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Trade Show Industry Report: The Importance of Qualified Leads

By admin at October 30, 2012 | No Comments » |
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A new CEIR study unveils how exhibitors are capturing and managing leads.

Trade shows offer many different opportunities for exhibitors―the chance to meet with other members of the industry, a platform to share their products and services, and a great opportunity for business to business marketing outside of the normal sales floor environment.

However, while each one of these opportunities is an added benefit of a trade show event, there is one main reason why businesses choose to exhibit at a trade show in the first place―to increase their leads.

If you have ever exhibited at a trade show before, then there is a good chance you have counted up the number of leads you received in order to determine if the event was successful for your business or not. However, trade shows are not necessarily about generating a high volume of leads, but should focus on generating a high quality of leads and following up with them in a way that ensures the best chance of turning a warm lead into a hot customer.

To take a further look at the ways in which many exhibitors collect and manage qualified sales leads, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) conducted a study which helps to provide an up-to-date look at the way in which information is typically captured at business-to-business expositions, and the most common methods for follow-up.

This study, entitled Exhibitor Sales Lead Capture and Follow-Up Practice Trends, not only unveiled the importance of generating qualified leads for exhibitors, but also showed just how effective the right follow-up methods can be toward turning trade show leads into prospects.

The Importance of Qualified Leads

According to the recent CEIR study, qualified leads are infrequent, with only 30% of exhibitors capturing demographics and other lead qualifier questions, in addition to contact information and product or service interest information. This is an unfortunate statistic considering that qualified leads are not only much more likely to convert into a sale, but they generally produce more revenue than it cost to generate them in the first place, creating a higher return on investment.

However, landing qualified leads is not as simple as it sounds. It requires a lot of preparation before the trade show event, as well as a significant amount of time following up once the trade show is over. Luckily, the time and work that it takes to produce these qualified leads usually ends up paying off in the long run.

Following Up With Qualified Leads

It was reported that fewer than 60% of exhibitors follow up with a phone call to their leads after a trade show, and a third of these exhibitors don’t even bother to send an email after the event.  However, following up with the many qualified leads that you created throughout the event is the only way in which you can ensure that you are turning these warm prospects into hot customers.

Therefore, be sure that you have a lead management system set in place before you even leave for your trade show event so that you do not hand all of your hard work away to a competitor. In order to effectively help exhibitors with lead management, The Trade Group offers many lead management systems that allow exhibitors to integrate pre-show, at-show and post-show marketing communication in order to better leverage every sales opportunity.

For more information about gathering, qualifying and following up on leads at your next trade show, contact The Trade Group today.

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