Digital lead capturing on trade fairs

How to make more out of your customer contacts

Exhibitions are the best way to get in touch with new customers, present your products and exchange ideas. The prerequisite that it doesn’t stop at moody conversations is an effective leader capture. The leads serve as a basis for later conversations and should ideally be available company-wide. The evaluation of the data can reveal valuable hints on future trade fair activities and sales aspects.

Capture trade fair leads: The weaknesses of analogue capturing

This still works well at the beginning of a trade fair day: business cards are exchanged, handwritten notes are made, lead sheets are filled in and, if time permits, data is entered into the customer database. But as the trade fair progresses, this becomes more and more difficult and the overview is lost. Conversations are not or not completely recorded, important information about the customer is lost and in the worst case you miss out on the promising contact: The conversation was in vain, you wasted time and money.

Success factor digital capture

With a digital recording of leads, contacts can be stored and then processed further. The leads are then automatically transferred to the company’s internal CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and all departments can access all the information entered. Analog cannot keep up with this: Sending business cards and lead sheets through half the company cannot be the solution – and it doesn’t work in practice anyway. A Bitkom study reveals: More than 70 percent of all leads won are not processed, mainly because they do not reach the responsible employees on time.

Digital vs. analog lead capture

Digital capturing of leads is gaining acceptance. More and more companies understand that handwritten capturing cannot exploit the full potential of trade fair contacts. According to a study conducted by market researchers at Fair Control in 2015, around 43 percent of those surveyed were already using a tablet to record contacts, a further 14 percent were using a smartphone, 10 percent stored the leads on terminals and 7 percent on a notebook. However, digital means still stood next to paper sheets: around 86 percent still swear by (additional) handwritten notes.

Evaluation and analysis of leads at trade fairs

This will change in the future – at the latest when digitalization is introduced into companies across the board, digital capture of leads will also be the order of the day. The prerequisite for this, however, is a well thought-out strategy for electronic lead capture. Simply storing the data is of no use digitally. The next step is to contact the potential customer and win him over. Follow-up with regard to future trade fair appearances is also important: Is presence at the trade fair worth it at all? With which topics could you attract the most interested parties? Which employee will position himself in the future as an expert in which field? And – probably the most important question of all: Have you ever generated interesting, promising leads? A full trade fair stand looks good, but in the end it doesn’t help if you only had a few prospective buyers with purchasing power.

The time factor

The leads will bring you snswers to these question. Since it is time-consuming and error-prone to read all relevant data from paper, they are needed digitally: Business cards need to be scanned quickly and automatically, and conversation content and customer data need to be digitally recorded. The leads recorded in this way flow directly into the CRM system and can be easily evaluated – ideally as quickly as possible. The time factor plays an important role when generating leads at trade fairs: After all, the potential customer is not only at your stand and you quickly run the risk of being forgotten. If you save your lead digitally, you can use it effectively and then evaluate it optimally. So just 30 percent of processed leads with an optimal strategy can become 100 percent.