Trade shows and conferences are some of the best places for generating large numbers of high-quality leads in just a few days. These types of events are all about the connections that you can make, and everyone comes with a networking mindset, so if you’re active, you can build an entire business with a long list of clients in a very short amount of time.
Still, to make the most out of what corporate events have to offer, you must have an effective system to engage and capture leads that you can then nurture into becoming your customers. And that’s where many less experienced business owners come up short.
So, how can you and your team make sure that you come out on the winning side and insert as many leads as possible into your funnel?
Let’s explore some of the most effective approaches used by the best conference event organisers below.
Plan the Right Event
When people attend your conferences or trade shows, they are investing their time, which is one of the most valuable assets that they have. Therefore, before anything else, you must make sure that the event you want to plan provides the right networking opportunities and is worth going to in the first place.
Obviously, the first step of the process is planning an event in your own industry or planning an event that your target audience is likely to attend. It’s often a good idea to niche down so that you can target a specific segment of the people you want to reach, as that can help you focus your efforts and crystalise the message that you want to convey.
Another thing to look at when putting together a corporate event is to identify ways to make networking and lead generation as easy as possible. You want the task of networking and generating leads to be as simple and straightforward as possible, so you should use apps and other tools to make the process easier and more efficient.
The reason for that is because these types of events are time-restricted, meaning that you need to try to get as many leads into your funnel as possible in the amount of time that is available. If you use lead capture tools, that can shorten the amount of time it takes to get a lead into your funnel, providing you with a better ROI on the event and giving you more time to pursue a broader range of leads.
Identify and Target Your Best Leads
Another essential aspect to consider is the specific plan of action you will use to identify and approach the very best leads at an event.
Since your event is competing with similar events in your industry, your success will come down to how well prepared you are to meet their expectations and how aggressive you are in pursuing them.
If you want to maximise your chances of success, you can’t leave all of the work for the event itself and need to perform your research beforehand.
Spend time with your team going through the event’s itinerary, its target audience, and likely attendees, and try to develop a profile of the prospective attendees that are the best fit for your company.
You should also advertise your presence at the event as much as possible. Many companies have found success by offering exclusive deals or discounts to people who attend and perform specific actions. Some things to try out include providing attendees with a unique code they can use to gain access to exclusive deals or even setting appointments in advance to better plan their time at the event.
Use Advanced Tracking Tools
While a lot of the lead generation success at corporate events comes down to effort, you also need to make your work more productive by using the most advanced lead-gen tools available.
Today, many solutions can reduce the time it takes to capture a lead or enter it into your funnel, so you should spend time researching the solutions that could be the most useful in your situation before any important event.
If the event allows for badge scanning, that can help you significantly reduce the time it would otherwise take to collect the prospect’s data and enter it into your funnel. By scanning the badge or a QR code of the lead, you can instantly learn all of the vital information that will allow you to classify them and put them in the appropriate level of your funnel.
You should also use lead tracking and scoring tools to prioritise your leads and engage them in a way that is the most likely to produce the results that you want. Remember, the more information you can provide your sales team about each lead, the higher the chances of those leads eventually becoming your customers.
After the event, you can use the information that you collect to follow up with your leads at the appropriate time, offering them relevant solutions and approaching them from an angle that is the most likely to generate a positive response.
Assess Your Performance and Make Adjustments
As most event management companies will tell you, it’s almost impossible to execute a perfect lead generation strategy on your first attempt. If you want to achieve long-lasting results and refine your approach, you will need to work with an event agency, analysing your results and looking for ways to improve performance next time.
Be open to constructive criticism and don’t be afraid to admit that a strategy was ineffective – each failure brings you a step closer to success, and as you learn more about your audience, you are slowly gaining an edge over most of your competitors that don’t have the same data to work with.
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – leading event company Birmingham offering event production, venue finding and team building services in the UK. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.