Using a Lead Capture System to Convert Trade Show Attendees to Leads

By Lindsay Sykes, Director of Marketing, on November 25, 2016 at 10:39 AM

In part one of our high conversion event marketing crash course, we discussed how to attract more of the right people (aka qualified leads) to your event space.

Now that you’ve got all of these great attendees at your trade show booth, part two of our series will cover best practices for using a lead capture system to convert visitors to leads so you can market and sell to them after your event.

The Second Element of High Conversion Event Marketing: Identifiers
The main action in converting an anonymous event attendee into a lead, is capturing their information, i.e. identifying who they are, what they’re interested in, and how they can be reached after the show. That’s why we like to call the second key element of high conversion event marketing, identifiers. We classify identifiers as anything you use to collect information about attendees.

For us, event and trade show lead and data capture is the core of our business, so forgive us if we got a little bit over excited about this section. Identifiers can be as sophisticated and custom as a product wall that tracks how many pairs of eyes look at what during your event, or as simple as collecting a business card and writing a note on it.

The remainder of part two will cover some strategies for successfully pairing and using different lead and data capture tools (ie. identifiers) to optimize the number of leads you collect.

The main goal of identifiers
As we mentioned, an identifier is anything you use to:

  • Identify and contact leads
  • Identify their interests and their stage in the sales funnel
  • Segment and qualify them for future sales and marketing

The Two Types of Identifiers
There are two main types of identifiers you can use to capture lead information: 

  • Conversion points
  • Indirect insights

#1: Conversion Points
Conversion points are data collection tools or methods used for directly collecting and managing information from attendees.


  • Basic contact information collection
  • Registration and wavers
  • Lead surveys
  • Product surveys
  • Social media integration

3 Ways to Deploy Conversion Points
Below we’ve listed the three ways you can deploy conversion points at your trade show or event, and the best scenario to select each option. 

  1. Self-serve: Customers fill out information/surveys themselves.
    When to choose: Self-serve is a great choice for high volume, B2C events, as well as top of the funnel and non-qualified leads.
  2. Assisted: Event staff works with customers to help complete conversion points.
    When to choose:
    Assisted conversion points are beneficial for average volume events, B2B events and middle of the funnel attendees.
  3. Sales-facilitated: Sales and event staff use their own data collection devices to take notes and store information as they work with attendees.
    When to choose: Sales-facilitated conversion points are best for luxury buyers, senior executives, niche events and bottom of the funnel/hot leads.

#2: Indirect Insights
Indirect insights collect and analyze information based on behaviour, interaction tracking, movement through event booth and conversion with staff.


What People Tell You vs. Versus What Their Behaviour Tells You
The main difference between conversion points and indirect insights is when and how you can observe your data collection.

The information provided by customers at conversion points provides you with direct insight from event attendees themselves. This data can be accessed on the spot and give you an instant understandingof where attendees stand in the buyer funnel.

Indirect insights provide you with just that: an indirect look into consumer behaviour. This information is more beneficial to you after your event, as you can observe the tracked movements attendees made through your booth.

While an attendee may claim they’re not interested in buying at a conversion point, indirect insights may indicate otherwise if you see that they’ve spent a lot of time checking out your products. Data collection tools that track movement and interaction also let you analyze what aspects of your event people are responding to.

The benefits of conversion points and indirect insights may differ, but they both assist you in optimizing your ROI by identifying and segmenting leads so you can best convert them to sales. Deploying both methods at your event can help you increase both quick and future sales.

Think about ways you’ve used a lead capture system before. Have you found it difficult to recognize hot leads from the rest of the crowd? Was it an easy process for qualified leads to make a quick purchase? Keep this in mind as we continue to cover the important components of identifiers, and ask yourself how you can apply these tips to your events and trade shows.

This will help you select which kind of conversion points and indirect insights you’d like to deploy at your next event.

Up Next
How to Create a Tablet Lead Capture Survey Your Attendees Won’t Mind Doing

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