• Michael Hudson

Trade Show Roulette

Don’t trip yourself up at the finish line – fix your swipe leads

Trade shows can be fun and a way to meet clients and prospects, network with your peers and see what everyone else is up to in your industry.

Trade shows are also, expensive, long days, time consuming and potentially a waste of money if you don’t take often overlooked factors into account. Why do companies invest in trade shows? There are 2-3 key reasons, in order of priority:

  • Lead generation

  • Raise brand and company visibility

  • Product launches

A trade show is a BIG marketing investment. For example, an 8’ x 8’ booth in a medium traffic zone at Dreamforce (Salesforce) 2018 was $50,000. Add onto that the peripheral costs such as booth equipment, travel and lodging for several staff, booth giveaways, client dinners and assorted marking costs and the cost easily rises to $75,000 and even higher.

So, let’s get to the main reason for doing a trade show: lead generation.

Here’s a few facts of life:

  • There’s going to be two types of people that visit your booth: swag/tchotchke collectors and serious prospects. You want to minimize the time you spend on the first group and maximize time and follow up on the second group (serious prospects)

  • When all of those people register for the show, they already know that every booth they visit wants their information and will probably follow up after the show. As a result, they minimize and often mask the information they provide during registration. So, when you swipe their badge at the booth you are going to get minimal information.

  • Most trade shows now restrict providing the attendee list due to complaints about registrants being hounded by sales reps. Some do provide more detailed lists but only to show sponsors which means another $10K-15K in costs

So, here’s what usually happens at a trade show (this Author has attended over 25)

  1. A prospect visits the booth either to grab a giveaway or to inquire about your product

  2. During the conversation you swipe their badge using the gizmo provided by the venue

  3. At the end of the show your booth organizer takes the gizmo to the show office and downloads the lead data and sends it to you via email

  4. The field marketing team passes the leads to sales, usually by importing them into the leads queue of a product like Salesforce

  5. An SDR/BDR team picks up the leads and starts contacting the prospects to try and convert those leads into sales opportunities

Here’s where things start to go sideways. You have conducted a textbook trade show event and done everything right, booth position, pre-event marketing, mid-event marketing, top team members on the booth staff etc. and then all those efforts may well be for nothing because there’s one thing you haven’t fixed – the data quality of the leads you swiped at the booth.

Attendees know they are going to be pursued after the show, so they go out of their way to mask their data including, omitting key information, faking data like phone numbers, using private email addresses, using a previous employers name, embellishing their titles and other methods.

The effect of these moves is not felt until a BDR starts working the lead list and finds that the phone numbers don’t work, the emails bounce and the person isn’t who they say they are. The BDR and your company will find this out the hard way by expending valuable time and sales revenue opportunity time chasing dead ends, possibly at the expense of higher probability prospects.

With the lead list provided in its original form, if the BDR converts 5 opportunities out of 300 swipes companies may consider that to be a good result. But it isn’t. If the BDR had better data like accurate Industry, job title, phone number, corporate email, location, website then they could do a much better job. Appending accurate and more data to a trade show lead before handing it to the BDR will yield many benefits including:

  • Prioritize leads based on different criteria (title, seniority, industry, location, company size)

  • Discard obviously low-quality leads (size of company, title of prospect) that are unlikely to buy

  • Use customized call scripts based on prior knowledge of the prospect (CIO vs. Manager of IT)

  • Make dialer/productivity tools more effective (Outreach, InsideSales, Cirrus Insight)

  • Make SDR/s and Sales Executives more productive overall by making sure the highest quality lead data makes it into their queues.

  • Ultimately improve your ROI from your trade show investment

The bottom line is there’s lots of good reasons to improve the validation and enrichment of event leads and not a single reason not to in our opinion. Enriching and validating a lead costs just a few bucks so are you going to continue to spend $75,000 on a trade show and not spend a few hundred bucks making sure the lead is at maximum effectiveness? No, we didn’t think so either. That would be like running the race of your life and then tripping yourself up at the finish line.

And of course, we have an app for that. ContactPERSONA On-Demand takes lists you send us freshly collected from trade shows and other events and within 24-48 hours we will turn them around fully enriched, validated and ready to work with higher confidence. We can recover leads with as little as 4 fields of information and turn them into a comprehensive lead record with up to 36 fields of information. We can even identify leads with only private emails provided.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/2ImmWpu

We offer a trial clean of 50 leads from a trade show list of your choice after a conversation with you. Reach out using the contact form on our site for more details.


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