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Strategies for successful lead generation: Turning exhibition attendees into business contacts?

Collecting leads at a trade show
Exhibiting at trade shows and exhibitions can be an excellent way to generate business leads and establish meaningful connections. However, the success of any trade show is not just about attracting visitors to your booth, but about converting those visitors into business contacts.

In this blog post, we will explore how to turn exhibition attendees into business contacts by focusing on two essential steps: collecting leads at trade shows and converting them after the event is over.

Why collect leads?

Before delving into how to collect leads and the process of generating potential customers for a business, it’s important to know why you should collect leads in the first place. One of the first reasons that companies generate leads is because it’s one of the main sources of conversion that they have. This is especially the case in niche industries and those where advertising is less rife, with face-to-face lead generation providing the greatest value for a company.

That increases the chances of securing a sale and means that you’ve not been investing your time into chasing potential buyers that have a lower chance of spending on your product.

Collecting leads at trade shows

1. Develop an engaging booth

Your booth is the face of your company, so it’s essential to create an engaging environment that will attract visitors. Ensure that your display is enticing but not overpowering – you want to capture the attention of visitors, not turn them away. You can use colourful graphics, interactive displays or even offer refreshments to make visitors feel welcome.

2. Use lead retrieval systems

Lead retrieval systems are a great way to capture leads effectively. These systems allow exhibitors to scan the badges of visitors who visit their booth. This process eliminates the need to collect business cards or fill out forms, saving time and making the process more efficient.
Buro Happold Exhibition Stand, Passenger Terminal EXPO at Portes de Versailles,
3. Offer promotions

Offering promotions, discounts or giveaways can be an excellent way to attract visitors to your booth. You can use these promotions to capture leads by requesting visitors fill out a form with their contact information before receiving the offer. Sales lead generation can be difficult without offering a clear value proposition to the customer from the start.

4. Attend networking events

Attending networking events – such as cocktail receptions, luncheons or talks – during the exhibition will provide you with an opportunity to interact with potential business contacts outside of the exhibition floor. Lead management is about more than just getting contact details, and these networking events offer opportunities for you to have deeper conversations that attract people to the brand.

Converting leads after the event is over

Once you have collected leads at the trade show, the next step is to convert them into business contacts. Here are some effective strategies for converting leads after the event is over:

1. Follow-up quickly

Follow up with your leads as soon as possible after the exhibition. Delaying follow-ups can make your business appear unprofessional and less interested in pursuing a relationship. A follow-up is also ideal for lead qualification and ensuring that your leads have a definite interest in the product.

2. Personalise your message

When following up, make sure to personalise your message. This will demonstrate that you are interested in forming a meaningful business relationship with them. The best marketing campaigns are built on personalisation, with customer acquisition relying on leads feeling valued.

3. Use multiple touchpoints

Use multiple touchpoints to connect with your leads. You can use email, phone calls or even social media to keep the conversation going. Plan this out in detail if possible, having a clear sales funnel that you design to maximise engagement and build better conversion rates throughout the company.

4. Provide value

Focus on providing value to your leads. Share relevant industry information, offer exclusive content or even invite them to industry events. This will show them that you are interested in building a long-term relationship, rather than just making a sale. The more value you provide after customer acquisition, the more likely a potential client is to spend money on your company for years to come.

Focus on lead generation

If you’re looking to effectively grow your company, secure more leads and improve your access to industry clients, start focusing on lead generation. Beyond that, putting lead management at the core of your work is another significant benefit, making sure that you convert more leads as efficiently as possible. Follow the above steps and you can start to watch your business thrive with more effective practices.