For many companies, exhibiting at trade shows accounts for a significant chunk of their marketing budget every year. For exhibitors, the main goal is simple: to collect new sales leads for their business.

Unfortunately, only 39% of exhibitors feel like they succeed in this. The reality is that countless companies spend days exhibiting at a trade show, and return to the office with lead capture forms covered in illegible handwriting, or spreadsheets from their lead retrieval devices full of typos and out-of-date data.

Here at Integrate, we worked with one company who estimated that 30% of their event leads were unusable due to typos or poor handwriting - so they had to discard almost one-third of the leads collected at every event.

Lead quantity vs lead quality

Many common lead capture methods are designed to help exhibitors collect large numbers of leads: badge scanners that make it easy to scan anyone's badge who walks near your stand, or fishbowls that anyone and everyone can drop their business card in.

Similarly, many exhibitors incentivize their booth team based on number of leads collected: the more leads, the more successful the event. But is that really true?

If quantity of leads was truly the thing that mattered most to your business, you'd be exhibiting at any trade show nearby, rather than waiting for ones in your specific industry. When it comes to driving real revenue, lead quality beats quantity, every time.

Good-fit leads are more likely to progress through your sales process and turn into customers for your business, compared with poor-fit leads. So surely it makes more sense for your reps to focus on collecting good quality leads rather than just taking the details of anyone they see?

This will mean your sales team can focus their follow-up efforts speaking to people who have a genuine interest in your service or product - and weren't just speaking to your rep to get a free tote bag.

So how can you improve the quality of leads you collect at trade shows and events?

Your guide to capturing the best leads at trade shows

The Integrate team works with leading organisations including IBM, PayPal and Sony, helping them to improve their lead capture and generate more revenue from events.

We’ve put together this guide so you can empower your team to:

  • Honestly review your current lead capture process: does it deliver genuine, high quality sales leads, or just a long list of people's contact details?
  • Understand the different functionality offered by 5 common lead capture methods.
  • Know what information you need to improve the quality of leads you collect at events.

Want to help your team generate better-fit leads at events? Download The Complete Guide to Capturing the Best Leads at Events.

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