Lead retrieval is when sponsors or exhibitors at your event are able to collect information about the attendees they meet on the floor. Rather than giving your attendee list to every sponsor and making attendees hate you for life when they come home from your event to an inbox overflowing with spam, you can improve your exhibitors' results as they follow up only with those they've had meaningful conversations with.
The easiest way to provide lead retrieval is to let your exhibitors and sponsors scan badges. So what do you need to look for in a tool that scans badges? Here are some factors to consider that will keep your expenses down and your exhibitors happy:
Drop The Hardware: Having your exhibitors rent badge scanners is last generation, it’s like paying iPhone price for a flip phone. If your lead retrieval system doesn’t allow your exhibitors to use their own smartphones (or iPod Touch), both you and your exhibitors are paying to ship around a bunch of hardware. Event managers are the last people we need remind how expensive it is to ship stuff around.
Everyone Can Scan, Not Just the Guy with the Scanner: Another benefit of going smartphone based is that every exhibitor on the team can scan with their phone for one flat price. No extra hassle or expense if your exhibitors want 10 people to be scanning. Set up once, pay once, and go. BIG WIN HERE: The real value here is that you can have your team at the show and then staff back at the home office reviewing the scans real time from the show floor to support the booth.
Other features to look for to make offering Lead Retrieval Easier:
Low Cost, Zero Hassle Badges: Besides integration on the front end with registration you want it downstream too so that you can print your badges with no headaches. A better lead retrieval system will support whatever you want to do – simple low cost badges, high end VIP backstage pass style badges, and the ability for you to print onsite if required with low cost, dependable printers.
No Paperwork to Get Your Exhibitors on Board: You shouldn’t have to be printing pages to add to your exhibitor handbook. Send them an email with a link and that’s it, simple for them to register, setup and pay. The system also needs to support a la carte or bundle pricing – easy setup if you want all your exhibitors to get lead retrieval as part of sponsorship (eliminating hassle, improving results and reducing cost for everyone) or let every exhibitor decide on their own if they need lead retrieval.
Analytics for You: It’s not just about your exhibitors, a better system will include analytics for you. Perhaps you need check-ins or surveying so you can see which sessions are most popular, or maybe it’s scanning to limit access to certain sessions or parts of the show floor. Again you want smartphone based, easy to use and web access to your data.
Here's to everyone having productive conversations on the show floor! Join the better conferences and events that provide simple, team-based lead retrieval so your exhibitors can maximize the ROI of your events.
About the Author: John J. Wall is the producer of Marketing Over Coffee, the leading podcast covering the intersection of Marketing Technology and the Author of B2B Marketing Confessions which has a complete chapter on trade show strategies and tactics learned from suffering on the road. He's also at EventHero, the leading provider of team based lead retrieval, multi-session tracking and on demand badging.