Collecting leads is one of the most common trade show objectives. Unfortunately, this is also where a lot can go wrong. From not being able to collect enough leads to mismanagement of the leads generated, the success of your trade show event hangs in the balance of how well you do this part of the job.
7 Avoidable Trade Show Lead Mistakes
With businesses spending thousands of dollars on a single event, it is wise to know these mistakes in advance and avoid them to make your participation a grand success. Here are 7 common trade show lead mistakes and how gamification effectively eliminates them-
#1 Not Collecting All the Potential Leads
While it sure sounds contradictory, the most common trade show lead capture mistake is not capturing all the potential leads. Here are some of the reasons why this could happen-
Overcrowded Trade Show Booth
If there are more people visiting your booth than your staff could handle, you’ll miss out on plenty of potential leads as the prospects will just walk away after waiting for some time.
Not Training Your Booth Staff on the New Lead Collection System
If you’ve upgraded to a new lead capturing system and don’t provide adequate training to your booth staff, your lead collection strategy will mostly fail. The same is true when you hire additional booth talent at the last minute and don’t train them enough.
Leads Generated in the Trade Show Don’t Reach the Sales Team
Even if you collect hundreds of leads, it won’t lead to much if the leads don’t reach your sales team. For example, in regional trade shows, booth staff generally collect business cards but often fail to send them or send all of them to the head office.
#2 Just Leads Vs Engaged Leads at Trade Shows
If your trade show objective is lead collection, your staff should always focus on collecting “engaged leads.”
What are engaged leads? Engaged leads are people who’ve engaged with your brand in some way. From the buyer journey perspective, they are a significant step ahead of the standard leads.
The engagement could lead to direct response, and the response could lead to sales.
As these leads have already engaged with your brand, they might remember you and your products or services even after the trade show. This could also make things easier for your sales team when they try to contact them.
Unfortunately, none of the traditional trade show lead capture methods works very well in capturing engaged leads.
#3 Impersonal Lead Collection Strategy
This is the age of personalization. Be it online marketing or attracting leads at a trade show, you need to have a personalized approach to stand out from the crowd. Global brands like Netflix, Amazon, and Starbucks have redefined consumer expectations, and trade show attendees are no different. At any given event, many attendees share their contact details at several booths. It is mostly done by submitting business cards, filling out trade show lead capture form, or getting their badge scanned.
But for the majority of them, it is a dull, monotonous but unavoidable aspect of visiting a trade show. And what are the chances of conversion when you’re just one of the several booths an attendee visited during the event? Not very high.
While working on your lead collection and retrieval strategy, it is essential to personalize the entire experience for the attendees and be that one business they’d like to remember well after the event.
#4 Not Qualifying Leads
A typical buyer journey is made up of three stages-
Let’s say you had a successful event and collected plenty of leads. You send those leads to your sales team, and they start contacting them. The majority of the people don’t even respond to your calls and emails, and the conversation was mostly discouraging even with people who did.
So, what happened? You failed to qualify the collected leads. It is wrong to assume that every person who visited your booth and submitted their contact details is at the same stage in the buyer journey.
After some discouraging conversations, your sales team might assume that all the leads are of poor quality and won’t even try to get in touch with the rest of them.
Thus, it is vital for the booth staff to qualify the leads whether they are hot, warm, or cold.
The follow-up can then be customized for every category to ensure that the hot leads are prioritized over the others.
This again has a lot to do with how you generate leads at events. Methods like business card collection and badge scanning don’t provide your booth staff with enough time or even a streamlined procedure to qualify leads on a busy trade show floor.
#5 Not Collecting Enough Contact Data
Needless to say, you need at least the phone number and email address of the booth visitors for post-show communication and follow-ups.
But it is often found that badge scanners don’t collect all the necessary details. Even if you’re using lead collection forms, visitors might intentionally not provide their contact details or provide inaccurate details.
Moreover, since the introduction of GDPR, several leading trade shows where badge scanners are used provide attendees with the option to not share their personal details with the exhibitors. This can prove detrimental to your lead collection strategy.
So, what is the solution?
You need to look for a lead collection method where the visitors willingly share their contact details. This can only be done if you engage them enough.
#6 Inconsistent Lead Collection and Retrieval
At regional trade shows, it is common for smaller businesses to rely on the lead collection method offered by the event organizer. Exhibitors pay rent to the organizer for using their device or technology.
However, this leads to a very inconsistent experience for your booth staff. For instance, Show A might offer a badge scanner, Show B may use a trade show lead capture app, and then at Show C, there can be a different app from a different provider.
Apart from the inevitable confusion, you’ll also have to keep retraining your staff every time you encounter a new system.
Planning a trade show is already very exhausting. Training the staff to use the new lead collection system before every event becomes a headache every event manager would want to stay away from.
#7 Follow Up Delays
The longer you wait to follow up with the prospects, the lower the chances of conversion.
Unless you offer something really unique and memorable to the booth visitors, people will mostly forget about you as quickly as after leaving your booth.
At the same time, you should also remember that your competitors would have mostly participated in the event too.
If there is any delay in following up, especially the hot leads, your competitor might reach them before you.
With most methods like business card collection and lead collection forms, the trade show leads data needs to be manually transferred to the CRM software you use before your sales and marketing team can start working on it.
A customised digital solution with a dedicated lead collection platform and direct integration with your CRM can ensure the leads are processed as they are generated and you avoid such expensive delays.
[READ: 5 Trade Show Mistakes to Avoid]
Why Trade Show Games for Lead Collection?
Custom trade show games like trivia can be built around your business to help you collect leads, boost brand awareness, and offer something unique and engaging to the booth visitors and event attendees. From the lead collection perspective, here are some of the top reasons that make custom games superior to traditional lead collection methods-
Collect More Engaged Leads
Trade show quizzes are a smart way to educate people about your industry, brand, products, and services. The fun and interesting questions engage the booth visitors and provide them with a quick overview of who you are, what you do, and your USPs.
Rather than simply collecting leads, custom games help you collect engaged leads with higher chances of converting.
Personalize Lead Collection
A leading trade show game provider will customize the game as per your liking. The trivia questions can be chosen according to your business objectives and target audience to offer a personalized experience to your booth visitors.
The gameplay through iPads and live LED leaderboards make the entire experience of visiting your booth unique and memorable for the visitors.
Collect Required Information
As the game is customized, exhibitors are free to choose the information they’d like the visitors to provide. A short lead collection form asking for the required details is filled by the booth visitors who want to play the fun trivia at your booth. Even if you have a busy booth, you can install multiple iPads for gameplay and provide your staff with the opportunity to initiate a one-on-one conversation with the maximum number of prospects.
Prevent Follow Up Delays
As trade show booth games are connected to a digital lead collection platform, the entire process of manually entering lead data into CRM is fully eliminated. It also makes things easier for the booth staff and allows them to focus on collecting quality leads. Your sales and marketing team could access the lead data as soon as after the event to start contacting the hot leads and solidify sales.
Collecting and Retrieving Trade Show Leads Like a Pro
Whether this is your first event or your twentieth, you’ll need a solid lead collection and retrieval strategy that works and allows you to make the most of every opportunity.
While there are plenty of ways to collect leads at trade shows, gamification has the upper hand as it allows you to collect engaged leads, boost brand awareness, and offer a unique experience to the booth visitors.
Contact us to know more about custom games, their advantages, and how we can help streamline the trade show lead collection process for you.
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