Lead Liaison also showcased another crowd pleaser with their Run Your Own Event solution. This solution was on full display at EXHIBITORLIVE 2019, demonstrating how businesses can use it to run user conferences, vendor conferences, and road shows.

What sets GoExhibit!™ apart from the other lead capture exhibitors is the fact that it enables businesses to foster stronger relationships from capture to close. GoExhibit!™ integrates with a multitude of CRMs, including Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics, as well as marketing automation platforms such as Salesforce.com Pardot, Oracle Eloqua, Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud, Adobe Marketo, and HubSpot. It supports all types of events; even those without badges. It’s compatible on all devices and Lead Liaison doesn’t charge per user, so companies can have as many lead capture devices onsite as they want.

Lead Liaison plans to attend several other shows in 2019. “This kind of environment is exciting because we can actually see the spark in people’s eyes,” says Worsham. “It solidifies our position in the market with a solution that stands out from the crowd. We were so excited to be a part of the show this year, and we enjoyed connecting with both current and prospective clients. This year’s theme was “Connect With Your Species” and that’s something I believe we did well. You’ll definitely be seeing more of us.”

To access an overview of GoExhibit!™ features, 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 http://www.leadliaison.com/press-kit.

Lead Liaison Press Release

Lead Liaison Announces Next Iteration of Event Lead Management, GoExhibit!™

Dallas, Texas – Lead Liaison first launched their event lead capture solution, GoCapture!™, in October of 2017. They have rapidly become the global leader in event lead management. Today, they announce the next iteration of their solution, GoExhibit!™, which includes advances in customization, event creation workflow, enterprise-level ROI reporting, registration, check-in, upcoming Windows support, and more.

The company, known worldwide for their marketing and sales automation solutions, has been hyper-focused on supporting live marketing events over the last year. They started by answering the need for a better, more efficient way to capture leads. Antiquated badge scanners and arbitrary lead collection apps weren’t giving enterprise businesses everything they needed.

Lead Liaison designed a single solution that manages pre-event communication and preparation, onsite event lead capture, and intelligent post-event follow-up. The updates announced this week further distance GoExhibit!™ from competing solutions.

The enhancements allow companies to customize the lead capture experience with brand colors, logos, other custom content such as explainer videos or maps. Furthermore, GoExhibit!™ now provides enterprise-level reporting. The Events Dashboard allows users to track their events and measure ROI. Example data points include average cost per lead (CPL), revenue generated, return on investment, post-event engagement activity, and more.

GoExhibit!™ isn’t just for exhibitors. The solution also supports companies running their own events with a customizable check-in and registration system. An integration with Avery, announced last month, allows companies to customize and print badges in real-time, or prior to an event.

The GoCapture!™ app is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets with Windows support right around the corner. GoExhibit!™ integrates with all major CRMs (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.), marketing automation platforms (HubSpot, Eloqua, Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud, etc.), analytics solutions (Domo, Revelation™, etc), and lead retrieval providers (Cvent, Experient, etc.).

To commemorate the release, Lead Liaison collected a host of resources for businesses interested in implementing this show-stopping solution. The Event Lead Management Kit contains many educational resources, including a detailed presentation of the features GoExhibit!™ has to offer.

To learn more about Lead Liaison’s event lead management solution, GoExhibit!™, click here.

About Lead Liaison
Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that helps businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of marketing automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and additional website engagement tools to boost sales effectiveness. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible business model, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality, all specifically tailored for mid-sized businesses, 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).

21 Questions to Ask Your Event Lead Management Vendor Before Making a Purchase

To download the PDF of this resource, click here

To access our Event Lead Management Kit, which includes this resource, click here

According to Forrester, marketing events such as trade shows and conferences occupy the largest share of B2B marketing budgets at 14%. Choosing the right event lead management solution for lead capture will be the most important decision you make. Before signing a contract, here are 21 important questions to ask your vendor.

1. Does your solution integrate with my CRM, marketing automation platform, and/or analytics platform?

What good is capturing lead information if you don’t accurately save the information and prepare it for follow up? Ensure that your event lead capture/management solution integrates with the technology stack you already have in place. If you don’t have the proper solutions in place, like a CRM or a marketing automation platform, ask your Event Lead Management (ELM) vendor if they offer solutions for that need, as well. Communicating with the registered list of attendees prior to the event, and with the qualified leads after the event, is essential to converting your marketing event efforts into closed business.

2. Does your solution allow for immediate follow-up?

Insidesales.com conducted a study that found 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. The amount of time that goes by before you take action on your leads is important. Many event lead management solutions require additional, manual steps to follow up with a lead. Some, however, allow companies to instantly sync leads to your system of record so that you can communicate with the Prospect before they’ve even left the conference.

3. Does your solution allow me to respond to new leads via email, text, postcards, letters, and other types of communications?

Make sure you don’t limit the touch points you can send to new leads. According to MarketingProfs.com, 98% of all text messages are opened. Being able to instantly (or even introduce intentional delay) send a text message to new event leads could be vital to your strategy. You might also benefit from sending different types of touchpoints to nurture prospects through their journey.

4. How will you support me?

Some vendors in the ELM industry are headquartered in Europe, while some are in North America. Think about where your events will occur and make sure your vendor can support you. What if you have a problem on a Sunday while you’re setting up for your event on Monday? Will your vendor be there to support you? Are they truly a vendor or a partner?

5. Can I import and merge leads into your event object as if I captured them on the lead capture app?

You might attend some events where you’re collecting leads at your booth, and at the same time you get a CSV file with leads from a speaking session that occurs in parallel. Make sure your vendor can import your CSV file from the speaking session, and most importantly, merge the data with data you might have already collected at the event to avoid duplicates and keep your data clean.

6. Do you have an API for your event data?

Whether now or in the future, you might have a need to pull event data into your custom/third party software. If your vendor provides an API then you’ll be all set for your current/future needs.

7. How accurate are your transcriptions?

Why you should ask it: If the event lead management solution you are considering offers “business card transcription” as an option for lead capture, make sure you investigate a little further. You’ll want to double-check how accurate those transcriptions are.

8. How fast is the turnaround time for transcriptions?

The faster the transcription can happen, the sooner you can respond to your lead. Quick responses are vital. Your provider should be able to turn your transcriptions around quickly, within minutes, without sacrificing accuracy.

9. Do you offer true ROI metrics and allow me to see how much revenue we generated from an event?? Do you connect with the opportunities in my CRM?

Events occupy the largest share of B2B marketing budgets (14%), tracking accurate return on investment is critical. You’ll also need a lot of other key event data to be able to improve your process. Talk to your prospective ELM vendor about the data their solution can report back. Can you track cost per lead? Can you track which sales reps collected the most leads? Can you track post-event engagement? Can you track true ROI percentage, connect to my opportunities in my CRM, and show me revenue figures from my events?

10. Can I customize my lead capture forms? If so, how much? What about creating conditional questions?

Being able to customize your lead capture forms is important because the information a business wants to collect on a lead varies from company to company. You should look for an event lead management solution that allows you to customize the information you collect on the lead capture form.

To take it a step further, talk to your ELM vendor about customizing the look and feel of the form. A truly enterprise-ready solution will enable you to use your specific company colors, logo, explainer videos, etc.

11. Can I customize the invitations sent out to reps? Can I send an email and text message invitation?

Enterprises and large companies have large sales/marketing teams and get lots of email. If invitation emails are standardized, and not clear, you could risk inefficiencies by having your invitation emails deleted or marked as spam by recipients. Your vendor should help you custom your invitations. Also make sure you can send email, text, or both at once, so your invites are successfully received.

12. Do my reps have to log out and log back in to see changes?

Attending an event is stressful. The last thing reps need to deal with is logging out, tracking passwords, etc. to see changes/updates that might be pushed out to the mobile device. Make sure your vendor can push out updates in real-time without requiring people to log out and then back in again.

13. What if my team onsite at the event calls me at the office, explaining that they need to make a change to the event form? Can I make last-minute changes?

No matter how much you prepare for your event, there is a good chance you’ll need to make some last-minute adjustments as the team onsite adjusts to the environment and the audience. Look for an event lead management solution that supports instant updates. You want to be able to make changes to your event form in real time to best support your event staff.

14. Do you have offline mode?

Internet at trade shows and conferences can be spotty and expensive. You want to make sure that the solution you choose will support offline lead capture so you don’t lose a single opportunity.

15. Can I run my own events with the same platform?

If your company hosts its own marketing events, or even if you think it might be a possibility one day, ask your ELM vendor about running your own events. The solution you commit to should offer the option to run event check-in and registration. Bonus points if it supports the ability to print badges based on your registered attendee list.

16. Can you scan NFC badges?

Over time barcodes and QR codes on badges will be obsolete. The code consumes real estate on the badge. The modern way to create a badge is to embed a NFC chip into the badge (think Apple Pay) and hold a NFC-enabled device up to the badge to collect lead info. If your vendor doesn’t support NFC badge scanning then they’re not ready for the future and might not be ready to support you down the road.

17. What does your solution offer, on the back end, to enrich lead data and ensure that everything is up-to-date post event?

Let’s say that your team has a great conversation with an interested buyer. Your team collects their business card to follow up. But, wait! This person’s business cards was printed over a year ago and their phone number has since changed. Look for an ELM service that will enrich data. A superior solution will add key lead data such as gender, age, social presence, affinities/interests, social profile URLs, and much more.

18. Can you help me qualify my leads? Do you provide lead scoring and grading?

Lead qualification will help you differentiate look-alike leads and keep your sales team focused on important leads. Scoring helps measure how engaged a lead is, and grading measures how well they match your ideal buyer criteria.

19. Can you help me distribute my leads and report back to me on which reps are missing any response time requirements we put in place?

You might need to distribute leads based on various criteria, such as geography, names accounts, job titles, and more. You might also be interested in adding SLAs and report back to management for any reps that don’t follow up with your leads in time. Make sure your vendor can support your lead distribution and SLA needs, whether you have them now or are planning for them in the future.

20. If I have a list of registrants, can you help me market to them and/or load them into the app to search for them at my event?

Some providers have communication platforms that can help you reach out to a list of registrants prior to the show and build rich profiles at the same time. If you have registrants, you might also want to search for them on the lead capture app, select them, and pre-fill the form with their information. Make sure your vendor can help you make the most out of your registration lists.

21. Can you track the entire lifecycle of a lead, before and after an event?

Your engagement with a prospect may not start, and hopefully doesn’t stop, at your event. Look for an event lead management solution that can keep all engagement (inbound/outbound) in a timeline in addition to what info was collected when the lead was captured at an event. Examples of that activity are website visits, email link clicks or content downloads.

To set up an appointment to ask our team these questions, click here.

9 Trade Show Booth Design Ideas to Delight Visitors [Infographic]

Social media may have transformed the way that brands and customers engage with one another, but trade shows persist as a cornerstone of face-to-face marketing. And precisely because so much brand interaction has been digitalized, the potential for trade shows to create a meaningful and memorable brand experience has only become greater. 

One of the greatest benefits of participating in trade shows is that attendees, simply by virtue of deciding to be there, are incredibly receptive to your message. A striking design is arguably the most important factor when it comes to attracting these open-minded, warm leads into your booth.

But standing out in a crowd of competitors is no easy task. While more traditional, tried-and-true booth design schemes that consist of a graphic backdrop, spandex table covers, and a few banner stands may be the best option for traditionally conservative industries, the trends in trade show booth design have in recent years taken a turn for the stunning and creative. Trade show attendees are increasingly expecting more from the exhibits they visit, and a well-designed booth space plays a decisive role in all of these expectations.

Effective trade show booth design ideas serve to do a lot more than just look good. They are the backdrop against which an entire brand experience can unfold. From the first encounter, to interacting with your staff, to leaving your booth with a goodie bag, your trade show booth design can either enhance or detract from a visitor’s experience every step of the way. Engineering your exhibit to be both attractive and functional, both unique and on-brand, may be the single most important project you undertake to make your brand’s next trade show appearance worthwhile.

Looking for some trade show booth design ideas? The following graphic offers nine creative trade show booth design ideas that are eye-catching, versatile, and sure to impress:

Author Bio:

Joseph Robison is the Marketing Manager at Coastal Creative, a large format printing company based in San Diego that specializes in designing stunning trade show booths and branded spaces. He is also the founder of Green Flag Digital, an SEO and digital marketing consultancy.

40 Event Marketing Statistics

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

To access our Event Lead Management Kit, which includes this resource, click here

Business is changing at the speed of light. As marketers, it seems like every time we feel like we’ve mastered a new strategy, a new one emerges. Advances in modern technology drive marketing organizations at a fast pace. But, just because more and more people are adopting new technology, it doesn’t mean that one-to-one contact is gone. In fact, most of the technology that we create is intended to give businesses the opportunity to automate administrative tasks to make room for more person-to-person contact.

Marketing events are a great way to engage in one-to-one contact. Multi-day conferences, trade shows, conventions, seminars, thought-leadership workshops…these are all great examples of event marketing. They give businesses the chance to interact with consumers who are already 10 steps closer to purchasing, just by the simple fact that they are at the event in the first place.

Perhaps you are trying to decide if your business should invest in event marketing. Maybe you have already started exhibiting at events and you just want to learn more about them. Or perhaps you are a seasoned exhibitor who’s just looking for a few good stats. Either way, you are in luck! We have rounded up 40 important statistics that help shed light on event marketing for business-to-business (B2B) companies.

Why do Companies Invest in Event Marketing?

  • 63% of marketers use tradeshows as a form of lead generation (source)
  • 79% of US marketers actually generate sales using event marketing (source)
  • 81% оf trаdе ѕhоw attendees hаvе buуіng аuthоrіtу (source)
  • 77% of marketers use experiential marketing as a vital part of a brand’s advertising strategies (source)
  • 52% of business leaders say event marketing drives more ROI than any other marketing channel (source)
  • 48% of event attendees say face-to-face interactions are more valuable today than two years ago (source)
  • It takes an average of 4.5 calls to close a sale without an exhibition lead, and only 3.5 sales calls to close a sale with a lead from an exhibition (source)
  • 73% of B2B marketers say events are better than other tactics for customer engagement (source)
  • The three most commonly used B2B lead generation strategies are email marketing (78%), event marketing (73%), and content marketing (67%) (source)

Strategies

Businesses around the world are investing in marketing events. Here’s how those strategies are affecting budgets and goals.

  • Annually, companies spend about $24 billion on exhibiting at events (source)
  • The top three event marketing goals are to increase sales (83%), increase brand awareness (73%), and to enhance product knowledge (53%) (source)
  • Events occupy 14% of budgets, which is the largest share of B2B marketers’ budgets. (source)
  • B2B companies spend 29% of their marketing budgets on events, on average, versus 19% for B2C companies (source)
  • 91% of event professionals stated that increasing engagement at their events was an important priority for their organization (source)

Event Lead Management

Managing the leads from your event is only part of a robust event lead management strategy. An event lead management solution should not only assist you in capturing your lead, but also in properly managing the data, enabling you to follow up quickly, and helping you track ROI.

  • 17% of respondents still use spreadsheets to store information on their leads. (source)
  • Just 6% of marketers believe their company converts trade show leads, contacts and conversations into customer business extremely well, although 27% feel they do so moderately well, and another 41% feel they’re getting better (source)
  • 14% of marketers plan to integrate marketing automation with their events and only 7% currently do (source)
  • 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first (source)
  • The top benefits for event technology adopters are: improved ability to track and measure their events (40%), increased process productivity (31%), and a better attendee experience (30%) (source)
  • 76% of marketers say their event and experiential marketing initiatives are integrated with their other marketing campaigns (source)
  • 22% of brands do not have a way of measuring their events (source)
  • 91% of event planners say that adopting a mobile event app has provided a positive ROI (source)
  • The top 5 metrics marketers feel are best for quantifying event value are: new referrals and introductions; quality and quantity of leads; deal closure; value of sales; and upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Yet, only 34% use those 5 metrics to assess trade show and event ROI (source)

Looking into the Future

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated conventions and events are expected to expand by 44% from 2010 to 2020 (source)
  • 40% of marketers say they’ll increase spending on hosted events in the year ahead (source)
  • Companies are spending on event marketing at a growing rate, with 54% boosting their event activity over the past three years, and only 17% cutting back (source)
  • 43% of marketers believe the value of face-to-face interactions will continue to increase over the next 2 years (source)
  • 85% of executives say the number of exhibitions will stay the same or increase over the next several years (source)
  • 75% of marketers believe that in the upcoming years, live events will become increasingly important to their organization’s success (source)

Conclusion

You get the picture, right? Event marketing holds a significant position in the future of growing businesses. It’s never too early to start mapping out your strategy – whether you are a seasoned event marketer, or you plan on trying it out for the first time. Below is an infographic that summarizes all of these important stats. 

Luckily, we have many resources to help companies make the most out of their marketing events. Here are a few we think you might like:

And, to learn more about our enterprise-level Event Lead Management solution, click here.

Creative Strategies for Your Next Trade Show or Marketing Event

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

To access our Event Lead Management Kit, which includes this resource, click here

Looking for creative strategies to use at your next trade show or marketing event? Look no further! We’ve gathered lots of ideas that can help you before, during, and after an event.

Before an Event

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

Planning for an event is the most important part of your process. If you don’t get the right tools in place, you’re bound to make mistakes.

  • Do your research and see what your biggest competitors’ booths look like. Track competitors in your CRM so that you know if any competitors stopped by your booth.
  • Invest in a great display, so that prospects will want to invest in you. If your display looks pathetic, so will your company.
  • Send 1:1 emails and offline marketing pieces, such as direct mail, ahead of time offering people a chance to schedule a meeting at your booth.
  • Send a marketing email (or a series of emails) announcing your presence at the event and what you’ll be showcasing. Offer educational content in these emails to establish yourself as a thought leader at the event.
  • Send a reminder email (or text, if possible) to stop by your booth.
  • Engage with conference attendees prior to the event – ask for attendees to vote on what swag they’d like best. This is a great excuse to reach out to attendees and an easy way to get them to engage. Lists of registered attendees can usually be found by contacting the event manager.
  • Speaking of swag, reconsider your definition of swag. A few ideas are: headphones, socks, or a free t-shirt with a offer for a free beer if they are seen wearing it to networking parties after the convention.
  • Post to all of your social media accounts. Choose a different image or message for each platform to keep readers’ attentions and reduce redundancy.
  • Consider how you’re going to capture leads at the event (badge scan, business card transcription, upload registrants, manual form fill, etc.). Some event lead management solutions offer all of these!
  • Do all of these things in your marketing automation platform to track key engagement prior to the event. Find one that does it all.
  • Extra Tip: Ensure consistent lead follow up by setting up an automated process to segment, tag, distribute, and follow up with those leads. Create a nurture campaign in your marketing automation platform to distribute leads, assign tasks call tasks, follow up with educational content, and more. (LL)

During an Event

You already believe in your product or solution. Now, it’s time to show off! Make sure you’re the star of the show.

  • Keep your display clutter-free. Don’t distract visitors. Clean lines and a simple, sleek design allows your message (and the experience) to play center role.
  • Don’t list features on your banners. Keep your message simple. Answer “How will your product make their lives easier? What makes you better than your competitor? What problem does your product solve?”
  • Host a wireless charging station at your booth with a fun activity, or snack, for people waiting.
  • Place devices in front of your booth and run them as a kiosk for leads to self-service (watch videos, submit an inquiry to learn more).
  • Use an event lead capture app, such as Lead Liaison’s GoCapture!™, for all representatives to use in place of outdated badge scanners. (LL)

After an Event

Evaluate & measure ROI. This is key to growth and future success.

  • Evaluate your process. What worked? What didn’t? Did your team run into any issues? Did your technology support your properly?
  • Measure ROI of your event using Cost Per Prospect (CPP), Revenue Generated, and overall ROI metrics. Some event lead management solutions offer an Events Dashboard to compile and report these key metrics, which makes things really easy.

Hopefully you picked up some great tips today. We’ve included this infographic below for you to download and/or share with your colleagues. And, if you’re interested in our home-grown event lead management solution, request a free demo here.

event strategy

Event Strategy: How to Properly Manage Leads from a Trade Show or Other Marketing Event

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

To access our Event Lead Management Kit, which includes this resource, click here

Does your company do marketing events, like trade shows or conferences? Whether you’re just dipping your toe into marketing events, or you’re a seasoned pro, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about how to perfect your event strategy. When preparing for an event, there are two main focuses: getting your “gear” ready for the show, and setting up a process for managing the leads you get from that marketing event. We’ll save the “gear” topic for another day…today we’re thinking about LEADS!

What do marketing and sales always have in common? The answer: leads (duh). Marketing teams generate leads, and sales teams pursue them. Marketing events, and the like (conferences, trade shows, etc.) are incredibly effective ways to generate leads. But there’s often a lot of prep work that goes into these events.

The first step in planning for a marketing event is to come up with an event strategy, which should include a well-thought-out lead management process. Without this, you risk losing a lot of potential leads – leads who have seen your booth, spoken with your sales rep, and shown real interest in your solution. What a waste that would be! Here’s our guide to coming up with the perfect lead management process as a part of your overall event strategy:

Do Your Research

Find an event lead management strategy that works best for your business. Do you prefer to just order a lead scanner and do the rest manually? Or, do you prefer to use a lead capture app that already integrates with the rest of your marketing and sales technology (ex: marketing automation platform and CRM)? We prefer to use our lead capture app, GoCapture!™, as it integrates seamlessly with our marketing automation platform and our CRM. We can easily connect the dots between our event-specific marketing campaigns and the end results. We can also customize our forms so that we capture all of the information that we want/need, and we have limitless options for lead capture (not just badge scanning!).

Map Out Your Lead Management Process

Meet with your team (marketing AND sales) and lay out a plan for how you wish to follow up with your leads. A quick text saying, “Thanks for stopping by our booth!” goes a long way – especially considering the amount of email follow-ups those folks will probably have the next morning. Are there any special offers or messages that you should incorporate into your follow-up? Get to the drawing board (quite literally, if you have to!) and map out how you will nurture those leads (your “nurture campaign”). Part of a thorough event strategy is making sure that everyone is on board and knows what kind of messaging that lead will receive.

Here are a few things you’ll want to consider, when laying out your post-event lead nurture:

  • Determine the proper lead score for this event and incorporate that into your post-event lead nurture plan. Either manually, or automatically if you’ve got the technology, add that number to Prospects’ overall scores.
  • Ensure proper lead distribution. Many marketing automation platforms will allow you to automate your lead distribution based on specific rules, or round-robin. Make sure everyone is on the same page about how those leads will be distributed so there is no confusion later.
  • Incorporate omnichannel marketing in your nurture campaign. Sure, emails are great – of course those should be included. But text are powerful, postcards are unique, and handwritten letters give a personal touch.
  • Set up your post-event nurture in your marketing automation platform prior to your event, so that once that lead is captured, it is automatically tagged, segmented, scored, and placed into an automation.
  • Keep in mind that you can usually clone your nurtures (aka automations). Put the proper legwork into creating a killer nurture campaign, and then rest easy knowing you just have to edit a few minor things (like event name, etc.) next time around.

Train Your Team

Okay, now back to your event strategy: Don’t assume that your sales reps (or other team members attending the event) are up to date on lead capture technology. Although there will probably be some complaining, try to get your reps into a room to refresh them on the process or train them on new tech. If you are using an event lead management app, you can have your reps install it on their devices (or the company’s devices) ahead of time so they can get some real-life practice.

You want your sales team to be on board with your process. If they are not, you maby be less successful than you could be.

Ensure Attendance

More often than not, trade show organizers will provide an email list of people who plan to attend an event. Put some thought into your plan for encouraging attendance at your booth and start building those relationships early. Gone are the days when attendees just show up and wander around. With more and more millennials attending trade shows, conferences, and other live marketing events, we find that attendees are doing more research ahead of time so that they know who they want to visit and can plan accordingly.

Make it easy for them; properly distribute and advertise your location and booth number through marketing emails, social media, and 1:1 communication (like Lead Liaison’s Sales Enablement). And don’t forget to include past attendees in your communication (based on location).

In Summary

Marketing events can be costly, so it’s important to ensure you are getting the most out of it. Properly managing your leads is essential. Include team members from both sales and marketing through as much of the process as you can, so that everyone is on board with (and will follow through with their part of) “the plan.” Below is a quick graphic you can print out and stick on your desk, so that you’re ready for trade show season!

Event Strategy: How to Properly Manage Leads from a Marketing Event

Lead Liaison Webinar

Event Lead Management: What You Need To Know Before Your Next Live Event – Webinar Transcription

To watch this webinar in its entirety, click here.

Event Lead Management

Summary

Learn how to make the most out of your next live event with proper event lead management. We’re talking about planning, lead capture, and post-event nurture.

Presenter

Chris Kipgen, Lead Liaison

Transcription

*Please note that this content was presented in first-person live and then transcribed. It will read exactly as presented in the webinar. Welcome message and company introductions have been removed.

Slide 10

So we’re gonna go into a little bit of Event Lead Management and why it matters right now. Why we should be using this live events and why it’s very important that you have something on the backend to help you manage the events as well.

Slide 11

And when we’re talking about live events we expect to have- if I’m gonna have people in two kind of major brackets right now: Business to Business and Business to Customer. B2B, B2C. A little bit of a different purpose for the live events but we’re basically doing the same thing at each one. This is about face to face interaction. It’s about generating excitement. So B2B- we’re gonna be working on some Prospecting. So we’re trying to find our influencers, maybe gatekeepers while we’re out there. We’re now working, we’re finding out who else is in our industry. We’re getting awareness of our brand out. In some extent we might actually also be talking to some existing accounts. This is a good time to do some relationship building with those existing accounts and of course generating more revenues – the end goal of all of this. For B2C, it’s a little bit of a faster sales cycle and B2C live events are actually really fun and really exciting. This is where you gonna have product demonstrations. We tend to have handouts for everyone. I always love getting the freedom of knickknacks [inaudible]. Customer interaction can be huge at these B2C events if they’re public events. But of course let’s not forget that we also have the possibility of vendor relations. So this could be an event where you’re going and you’re meeting with your vendors for your organization as well. And that can also apply to B2B a little bit there as well. Brand awareness is gonna be huge for B2C and again generating revenue. So these are a few different reasons why you might go to a live event. These are the areas where live events tend to be most effective compared to other types of marketing like emails or even physical media.

Slide 12

So just a couple of things to be aware about live events. So first off let’s talk about Social Media a little bit. Social Media is one of the biggest ways that marketers are trying to spread brand awareness right now. Especially in that B2C field but also big end B2B. And based on some recent sales we actually found that 98% of attendees to a live event or a trade show generate some kind of social media content. A lot of those are photos. So if you do have a set up there, if you’re attending one of these live events and if you have something that catches their eye, there’s a good chance that that’s gonna end up on social media and that doesn’t hurt anyone. 72% of consumers say that they positively view a brand after a quality event. So if they go to an event, it was a great event and they thought yet a good presentation, they’re going to view you more positively. And in fact 84% that do make a purchase from you eventually are going to repurchase after that first purchase and that’s if they’ve attended a live event first. So we can’t really underestimate how important this is.

From the marketing point of view, 44% of marketers claim to experience a 3:1 ROI from live events and what all this come down to is you’re dealing with a lot of people face to face, you’re building rapport. If you can just close a few of the deals you get out there, you’re going to make your money back on it. And in fact, 85% of marketers say that events accelerate the buying journey so you can skip some of those earlier steps on the funnel. So there’s a lot of really great reasons to attend these live events. This is just barely scratching the surface but I wanted to give you an idea of how big this numbers can be. But there’s kind of another side to this…

Slide 13

For a lot of organizations, you get to lead and that’s where a great marketing could go home, they could give the sales team a lot of prospects but at the end of the day, recent studies have found that 85% of event leads are never followed up with which is crazy when you think about it which is crazy when you think about it. And if you don’t follow up with this leads they’re probably not gonna come back to you. In fact, especially in that B2B marketplace, it’s very rare that you have someone reaching out to you like, “Hey! I met you there I thought you’re gonna send me stuffs?” They’re probably just gonna move on to a competitor. So it’s huge that we have some way of managing what happens to this leads after the event is over. 22% of companies say that they have no way to track ROI from one of these events which again is very crazy. I’ve actually seen several of our clients where they’re throwing money into live events but they have no idea if they’re making anything back from it or not. And that’s one of the things that Event Lead Management or ELM can really help with.

And finally, only 14% use event management software. Now it kinda depends on which bracket we’re in. About 22% of companies in B2C will use Event Management Software. But only 9% in B2B are using Event Management Software. And really that’s not a surprise. When you look at those top two numbers: the 85% not followed up on and the 22% of companies not being able to track ROI, well it comes down to this bottom number. There’s just not a lot of penetration out there. People are not taking advantage of the tools that are available. So we’re gonna show you how you might be able to use an Event Lead Management tool today and we’ll be showing off our platform a little bit in the ways we can help at. Hopefully, we’ll give you some good ideas for your next event on how you might want to handle it.

Slide 14

So the Event Management Process- I’m gonna break that down into really three major areas. There’s the planning stage which happens before the event, the attending stage – that’s the event and following up which of course is what happens afterwards and that’s the really key important part. That’s gonna be where you make your sales.

Slide 15

So talking about planning a little bit. The first thing we need to establish is a way of tracking ROI, a way of tracking our lead sources and getting our content organized together. So I’m gonna show you real quick an example of how Lead Liaison handles campaigns and a lot of ELM software. You’re gonna see something like this and you’ll see the importance of it.

So I’m here in our platform and this is our campaign’s area – these are our marketing campaigns, and I created a campaign. I called it the 2018 Webinar Trade Show because I’m not ultra-creative. So here we are one of our webinar, we’re talking about trade shows, there we go. And with this campaign, I’m able to associate a cost to it and so this cost might initially be what we’re estimating the cost is gonna be once the event is over we know we’re gonna have expense report, we’re gonna have all the things. We can go back, we can edit this cost and adjust it as necessary to whatever the trade show ends up being or conference or whatever live event we’re talking about.

The importance of this is any content I create like my webform that’s gonna be set up for our lead capture device, any automations I have ran that are doing nurture, all of those are gonna be associated with this campaign. And we’ll see at the end of the presentation, as people come in here, we’re gonna be tracking our cost per prospect, we’re getting opportunities from this or we’re getting wins from this or we’re gonna show you how we’re can convert this number into a full ROI and in addition to campaigns we also have a concept of what’s called programs so you know this campaign is in our trade show program. So each individual trade show or event is gonna have its own cost, its own people, its own content but the overall umbrella that is under trade show. So this is actual way of tracking how events or trade shows, in general, are doing for your company and that’s a really key part that people miss.  You might have one or two events that are doing really well but then you have 10 others that really aren’t doing so well. So your overall program isn’t as efficient as it could be. And again that’s a big area that we wanna help you out with.

So just to start out we wanna make sure that anything that we create is associated with the campaign and it’s in those campaigns are associated with the programs and that’s really gonna pay off later on we’ll see on the following up side of the presentation.

Slide 16

Now in addition to planning and setting up our campaigns and programs, we also have to decide who to invite. I’ll tell you in this day and age it’s really not enough to just show up to a trade show. If you just show up there to a conference event trade show, and you’re just standing behind your booth, you got your nice pens that you’re gonna hand out to people and some physical brochures, you’re gonna be that really friendly person who’s standing in there smiling in the corner with no one in their table.

So it’s important that you start generating some people to come and meet you at these events. So who are you gonna invite here? Some great sources that we’ve identified. If you have a newsletter, you know talking to your newsletter subscribers can be a great way of doing that. They’ve opted in so they’re interested in your company in some way.

Anyone who’s a current opportunity. So if you’re in a middle of the sales process with someone, then go ahead and invite them out. This is a good time to see them face to face. And of course prospects that may not currently be opportunities, maybe you’re just in the initial stages of that sales pipeline, get them going too. Or maybe they’re even former prospects. We had someone where for one reason or another the deal didn’t close. I mean if we’re amicable with them? If we parted on friendly terms and we kinda understand why we lost that deal. Yeah let’s invite them out! You never know someday down the line but not a customer today, they could be a future customer. So it’s a great time to invite them out as well.

Slide 17

And for the invitation process, we really do recommend going with a multi-channel approach. So what we see most of the time and industry-wide it’s about 63 to 70% of these invites are going to be done directly through email and that’s great! Email is easy to put together. You can reach a large number of people, but email isn’t always the most effective way of getting people’s attention. We do also have the ability to send things like postcards or handwritten letters. You can also take advantage of pay per click advertising and landing pages. And the idea is to start pulling people in from this different channels – social media is obviously another place where you’re really going to want to start inviting people to come in and that’s gonna really fall into the same category with the PPC and landing pages. You have your social media accounts, you’re getting them into the landing page to throw out ultimately the form. And this is actually similar to how this webinar setup was where we send out this invites to you. You went to a landing page, you filled out your information and that registered you for this webinar. It’s the same thing except with an RSVP form for an event.

I wanna show you real quick. And if we go in here, this is an automation that I just had set up beforehand. So this is an example of what an invitation automation might look like. So we’ve identified the clients we’re looking for, we’ve made our list, we’re targeting this list and I’ve put a couple things in here. So first off we’re sending them an email to invite them into an event but we’re also gonna be sending out a postcard and what’s cool about our system is when we do a postcard you can create the postcard in Lead Liaison and those postcards can all be personalized down to individual data points. So when you send the postcard out, it’s not just a generic “Hey! we’re gonna be at this event. Come see us.” It’s a “Hey Robert, we’re gonna be at this event. We love working with [the name of your company] (whatever that company is). “Why don’t you come out and visit us at this table?”

And this is really a good way to get people’s attention. And from there, we’re going to actually tell the system to wait until a certain date. In this case, I’m saying May 2nd but you might wait till maybe a week or so before your event. And then we’re gonna send an email again but in this case I’m using a condition. And I’m telling the condition to look out for if someone has filled out our event registration form. And there’s a few ways they could have gotten to this form, so it could’ve been through the email or the postcard. But if I’ve been running my pay per click ad campaign through adwords and they come back to my landing page and they caught the form that would also qualify them here or if we did through social media that will also qualify them here. But what I’m telling the system is if they’ve submitted the form, we’re not gonna send them another email, we’re not gonna bother them. But if they have not submitted the form, we’re gonna go ahead and send one more invitation just to remind them “Hey! if you haven’t RSVP-ed yet, go ahead and RSVP. We’d love to see you here!”

And this is a way of basing the communication around their interaction. If they’re already showing interest. If they’re already engaged, we don’t wanna bother anyone. But, otherwise, we can continue to try to get their attention and  this is where we can also get more creative and do things like send a second postcard if they haven’t filled out the form instead of doing an email. So several ways of handling this.

This is just a quick example though how you might have that set up.

Slide 18

So back in here with the planning there’s a few other things that you gonna need to decide what data points you wanna capture. And this is where it’s really going to affect your sales team as well as any marketers or any representative that you’re gonna have on the floor. So this is where things get really important and we’re gonna go back into Lead Liaison here.

I’m just gonna show you our form builder just so I can give you an example as we’re talking here. So I have a form that I’ve set up here and I’ve identified a few areas that I might wanna capture information so. I’ve left an area for my sales people to capture business card. I’ve given them a [inaudible] for their name, email, phone number, their company. Pretty standard contact fields. But I’ve also made some custom fields. So I have this one field called VIP.  And this would be if we have a sales person who feels like this is a really qualified lead we really wanna to talk to them a lot.

We have area of interest so we can decide “Hey are they looking at marketing sales, public relations and other…” Just an example from our Verticum. I even have a checkbox field here for Product of Interest. They can select multiple products if they need. And of course I’ve left an area for notes for them here. And I’ll show you just what this looks like on the front end. This is the actual trade show app. So this is what we would be running on your devices at the event.  And let’s say I just look in here at this particular form, you can see that it’s been captured from here. So here’s my name fields, email, VIP etcetera. So this all transfers over.

Another new thing with the Event Lead Management software, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise if you’ve used those scanners at trade shows before, you know kinda how you can scan the barcode and move from there. What’s great about this is the customized ability. So I have those custom fields but I can also make changes on the fly. So you see an example here I’m just gonna go ahead and add an image field into this so maybe they just wanna be able to take a picture or save a picture from their device. I’ve saved that and I’m gonna go ahead and reload my form here in my device. My device says it syncing right now cause it already received that update. If I’m going to capture, you can see that we  have that image element down there already at it. So we can add things in real time if needed.

But I tell you what? The best way to handle this is to make sure you have the form ready to go before the event is there. And again, marketers sit down with your sales team. Find out what information they feel they need  for a qualified lead. Sales – sit down with your marketers and find out what information do they need to be able to support you later on.

Slide 19

So back at our presentation here. We’re gonna talk about actually attending now. So this is gonna be the part where we’re capturing the leads and there’s a few common ways of doing this that you’ll see at different events. One can just be a simple form submission. So I’ve seen companies with clip boards. You can actually use a device like we have for GoCapture that’s our form submission application. Barcode scanning is increasingly popular especially in the United States where you can just go up scan their barcode on their badge and you’re good to go and then Business Card Transcription is something that’s really taking off and transcription is really unique. And then say that being in the computer trying to guess what the appropriate field is there. I’m giving you about 70% of the way there an accuracy. Transcription is done by a live person. It’s guaranteed 100% accurate so you know you’re getting good data as it comes through.

And of course, we also have the old-fashion way of passing business cards around. I’ll tell you without a system to really help you capture those leads and  upload them immediately you’re gonna start losing things.

So let’s look back at GoCapture real quick. Let’s look into are forms. So I’m here on the form screen of Lead Liaison. I’ve got GoCapture opened here. I might just give you an example where I could fill out this information and go through. Put in the name, the email. We’re gonna talk about this VIP field, in just a second. But if this is maybe a B2C event or an event I’m hosting, I might actually know who some of the attendees are already so I can also attach a list to this field as well and just select their name from a list.

Doing that, the system will fill that in for me automatically, which is really great. Maybe I’ll say this person’s a VIP and they’re interested in the sales and they want site engage and Event Lead Management. We can leave some notes and then I just hit ‘Submit’. And that’s really all there is. That’s lead capture at its most basic. I’m gonna go in here. I’m gonna review that submission. If I need to, I can check the submission make edits. I could block it if this is with someone from another vendor. They’re trying to sell me something. I just wanna be polite. Taking their information, scanning their badge. I could block them and not upload it. But I want somebody to upload. I’ll just click this upload button and it immediately goes back to Lead Liaison. Infinitely, this can also be set to auto-uploads so the moment your representative hits that ‘submit’ button, it’s gonna go to our back end.

And if I refresh the page here in our web app, you can see that that submission has already gone through. And this is where event capture tools are so important is you’re getting that information immediately. Nothing is getting lost out or falling between the cracks and what’s really important using a solution more like GoCapture is that its instant transmission. Unlike where you go to the shows, you have the scanner and you get a list later on at the end of the day. That’s not bad. But when we get it instantly like this, there’s a few other really cool tricks that we can do. Now before I move on to the nurture in the other piece, I’m gonna show you here. I do also want to mention barcode scanning. Because like I said before, that’s gonna be a huge way that people capture leads at these events right now.

You can use an Event Management software solution like Lead Liaison’s Event Lead Management and you can still do your barcode. So with regards with the trade show tells you most of the time, you don’t have to use their scanners. They will have some kind of software developer kit that solutions like Lead Liaison are able to use.

So I have some sample barcodes here and I’ve got an identical version of the form with the barcode reader. And you’ll notice one thing, I’ve put all of the contact info down at the bottom here and here’s really what the idea of this. I’m gonna move this over since it’s a little close to my phone here. I’m gonna choose to scan the barcode and the device will recognize it. What it’s gonna do is it’s gonna make a call back to the barcode provider and then you can see down here. It’s actually filled in that contact info for me. So if I’m at a really busy event, I don’t wanna have to stop and type everything. I can just scan that code. And I put this custom fields at the top, so I can just fill those in really quickly. And we’re done. I click ‘Submit’. And the submission’s through. I’ve moved on for my next person already.

So if you want your representatives to love you, give them a shortcut like that where they can just scan a barcode and fill in those custom fields. Now where things get really important with event management is the nurture during the show. This is something that not a lot of places talk about. They talk about pre-show nurture and post-show nurture. We’re talking about nurture during the show.

So this is another automation that I have setup here and this is something where we can just start getting people excited during the event. So my representative has used GoCapture. They’ve uploaded the form immediately. So I already have their data in the system just seconds after they captured it. What’s gonna happen with this automation, it triggers as soon as the prospect is submitted and I’m telling  the system to wait five minutes and then just send a ‘thank you’ email. And this email will just say something like, ‘Hey! We really appreciated you coming by our table. It was wonderful to meet you. We were really excited to learn more about your company!” And again, we can use merge fields to actually insert the name of their company.

By the way, here’s a few things that have coming up or we have a link back to a special landing page with an offer that they can try to go to. So basically we are trying to get them re-engaged and back visit our website. It’s just a nice little thank you to send them. Now remember in the form, I have that VIP field and so if I’m the representative there and I feel like this person is a really good solid lead. I might say that, “Yes! They are VIP!”

And I have a condition down here, that if they are already VIP, we’re gonna use one of our Webhooks with Twilio to send out a text message and this text message will say something like, “Hey Jennifer! Thank you for coming by our booth! By the way, we are doing a cocktail tonight at 6 p.m. at the Marriott. Won’t you come and join us?” So I’m actually inviting them out there and recommending that they come back and see me. That’s because this person I feel like they are a VIP. I want to interact with them again as quickly as possible. And you can even go further than that.

We’ve actually had a user use the text message feature to say things like, “Hey! are there other people from your company? Send them back our way and we’ll give you a special offer.” And what’s cool is if someone does text back since this is handled through Twilio. Twilio is able to forward that message back again. And again those text messages just like our postcards and emails use data merge fields so we can personalize these messages without having to do anything beforehand.

So really great way to get people engaged in at events. This is the key is getting people jumping back in.

So we’ve kinda gone through attending through this slides so I’m gonna go and skip over this side.

Slide 21

The big thing afterwards is gonna come with the post event nurture.

And so I’ve got one last automation here. And this is for our post event follow up. So this is somewhat similar to what we would recommend when you’re using your event software. So the first thing we’re doing, we might tell this to wait maybe a couple of days so after the event and then send another follow-up thank you email or hover when I handle that. If you’re using a CRM like salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics, you do wanna make sure that your events software is able to sync up to it. We do actually have a direct connection with both of those programs. We also do have ways of pushing leads into other CRMs like Pipelines or SOHO. We even have our own complementary CRM. But in this case, I’m using Salesforce as an example. So once the event is over I can tell the system to sync those leads that we capture directly into salesforce.com and really I don’t even have to wait I could be doing this at the same time so everything’s immediately in Salesforce.

Once it’s in Salesforce, I can add it to a campaign. I can even create a task. So remember when I said earlier on only about 15% of those leads are ever being followed up on. 85% are being ignored. Well, we can use Salesforce, our CRM, to make sure we have a task to these people, are being followed up on.

So this is a great way to make sure it’s in there. Another feature that I’ve mentioned before is are handwritten letters. So let’s talk about VIPs again. These are the people that we invited out to that cocktail party. Well, instead of just sending them the regular ‘thank you’ email and all the rest of it maybe I’m gonna send them a handwritten letter instead. Handwritten letters carry a lot of weight and a lot of value.

So I can send them a handwritten letter. It’s personalized. And when I say handwritten, I don’t mean we’re gonna make you write a letter. We’re going to write a letter for you. So this our handwritten letter template here. You type in what you want the letters to say. [inaudible] right here there’s a merge field. So we’re going pull this from the prospect profile and what’s awesome is you can choose the pin color, the type of handwriting. So if you want female cursive or a male print, that’s not a problem. You can even add a drop in. So here’s an example of a five-dollar Starbucks gift card that we could drop in.  I’ve seen some companies drop in some brochures. I’ve even seen a company that does a send along that we call down here. They were sending t-shirts out to people.

So this is another really good way of re-engaging them with them once the show is over. And again you can handle this towards just your VIPs. So it’s only those most valuable people that you’re getting this letters to go to.

If you wanna make them feel really especially that’s an awesome way to do it. And from there that’s where we gone through our sales process. We have our sales team taking over. What’s gonna be important from the more marketing side of things and the sales management side is okay that’s great that we had all that but where is our ROI. How much money are we making from this?

Slide 22

So I mentioned before that you can put all of these things into a campaign. Well once inside a campaign, we’re gonna start tracking anyone who comes in.

So let’s say that we have our form. The form is a part of the campaign. So anyone who comes in, submitted from that form is automatically added to the campaign. So the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna tell you how many people have actually come in from that and prospects. Prospect- the idea of these two columns. Prospect means we have an email. People means we don’t have an email. But we’ll tell you who’s come in as a result of that campaign and from that we can get you the cost per prospect. Pretty simple so far. But again if you are using a CRM like Salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics, we’re gonna continue to monitor those prospects once they’re in there and hopefully you’ll eventually convert that lead into a contact and attach it to an opportunity.

And so then we can tell you how many opportunities were created as a result of this trade show and the cost per opportunity plus the value of your opportunities. And then of those opportunities we’ll tell you how many of them are one and how many revenue dollars have come in which then gives us our total ROI for everything coming in from that campaign. And this is huge because the system is doing everything for you automatically. You just let it do its thing. The only thing you have to do is just set it up beforehand and then let your representatives capture the leads, everything else is happening automatically. And that’s the beautiful thing about having event lead management combined with lead management automation or marketing automation.

And like the campaigns, we also track the ROI on the programs for theirs so again I had a trade show as the program. So it would tell you the same data points of how many people have come in as result of that program. How many opportunities? How many wins? And then the same thing for lead source too. So if you wanted to put in trade shows as a lead source, you can get an idea of how effective those sources are in comparison to your other sources. So you might go into your lead source report and realize, “Hey! I actually closed a lot of deals from people who come in from pay-per-click advertising and from social media and I actually don’t get that much revenue from events, so maybe I can start closing out a couple of events.” Or maybe you go in and you realize, “Oh wow a huge amount of my revenue is coming from these events. Let’s really ramp it up!” And you’re not gonna know that unless you’re actually going in there and your tracking the ROI.

Now if these all sounds like a lot to set up and it all sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry! If you do have a solution like Lead Liaison as I mentioned before you do have the Integration Specialist like me. I would be helping you set this kinds of things up and especially through your through your first few months worth of shows. We’re gonna be there with you. We’re gonna be making sure that everything is working correctly.

So it’s a great tool in general and again, if you’re not using events yet, hopefully you can kinda see by now there’s a lot of value to go into the events. And it’s not that complicated. There’s nothing too crazy about it. As long as you have the right preparations, you can handle the event and you can run them and you can get ROI on them.

So if you do have any questions about that, we’d love to hear it. Now I believe that we do actually have a couple of offers going on today. So I’m gonna hand it back to Jen so she’d be able to talk about for you and then we’ll take some questions.

Slide 23

Jen: Thank you Chris. Yes, absolutely. So I’m going to take over the presentation as well and get you guys over to our special offers here. So our first special offer is if you would like to purchase our stand-alone solutions and as Chris mentioned GoCapture several times at our Events Lead Management solution. That’s powered by GoCapture. If you want to purchase a stand-alone solution, it’s two free months off of your subscription. If you currently have a Lead Liaison license and you wanna add this to your Lead Liaison license, we’re offering one free hour of training, which the training can get fairly pricey. So that’s an amazing offer there. So let us know if you guys are interested in those. Just mention the webinar and we’re happy to assist there.

Slide 24

Now so I’ll go into the questions. Everybody, you should see the question area on your Gotowebinar screen to just so you can type your questions in there and I’ll go through and kind of asked those. We’ve got a couple here and that I’ve seen come in. So the first one is can you highlight some information about the users and the amount of devices that you can have? Is there a limit to that?

Chris: Yeah. That’s actually a really good question. So it kinda depends on the solution you’ll go with. A lot of solutions are going to limit you like 3 or 4 devices and then you’ll pay like an extra 50 or 60 bucks a month per user. I’ve seen up to 200 per month per user. Our Event Lead Management solutions a little different in that we don’t have any limits on the number of users. So it’s a flat rate and if you have 50 different reps, send out 50 different invitations.

Jen: Awesome! Thank you. Alright, we have another question and which lead capture method do you recommend in those or do you see used the most?

Chris: If we’re in the US, the one I see used the most is definitely going to be barcode scanning. That’s just something that became very prevalent in the event industry in the last 10 years or so. And the event industry has been just growing like crazy. So that’s the one that I see commonly used the most. The best thing about it, is like I showed in the demonstration is you can just do the barcode scans so it’s filling in all the important information for you. And then you just fill in your custom fields for your particular organization. Hit submit and then you’re done. A single submission takes less than 10 seconds. You can just go through one after another.

Next I would probably say the next most common would be the business card transcription. We have a lot of companies where they’ll just say, “Hey go out there and take a picture of the business cards, then they hand the business card back to us. We transcribe them and do the rest.” But most used in the US, that’s gonna be barcode scans. In Europe, we tend to see more business card transcriptions.

Jen: Wonderful! Thank you Chris. Alright, let’s see one other question here. What information can be included or captured on the form?

Chris: Yeah so, the information that you can capture is pretty limitless. So you can create any number of custom fields for our forms. So you saw that I had some fields in there for VIP or for product of interest. Those were all fully-customized forms. I created those fields myself. Put in the possible responses. If you’re currently leaves on client, it’s almost identical to our web form builder. For some who’s new with Lead Liaison, it’s a simple drag and drop builder. Generally for me it takes less than 3 minutes to put a form together even with custom information. The custom fields you can have is a single line of text, a paragraph of text, a drop-down menu, checkboxes which is your multi-select field and then a radio button which is kind of a true or false multi-select with only one answer kind of thing.

Jen: What is an absolute no-go when in contact with leads at events?

Chris: A no-go. Well, one thing like in all cases when it comes to marketing and I’m assuming with that no-go, you’re talking about what are some things that you’re just not supposed to do. One if you do have an automation setup on the background, if they haven’t opted in to email, you don’t wanna start putting them on to Marketing lists. It’s generally fine to send a thank you email or something like that because that’s considered transactional. But you do wanna be careful putting them on some marketing lists. Beyond that I mean be general trade show etiquette. But if you kinda meant something different with that no-go, just let me know and we’ll circle back to this question. But really there’s not much that I would say that you just can’t do with a lead from an event especially since you’re face-to-face with them. You can talk with them. You can build those expectations. Email marketing is the only area I really say to still be careful on. Depending on your country, text messages, as well. So yeah. But if you need to clarify that more, we’ll go in a different direction with that. Let me know.

Jen: You said that this is also available as a standalone solution. How does that work if I do not have Salesforce?

Chris: Yeah so the Salesforce connection that we showed there, that’s an add-on that you can do. We have that because a lot of our partners out there, they use CRM like Salesforce or like Microsoft Dynamics. We actually have our own CRM that you can use as well. So if you’re also wanting to save the organization level and whether there’s deals or opportunities, we actually have our own CRM that you can actually add it for free to event lead management so it’s another just add-on. If you don’t already have the CRM, then we’re happy to provide that for you. And really, we can also work without a CRM altogether cause we’re still gonna store the prospect records for you. We’re still gonna store all the submissions but if you’re in a little bit better in organization and you don’t have anything else or if you’ve been looking to make a change on your CRM, that free option is actually a really nice CRM with everything you’re getting. So it’s stand-alone. If you have Salesforce, we’ll integrate with Salesforce. It’s a very deep integration. If you have Dynamics will do that and if not we can work with you as well.

Jen: Alright! Thank you very much! I believe that wraps up our questions here.

Slide 25

Thanks everybody for those. So that is the end of our presentation. Everybody keep an eye on your inbox, I will send in the recording like I said from the next week and there will be a survey that pops up after we close the webinar. So we’d greatly appreciate your insights on that. In that way it can help shape future webinars as well. So thanks everybody for joining today. I appreciate your time. Hope you learned a lot. Let us know if you have any additional questions afterwards and have a great rest to your day.

How to Prepare for a Marketing Event

There are various types of marketing events to attend; traditional marketing events like trade shows, corporate events, social gatherings, and more. Regardless of the event, a marketer must go through some checkpoints before the event. In this article we’ll cover how to prepare for a marketing event to make your event as successful as possible.

Prepare your Booth

We’re assuming your next event will require you to showcase your brand a bit. Companies typically do this with a booth. If you don’t have a booth contact your local print shop and inquire about trade show or event displays. Lead Liaison uses a three (3) panel display with plenty of images. As a tip, keep your text to a minimum. Yes – you do want people stopping by your booth to engage in conversation with you, but you don’t want them blindly staring at your display struggling to read the text. You’d rather tell them what you do and converse with them, right? Try to think of adding only broad headings and key bullet points (no more than three per panel) to your display. If you don’t already have a graphics artist on your team, hit up a site like upwork.com and hire someone. For us, we used the graphics person at the print shop so we got a bonus. We got a graphics artist to help us out without having to shell out more money.

Once your display is ready, consider how to prepare for a marketing event that focuses on your audience. You can run a drawing where you have your booth visitors drop a business card into a fish bowl. You can offer some candy (in another fish bowl or tray), or you can give away some company swag. Here are some other ideas if you want to take a more creative route:

  • Talk to a handful of local companies in the area and have them sponsor services to run an auction. Hotels, restaurants, nail salons, etc. should all be happy for you to promote their services while visitors bid on each service. It’s a good interactive idea.
  • Do something off the wall such as a wheel for people to spin to win a prize of some sort. Most people will like playing the game and see that as a nice break to the monotony of the event.
  • Have a raffle for your services. For example, if you’re a software company give away a subscription to your software for a period of time. If you’re a professional services company offer a complementary version of your services (free consultation, free training, etc.).

Lead Capture

One of the most important things to consider when thinking about how to prepare for a marketing event is how you will capture your leads. Marketers must think through how they’ll capture leads at the marketing event. There are varying levels of lead capture. You could do what many companies do and only collect business cards from each person. If you did that, it would take a while to get the leads into the system, you risk human error losing cards or entering in information, you rely on the sales person to enter in the data, and even after all of that’s done – you’ve got to merge all the leads together, get them into your system, and properly distribute them.

An alternative method is to contact your trade show organizer to see what system they suggest. Most event organizers will contract a company for their lead retrieval system. The lead retrieval system will likely be a handheld barcode scanner or a mobile app. Choosing a system from the lead retrieval company will still limit you though. For example, the forms that are provided are limited. They are designed to only capture certain information, such as name, email, phone, etc. Even if you’re using their barcode scanner, only select information gets pulled in. If your company prefers to capture key information from your booth visitor, too bad – you’ve got to cram that information into the notes section, making lead capture even more cluttered when it’s time to get that data into your system. Moreover, you’ve got to get the captured leads into your system. Lead retrieval companies will put your leads into a central repository for you to download, or give you all of your leads while you’re at the show. Once you obtain them, they still have to be curated, uploaded into your company’s CRM, and distributed. This is just the capture part, and doesn’t include any follow up with attendees.

The last, and best option, is to use a professional-level event lead capture system. These systems have a backend and frontend to help you manage the end-to-end process for your event leads. On the backend, marketers can build and provision forms with custom fields and information relevant to the company. Marketers can also electronically roll out forms to different sales people and fellow marketers who might be attending the event. The forms can be pushed out to each user’s Android, iOS, or Windows device as the application should be cross platform (HTML5). The mobile event lead capture application will provide multiple lead capture methods. We’ve listed a handful of lead capture methods present in leading event capture apps:

  1. Barcode / QR code scanning
  2. Manual entry
  3. List pre-fill
  4. Business card scan

Leading event lead capture solutions will also work offline as most events could be in the basement of a hotel or in a crowded area where internet or cellular connectivity is limited or not available at all. The device should work seamlessly, whether offline or online, and hold the leads on the device or automatically pass them to the backend once the device connects. This leads us to the backend aspect of these systems. The backend should be sophisticated enough to help the marketer qualify, communicate, distribute, and nurture leads automatically. Here’s a short summary of each of these areas of the workflow on the backend:

  1. Qualify: Leading systems will use scoring or grading as a way to qualify leads. Scoring is a way to measure engagement or interests. For example, if the prospect chose a specific value on the form then give them more points. Similarly with grading, if the prospect has a title that contains “Chief” then consider automatically giving them an A+ for their grade. Scoring and grading will help your sales reps separate out where to focus first, as they should look for the highest graded and scored leads from the event.
  2. Communicate: Responding to the lead right away is important. Text the visitor back after an hour or so thanking them for their time and visit. Alternatively, send them an email, postcard, or handwritten letter shortly after meeting them.
  3. Distribute: Make sure you route the lead to the route sales people as soon as it is submitted. Use various rules such as geography, demographics, or any information you collect on your form to determine where to send the lead. Getting the lead in the hands of your sales rep as soon as you can is critical for success.
  4. Nurture: Build stronger relationships with your leads by running them through multi-step nurture processes that intelligently sends out touch points across traditional and digital marketing channels.

Coordinate your Team

Gather your sales and marketing team members together and do a recap of your upcoming event. If each person is using a lead capture app like Lead Liaison’s GoCapture!™, make sure each user is in the system and their device is authenticated to receive the event form. Your team might also benefit from having one or two devices around the booth and putting the GoCapture!™ app into Kiosk Mode to more easily manage lead collection. Whatever your approach, make sure you have a documented process for capturing the leads and make sure your reps are fully trained on this process.

Distribute your Leads

The final, and possibly most crucial step, in thinking through how to prepare for a marketing event is to nail down how you will distribute your leads. As noted above, it’s critical to have a sound lead distribution plan following your marketing event. Make sure your reps are not taking their business cards back home with them or losing them in transport. To avoid this, leverage the OCR or business card transcription services offered by your event lead capture service. With Lead Liaison, we provide a transcription portal as a component of the backend lead capture system. Businesses can manage the portal themselves by transcribing their own cards. Alternatively, Lead Liaison’s transcription team could transcribe the card for a nominal fee. Either way, get those cards out of the hands of your reps and into the system in digital format for prompt lead distribution.

Lead Liaison provides the perfect solution for event lead capture, called GoCapture!™. Get a free demo of this solution today to see how you could make your next marketing even a smash hit.