By Allison Saget
In the last two weeks I’ve worked on six live events for three different clients. As I was coordinating the marketing details and logistics, I was reminded how each conference organizer was using a different type of lead-capture mechanism to provide and share the attendees’ lead information to their paid sponsors. Some used badges while others provided the post-attendee list with and without all the data and some nothing at all.
Onsite, I saw exhibitors, from small table-top displays to large booths, scramble to capture leads and process them. I’m thinking to myself — this is 2010, is this for real!
There are a variety of lead-capture solutions to help you increase the number of qualified leads gathered from your event activity. Everything from paper to electronic media can be used. Some prefer the old-fashioned way of taking just a business card and writing notes on the back. I like to use a variety of lead-capture mechanisms and do NOT rely on one over another. Each is specific to an event. I also prefer to interact with the staff that is working the event to get a general sense of the hot leads on a daily basis.
Let’s look at the lead-capture mechanisms. The at-a-glance definitions are my interpretation of the touch points for events only.
Badge Swipe — data is housed through either a barcode or magnetic strip.
Registration — opportunity to collect general demographic information as well as product interest and purchasing time frame.
Business Card Delivery or Exchange — it’s a staple that is still the easiest way to have information on someone.
Lead Form — Asks personal data as well as product interest level, purchasing authority, and timeframe.
Raffle Ticket or Card — Used for prize giveaways. Customize to include personal data, such as name, organization, and e-mail address.
Web Inquiry Capture Response — Attendees ask questions online, and you respond via e-mail.
Direct Mailer — A printed piece sent directly to the attendee, usually pre- and post-event. Reinforces your key messages and should feature a business reply card.
Direct-Marketing Campaign — An initiative that includes e-mail marketing, tele-connecting, and direct advertising.
With lead-capture mechanisms, the objective is to stimulate a response that can be developed into a lead and ultimately into a new customer or more business from existing customers.
Allison Saget is an event marketing consultant and the author of “The Event Marketing Handbook: Beyond Logistics & Planning.” Her website is http://www.eventblt.com. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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