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Gold standard for data capture

August 30, 2013 |

Most exhibitors’ top goal will be to generate leads to convert into sales. With this in mind, it’s a shame that some companies still don’t manage data capture effectively. Here are three methods that are commonly used at exhibitions to gain leads and ways that these can be improved.

Lead Generation Forms

This is the gold standard for any exhibitor. Having a pre-built form is a sure way of measuring the actual number of leads that you’ve generated from an exhibition. As well as ensuring that all the relevant information is collected, a form allows you to filter your leads by their importance or value by adding appropriate questions such as budget, timescales as well as sections for notes.

Most importantly, by obtaining detailed information from visitors, appointments or calls can be made there and then at the exhibition, eliminating this process after the show. Take along a company diary and book appointments for all your sales team! A direct action already booked in from the lead, saving you both time and effort. And it shows you’re on the ball!

Scanning Devices

A seemingly quick and easy win for data capture are scanners. Scanners allow exhibitors to gain basic data about people who visit their stand. It’s a great tool for marketers to measure things like ‘how many visitors came on stand per day’ or to conduct blanket emails for awareness building due to the volume of data obtained.

Some scanners provide the ability to add a limited number of pre-determined questions in addition to the person’s contact details to glean more information. This allows exhibitors to ask pre-loaded questions and ask the potential lead to pick an answer from the list – such as budget, or information about brand awareness. This can be great for target mailings post event.

However, this method doesn’t account for adding ad-hoc or customised information that could help convert the lead into a sale, as a lead generation form would where extra notes can be added according to the dialogue on the day.

Remember to spend time pre-event deciding what your objectives are with the data so that you can ask the relevant pre-determined questions – otherwise you’ll miss the point!

Business Cards

Business cards are necessary as introductory information and are a massive help if used alongside a lead generation form as a lot of valuable time is wasted in writing down these basic details when they can in fact be stapled to a form in one second – while you write down the all important notes!

But used in isolation it is not an effective method as the leads are not qualified and you have to duplicate all your efforts all over again post-show.

Although there’s no effort or costs involved in gaining these contacts, you will not gain enough data to determine the quality of the lead which will waste your time and effort when you’re back in the office. However by using this method alongside a simple form, you can collect far more rich data, saving you time and effort in the long run.

Exhibitions are costly and to maximise ROI it’s important to get REAL leads and not just data. Put in that extra effort during the show and it’ll payback much quicker post event.

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