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How to Collect Leads at a Trade Show

If you are going to invest your valuable time and money into attending a trade show you will want to be sure you have an effective way to collect leads. The prospect of gathering leads is one of the main reasons why businesses are willing to pay the exhibit costs because a good lead could translate into a paying customer which could offset some of the fees of attending the show. 


Send the Best Team

Hopefully you have a fantastic team of employees that are all amazing at their job. Regardless of how good they are at what they do, they may or may not be the best person to send to a trade show. You need to put your best people forward that will be excited, interactive, and speak the same language as your prospective clients; literally and figuratively. 

Be Selective with Gift Items

Many booths opt to hand out some kind of promotional product. However, unlike other events, you may want to consider being more selective with who gets these products rather than giving them to everyone as they walk by. Making them work for it will give you the time to see what kind of lead this person may be. Are they a hot or cold lead? How likely are they to convert into a customer? You can evaluate the type of lead they might be by making them answer a few questions. You can use the items as a type of raffle and gather information as their entry ticket. 

Trial Run

There are often technical difficulties no matter how well we prepare. Make sure your lead scanners are as simple and quick to use as possible. Test the hardware before the show so you don’t end up with broken adapters, missing parts, or slow internet connection. It should also be noted that you should never solely rely on the website at the show because it will likely be slow and overrun. 


Setting Up an Inviting Display

Avoid bringing seating to shows. When people are sitting, they are less likely to interact with people and come across unapproachable. Sitting can encourage idle behaviors. Having interactive employees at a tasteful and functional booth can make a difference on the number and type of people that you attract. Trade show displays should attract the type of lead that you hope to find. Expo Marketing has great options for customized displays to meet your business needs. 

Lead Collection Ideas

There are so many options available to help you gather leads. 

Here are some popular ones:

  • Apps
  • Email list
  • Business cards
  • Badge scanner
  • Lead collection software (contact trade show organizer for possible rental)

Whatever you choose, make sure you have a backup. Technology can fail, and you would hate to lose all of your hard work. Not to mention it would make a poor first impression if you did not follow up with someone because you lost their information. 



Once you have the leads, it will be your responsibility to actually follow-up with the leads you generated. It would be a poor representation of your business to collect leads and promise future contact or gifts and then not deliver. Trust is one of the most important driving factors when people select who they purchase goods and/or services from. The follow-up is just as important and should be just as much of a priority as the before and during details of your tradeshow. ExpoMarketing wants to see you get the most out of your exhibit and overall trade show experience.

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