Brian Carroll

Lead Generation tips for Tradeshows Conferences

Tradeshows and events are still being used consistently by B2B marketers for lead generation. With that in mind, Roger Lewis has some useful tips on how to improve your lead management strategy with from tradeshows. Lewis emphasizes how vital lead capture is to the lead management process.

He writes:

Without the continuity of using one lead management solution across all your yearly events, your company is often left with:

  • Inconsistent data fields that are difficult to import into CRM systems;
  • Unnecessary or missing data;
  • Different formats that need to be painstakingly modified;
  • No ability to capture lead qualification survey data; and most importantly,
  • Missed sales opportunities because the sales group is forced to cull through a list of unqualified contacts.

I agree. I believe a key aspect is developing a process that emphasizes lead quality over lead quantity. Well meaning marketers can ruin their lead generation results by rushing an unqualified list of tradeshow attendees to their sales team.  Early stage leads – those who are not ready to speak to a sales person yet – are great candidates for an effective lead nurturing program.

After doing numerous lead qualification programs at InTouch, we have found only 5% to 10% of trade show inquiries are truly sales ready leads; so don’t pass marketing driven inquiries to your sales people until they’re more rigorously qualified as sales ready leads. 

We must realize that the extreme time pressure salespeople face—especially those with a complex sale—requires them to ignore what is not immediately relevant and highly likely to produce revenue. Why? They are not paid to do anything else. And that makes quality more important than quantity to them. 

Related posts:

Clear and Universal Lead Definition
Podcast on Tradeshow and Event Marketing with Ruth Stevens

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Event Marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Management, Lead Nurturing, Lead Qualification



  1. | #1

    It was stated at a recent meeting that I attended as well that 80% of trade show leads are never followed up on.

    How can you measure results better? Using an online event management system to track your trade shows, your leads and your ROI, all in one place. You can create fantastic reports on time and leads. This is a good tool for marketing departments because the information is all right at your fingertips.

  2. | #2

    Having first hand experience of many tradeshows over many years, I have to concur that the leads generated are generally not the greatest. I have a vivid memory of the pretty girls at the stall next to ours avidly soliciting passers by to scan their cards in order to get as many leads as possible for the customer who they were doing the promo for. There were very few good leads there, and I felt that it was a great waste of an exercise, especially seeing that sales staff were going to be handed these worthless leads, wasting their time and demotivating them too…

    This may be an extreme example, but I think it served admirably to illustrate the point.

    Take care

    Lizzie

  3. | #3

    Tradeshows can be a very effective venue for acquiring qualified leads. However, you would have to do a thorough job of planning for success. 2 important things to consider:
    (1) The types of audience who attend the show – Do some research to make sure the shows you choose comprise of the target audience that most likely represent your customers.

    (2) Train and prepare your staff well – A well trained and prepared staff will know how to engage the visitors and ask the right questions to gauge the quality of the leads.

    I have written an article on tradeshow marketing best practices here, http://bit.ly/iLr4W9

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