For many companies, exhibiting their own products and solutions at a trade fair is a central component of their corporate strategy. Even though sales is becoming increasingly digital and the direct exchange with potential customers as part of a sales force is losing importance in some sectors, trade fairs and expos are very relevant for most companies due to the concentration of potential customers and competitors in one location. In addition to the exchange with potential partners or the comparison of best practice approaches, the generation of leads at the trade fair or conference is particularly essential. This blog post is therefore intended to shed light on everything to do with leads at the expo - from preparation for the trade fair to lead generation at the trade fair and follow-up later on. We also take a close look at the advantages of the snapADDY VisitReport!
How and when do I continue to work with the captured leads from the trade fair?
As already described, with the paper-based recording of leads at the trade fair, the follow-up must be done manually and the data entered into the CRM system. The great advantage of digital solutions is that the data is immediately stored in the CRM system and manual typing of the lead sheets is completely eliminated.
After the trade fair, a follow-up email should be sent, in which you remind the respective contact of the trade fair of the conversation and initiate further sales steps. It is important that the follow-up mail is not initiated too late. Digital processing also helps here. Since the sheets are retrieved directly from the company headquarters when they are uploaded as leads at the trade fair, a thank you e-mail with the snapADDY VisitReport can be sent to the respective customer directly after the meeting. Use the time advantage when addressing your business partners!
As a general rule, you should have resumed contact no later than after the weekend of the trade fair on the first working day. If the mail is not sent until a week later, it is usually too late because the conversation took place too long ago. In addition, the competitive pressure at the trade fair is greater today than it used to be. The earlier a mail is sent to a lead from the trade fair, the greater the chance that the person you are talking to will remember the conversation and that you will stand out from the crowd of exhibitors with whom you have spoken.
How can I ensure that my leads are captured efficiently at the trade fair?
Basically, there are two ways of recording leads at the trade fair that are to be entered into the CRM system: digital or paper-based.
With paper-based entry via lead sheets, a template is filled out with pen & paper, to which the business cards of the other party are stapled. The sheets are collected and entered into the respective CRM or ERP system by the respective sales employee or assistant directly after the trade fair. The advantages of the paper-based solution lie in the fact that there is not a lot of planning involved - the implementation at the trade fair is however more error-prone and time consuming (illegible font, unprofessional appearance, lost sheets, data protection: how do I store the sheets securely at the trade fair, etc.).
Digital recording - for example with snapADDY VisitReport - is much faster and more convenient. A template for the respective trade fair will also be used - but this will be filled out digitally via an app (Windows, Android, iOS, Amazon) and provided with numerous additional information (voice notes, attachments, drawings, etc.). In addition, there is no need to archive the lead sheet together with the business card - simply take an easy photo of the business card and the corresponding data is automatically read out by our algorithm. The sheets are archived in compliance with data protection regulations and even function without an Internet connection having to be available directly at the trade fair. As soon as the Internet is available again, the digital reports are synchronized and can be retrieved directly from the company headquarters.
The digital process eliminates transmission errors, shortens the time required for data capture and also supports sales staff with digital data capture options.
How do I prepare myself for the acquisition of leads at the trade fair?
In order to make the use of the trade fair as efficient as possible, the preparation of the trade fair should be given an important role. The central questions that one should ask oneself are included:
Do I expect existing customers to come by my stand?
- A lot of time can be saved if we create the lead in the CRM or ERP system before the trade fair and thus save time. With snapADDY VisitReport, you can even call up existing customers from your CRM directly at the trade fair in the app using the inventory data management!
Have the sales staff already arranged appointments for the trade fair?
- Appointments are a good way to ensure a busy stand by assigning them at times when the stand is not expected to be heavily frequented. Keep in mind that a full and evenly used stand will attract more and more people, and the information provided will be more interesting!
How can the process for capturing leads and conversations be designed efficiently?
- It often makes sense to use different employee roles. For many companies, it is important that potential customers who pass by their exhibition space are first "qualified". In this case, a sales assistant would address arriving visitors and divide them according to their importance. The higher a potential lead is rated, the more it should be passed on to the best selling sales staff. This ensures that no "gift collectors" or uninteresting visitors take advantage of the sales staff. The creation of a lead process for the trade fair is an important step in the preparation for the actual trade fair.