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The main reason you invest time, money and energy into trade shows is so that you can capture a whole new swathe of leads.
Once you have these leads – conversations and contact information of interested customers and trade partners – you set about over the coming months to make sales.
How do you collect leads?
There are many ways to capture the information that you want;
- Competitions – you can run competitions, part of which is that people leave their contact card or information in order for them to be in with a chance of winning the prize. Most people are happy to oblige, providing the prize is worthwhile. However, some people are suspicious that they will be bombarded with marketing emails and calls.
- Business card bowl – if you are going for numbers, then you could collect hundreds of business cards but as you sift through them, isn’t this more about creating a database rather than real contacts? Who are these people and why are they interested in your product or service?
- Talk and make notes – great but time-consuming.
Does technology have the answer?
Possibly as there are now many apps that can be used to capture leads and information. We give an unbiased view of seven capture apps that we have come across;
Found on Android, this is a survey-style approach to gathering lead information. Gather detailed information, this could be the app for you if you want to use it offline. On the downside, it doesn’t have a plugin or compatibility with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software so someone will have to sit and input all this data from the app to your database.
There is an annual cost as well as extra charges for additional services.
A highly customisable app for both iOS and Android. A great pricing plan also means you can tailor it to suit your budget. If you don’t do trade shows regularly, the purchase of tokens for a certain number of leads collected makes this worth a second look.
Again, it doesn’t integrate with any CRM program but at £29.99 for 100 leads, it may be the ideal app for you.
Another customisable app for iOS and one that collects a wide range of information from potential customers via a tablet or smartphone. It can be used offline and the data synced with AWeber, Constant Contact, the popular MailChimp and iContact.
User-friendly and can be bought into for a one-off event, or choose the annual subscription.
This low-cost option compatible with both iOS and Android is a scanner approach to collect information from business cards ad synching with your CRM system.
This means less stress inputting data into a database, but it can miss information that you may be interested in. there is also a rather nifty feature of an e-business card which can be exchanged electronically.
Costs from $5 a month, and a cost-effective solution that is proving popular.
Available on both iOS and Android, the features on this app are like those found with On Spot Social. Templates are large and user-friendly, perfect for trade shows and events.
Leads can be exported to Mailchimp and Sales Force. It can also be used offline.
With a three-tier pricing system, the advanced tariff comes in at $49 a month but this is for one device. You will need to pay extra for it to be across a range of devices. Worth a look if you regularly attend shows and generate many leads.
This is a big step up. Available on iOS and Android, this app pre-qualifies your leads at trade shows, suggesting who you should be engaging with.
It connects directly with Salesforce and allows you to automate the process of acquiring, nurturing and converting leads.
Billed annually – currently $599 – you also get training and support. A great piece of kit, perfect for if you intend making trade shows and events the main source of custom.
And finally, Akkroo is available on iOS and Android. It is an intuitive app that like ProLeads pre-qualifies leads and directs them towards your sales funnel. It also provides information such as event ROI and integrates with a range of CRM system.
Pricing starts at £129 a month, with additional payments needed to integrate with a CRM system. Billing is annual so that’s a big outlay and as a result, users tend to be medium to large businesses.