Trade shows have become an important medium for businesses to grow and create their mark in the industry. Among many of the trade show across the globe, Gitex is one of the most popular trade shows in the technology industry.
Gitex stands for Gulf Information Technology Exhibition. It is an annual consumer computer and electronics trade show, exhibition, and conference. The most renowned names in technology showcase global innovations in the industry. The Gitex 2018 trade show will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai, UAE, from 14th October to 18th October 2018. Top players, speakers and decision makers of the industry participate and share their insights and opinions.
Role of Lead Capture at Trade Shows
The main aim of companies at trade shows is attracting new customers and creating awareness about their product or brand. They invest a lot of money to get a place at the trade show, spend for travel expenses, accommodating staff, etc. Hence, it's crucial to benefit out of the trade show by capturing as many leads as possible. With a footfall of more than lacs at trade shows like Gitex, there is an excellent scope for businesses to expand their customer base and find opportunities for collaborations. And, the best way to do this is with the help of Trade show lead capturing apps. First, Let’s see how the current at the trade show.
Problems with Manual Lead Capture Method
To make the most out of trade shows, a strong lead capture system should be adopted. Many companies make the use of paper forms to capture the information of the people visiting their booth. To collect the business cards, the fishbowl method is still followed. The problem with such manual method degrades the outcome you expect from a trade show. Let's discuss the problems with the manual lead capture method.
Paper-forms - The Stumbling Block to Success!
Businesses believe paper-forms are the best way to capture information at the trade shows. However, little do they realise, though it's easy to set up, it is way too tedious to maintain and is rather a monotonous way of collecting lead information nowadays.
So, why you should refrain from using paper-forms at trade shows?
1. Risk of Data Collected being Inaccurate
Manual effort goes in handling paper forms. There might be errors while entering data into a system. Moreover, handwriting of customers might vary making it difficult to understand. Companies might end up misinterpreting the data leading to an inaccurate database.
Since all the data needs to be manually entered into another system, it requires more effort making the process time-consuming. Also, all the paper forms reach companies after the trade show and get updated in a system. Only after this, the companies start following up. The whole process is extremely time-consuming which might end up in loss of hot leads.
3. Tedious to Manage Data
Paper forms need to be carried to the trade show and made sure that the staff does not misplace it. Entering data into the system needs to be done manually making it a tedious process.
4. Risk of Forms being Misplaced or Damaged
Companies often travel a long distance to participate in trade shows. Carrying paper forms adds more luggage, making it inconvenient. Moreover, there is a chance of misplacing paper forms during travel. Rains might lead to damage of all the forms. In such scenarios, companies end up losing all the leads from the trade show.
5. Absence of Technology
Businesses following the manual method literally kill the option of providing the leads with relevant information and following up with them. Technology plays a crucial role in capturing leads at trade shows. Consider a scenario where a visitor visiting your booth might be very interested in your product. It might take days for the company to finish the trade show and pass on the information to the sales team. By the time sales team contacts the lead, the hot lead turns cold and chances of conversion become low. So, let’s see how to make the use of technology at trade shows and what preparation should a company make before the event.
Preparations Before Trade Show
Before the event, a strategic plan needs to be put in place to capture leads and follow up with them most effectively and efficiently. The sales team needs to be adequately briefed about the plan. Emailers to follow up with the leads should be readily available before the event making it easy to contact potential customers immediately after the event or during the event.
How to Efficiently Capture Leads During the Event
This is where lead capture solutions are incredibly crucial. Database of visitors can easily be stored in the app without the need of visiting cards or handwritten visitor books. However, with so many options of lead retrieval apps in the market, how do you pick the right one?
Following are some of the features you need to look for in an app to make it efficient at trade shows:
1. Offline Functionality
An offline feature that allows collection of data without any internet connection. It is difficult to get an effective internet connection at trade shows due to the number of participants and the area the trade show is spread across. Offline lead capturing apps allow a user to enter data without an internet connection making the process fast and efficient. This data can later be synced to your admin account once connected to internet hence, gathering all the data at one place.
2. Instant follow-ups
Apps can be customised to instantly send a follow-up email to every visitor of the booth. A simple ‘Thank You for visiting Us’ is always appreciated by all customers even if they are interested in the brand or not. This creates a positive brand impression. Companies can also send out a feedback form asking customers about their experience at the booth and their interest level in their products.
3. Lead Routing
It helps in categorising leads as per the product they are interested in. These leads are then automatically sent to the respective sales department making it easy for the company to contact them immediately for the product they are interested in. Example: A company sells computer hardware and software. The leads interested in hardware will be sent to the hardware sales department, while the leads interested in software will be forwarded to the software department. The sales team can then immediately get in touch and pitch their product while the lead is still hot.
4. Lead Scoring
This is another significant feature. It categorises customers based on the level of interest shown at the booth. Other features that help in categorising are company size of the customer, industry segment, their job title or geographic location. It helps in identifying potential leads that are hot and highly interested. On the other hand, it also identifies CXOs or decision makers who visit the booth and show interest in the product. These leads should immediately be followed up before other competitors.
5. Real-time Staff Monitoring
Companies can also monitor the performance of their staff at the venue. Who is getting more leads and who is staying inactive? This tracking also motivates the team to stay active and interact with more and more visitors at the trade show to maintain their performance.
6. Capturing Pictures
Many lead capturing apps also allow capturing pictures. Participants can utilise this feature to capture images of visitor's business card or the visitor himself, along with other relevant information for their marketing purpose.
After the Lead Leaves the Booth
A trade show can generate thousands of leads. Every lead is important. As mentioned in the previous point, an emailer should be sent out to each visitor giving them details of the company and other additional information. This helps the customer have all the information readily available at their fingertips.
Follow-up After the Event
So, when should companies follow up with a lead. The answer is simple- as soon as possible! As mentioned above, leads that are hot should be immediately contacted during the event. However, the other leads should not be ignored. Even cold leads should be followed up and kept in the pipeline for future marketing purposes. There might be chances of conversion in such scenarios. Regularly sending them bulletins or emailers is also an effective way of increasing brand awareness and gaining more customers.
Trade shows can be the best way to grow businesses with the right strategic plan and capturing the right leads, which is only possible with an efficient lead capturing app. And, GoSurvey is your perfect solution partner.
GoSurvey provides some of the most unique features mentioned above and much more in a lead capturing app. It has catered to many companies helping them leverage the opportunity from trade shows in a better way. We customise features as per the company’s requirement and helps them increase their customer base through lead capturing.